Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In message four we saw that Christ as the Son of God, as God, is superior to the angels. This is revealed in Hebrews 1. Now we come to the second part of this comparison—that Jesus as the Son of Man, as man, is superior to the angels. This is unveiled in Hebrews 2. Firstly we saw Christ as the Son of God, as God; now we must see Jesus as the Son of Man, as man. As both God and man, He is superior to the angels.
Our wonderful Jesus has two natures, the divine and the human. He has divinity and humanity. He is God and He is man. Since He is God, He is the Son of God. Since He is man, He is the Son of Man. According to biblical usage, “man” and “Son of Man” are interchangeable terms. This is proved by Psalm 8:4 which says, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Hence, the Son of Man simply means man. In the same principle, the Son of God means God. According to John 5:17-18, for Jesus to be the Son of God means that He is God. When the Pharisees heard that the Lord Jesus called Himself the Son of God, they accused Him of blasphemy because, in their understanding, He made Himself equal with God. Thus, to say that Jesus is the Son of God means that He is God. Christ is both God and man. Hebrews chapter one covers His divinity and chapter two covers His humanity. With respect to both His divinity and humanity, He is superior to the angels. Even as the Son of Man, He is superior to the angels.
Although it is easy to realize that God is absolutely superior to the angels, it is difficult for us to realize that man is also superior to them. Do you still hold the concept that you are inferior to angels? I am afraid that if an angel appeared to you, you would worship him. At the least, you would look up to him, subconsciously thinking that he is superior to you. This thought is wrong. If you think that angels are superior to you, you are short of vision. You need to see Hebrews chapter two. Even at the end of chapter one (v. 14), we saw that, as the heirs of salvation, we are much superior to the angels, for the angels are our servants and we are their masters. We are the partners of Christ, and the angels are the servants, ministering to the heirs of salvation. We are the house of God, in which is the heavenly ladder joining us to God and bringing God to us, while the angels are ministering spirits ascending and descending upon this ladder as they render their service to us. Hence, they are much inferior to us. As we pointed out in message four, Matthew 18:10 reveals that everyone of us has an angel. Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” An angel appeared to Cornelius (Acts 10:3), telling him where to contact the one who preached the gospel. Moreover, Acts 12:7-11 tells us how an angel opened the door that Peter might escape from prison. Although you may not know the name of your ministering angel, I am quite sure that he knows your name. We all have at least one angel that ministers to us continually. This is not superstition; this is reality. According to my experience, I can testify that as I have been traveling during the past forty years I have realized that my angel was with me and that, on many occasions, he protected me.
Christ, the Son of Man, as man, is superior to the angels. Hebrews 2 does not speak of Him as a great man but as a little man. However, even as a little man He is superior to the angels. Before we consider the superiority of Jesus as a man to the angels, we need to see a basic factor in His being a man, that is, that God has ordained man to rule over the earth as revealed in Genesis 1:26-28.
Hebrews 2:5 says, “For He did not subject to angels the coming inhabited earth, concerning which we speak.” The word for connects verse 5 with the preceding verses in the same chapter. Verses 1 through 4 give us a warning, telling us that there will be a “just recompense” for neglecting “so great a salvation.” The Lord’s wonderful Person plus His splendid work are “so great a salvation,” a salvation which none of us should neglect. The word escape in verse 3 means, in principle, to escape the recompense alluded to in verse 2. If we neglect “so great a salvation,” it is right and just that we receive a certain recompense. What will be this “just recompense”? Although we shall say more about this in coming messages, if we pay attention to the little word for in verse 5, we can understand something about it now. The word for refers back to the negligence mentioned in verse 3. If we neglect “so great a salvation,” we shall receive a certain kind of “just recompense,” “for He did not subject to angels the coming inhabited earth, concerning which we speak.” Thus, the “just recompense” is related to the “coming inhabited earth.”
If we neglect so great a salvation, “how shall we escape?” This does not mean that we shall lose our salvation and be lost. Once we have been saved, we are saved forever. John 10:28 assures us of this: “And I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand” (Recovery Version). When we believe in the Lord Jesus, He gives us eternal life and we shall never perish. The Lord’s word will remain forever, and His word tells us that we have been eternally saved. We do have eternal security. However, this does not mean that a saved person can have no problems. According to this portion of Hebrews, a saved person, whose salvation is eternally secure, might miss the “coming inhabited earth.” Now we need to find out what is the “coming inhabited earth.”
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