The focus of the Book of Hebrews is perseverance. It’s about finding strength to press on in the faith when things get difficult. Our text this morning starts off in a rather unexpected way—insisting on the Son’s superiority over the angels.
It may not strike us as immediately obvious how the Son’s superiority over the angels has anything to do with persevering in the faith. If you were to come up to me after the service and say, “I’m thinking about abandoning the faith.” And I responded by saying, “No way, don’t give up. Jesus is better than the angels!” You probably wouldn’t say, “You’re right. I’m staying.” But that’s where the author of Hebrews starts.
That raises a bit of a challenge for the preacher to figure out how to tie this all together. Normally, I like to start my sermons by posing a question or two that we’re all interested in and use that to help frame the sermon. Our framing question this morning is “Why does the author of Hebrews start by asserting that Jesus is superior to the angels?” I’m not sure that’s a very compelling question, but don’t worry—it’s heading somewhere compelling.
So here’s what I want to do with our sermon today. I want to do a bit more teaching on the front end about what angels have to do with anything; why does the author of Hebrews start here with the superiority of the Son over the angels? What is driving his thoughts? Then, I’m going to offer two points of application for how I think that applies to us in our context.
It's hard to make sense of what's going on in this passage and why the author is beginning ...
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Gerald Hiestand is the co-founder and part-time director of the Center for Pastor Theologians. He also serves as the Senior Pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois. He is the author, with Todd Wilson, of The Pastor Theologian.