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THE SUPERIORITY OF THE SON
Victor M. Eskew
A. In the last lesson, we noted that a contrast was made between Christ and the prophets.
1. They spoke in times past.
2. In these last days, God speaks to man through His Son (Heb. 1:2)
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…
B. The Son should be heard over the prophets because He is much superior to them.
C. The inspired penman shows us Christ’s superiority to the prophets by presenting a seven-fold description of the Son of God.
I. THE APPOINTED HEIR
II. THE AGENT OF CREATION
III. THE AURORA OF GOD’S GLORY
IV. THE ARCHEYPE OF THE FATHER
V. THE ANCHOR OF THE UNIVERSE
VI. THE ANOINTED OF GOD
VII. THE AUTHORITY OVER ALL
I. THE APPOINTED HEIR (v. 2)
…whom he hath appointed heir of all things…
A. Appointed (5087) tithemi
1. Strong: to place
2. Thayer: to set, put, place, fix, establish, ordain
3. There are two ways one can receive an inheritance:
a. Upon the death of one’s father
b. Upon the appointment of the father while he is living (See Luke 15:11-12)
And he said, A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
B. Heir (2818) kleronomos
1. Strong: getting by apportionment; a sharer by lot, or inheritor
2. Thayer: one who received his allotted possession by right of sonship
3. Jesus is heir of all things:
a. Psalm 2:8
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
b. Matthew 11:27
All things are delivered unto me of my Father…
c. Jesus was appointed as “heir of all things” at His resurrection from the dead (Matt. 28:18).
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
C. Jesus’ position as “heir” gives Him the right and the authority to speak.
II. THE AGENT OF CREATION (v. 2)
…by whom also he made the worlds
A. By whom:
1. This denotes the channel of an act.
2. Christ is here represented as a mediate agency
3. God created through His Son Jesus Christ.
B. Made the worlds
1. Made (4160) poieo
a. Strong: to make or do
b. Thayer: to be the author of, cause, to make a thing out of something
2. Other passages:
a. John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
b. Colossians 1:15-17
Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
3. Others’ comments:
a. Godet: Every being, to reach existence, must have passed through the thought and will of the Logos (Vincent, e-sword)
b. Vincent: All the laws and purposes which guide the creation and government of the universe reside in him, the Eternal Word, as their meeting point.
III. THE AURORA OF GOD’S GLORY (Heb. 1:3)
Who being the brightness of his glory…
1. This verb expresses absolute and timeless existence. Christ has always been and is still the brightness of God’s glory.
2. John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
B. Brightness (541) apaugosma
a. A combination of two words: “off,” that is “away and “to bear forth”
a. Reflected brightness
b. Effulgence, shining forth
c. Of Christ as He perfectly reflects the majesty of God
3. Robertson: to emit brightness (reflected light or a ray from an original light body)
a. God is light (I John 1:5).
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
b. Jesus, too, is light. He radiates the same glory as the Father does (John 8:12; 9:5; Rev. 1:6).
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
c. Revelation 21:23
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
1. Vincent: The meaning then is, that the Son is an out raying of the divine glory, exhibiting in himself the glory and majesty of the divine Being (I John 1:5; Rev. 22:5).
2. Weiss: God lets His glory issue from himself, so that there arises thereby a light-being like Himself
D. Glory (1391) doxa
1. Strong: glory
2. Thayer: majesty, absolutely perfect inward and personal excellency of Christ (See II Pet. 1:16-17).
3. Vincent: The expression of the divine attributes collectively. It is the unfolded fullness of the divine perfections.
4. Doxa (glory) is used of various visible displays of divine light (Exo. 24:17; Deut. 5:24; Exo. 40:34; Num. 14:10; 16:19; 16:42; Ezek. 10:4; 43:4; 43:5; Ezek. 1:28, 3:23; lev. 9:23).
5. The brightness of God springs from both His majesty and His holiness.
E. The Lord’s glory was displayed to man on the mount of Transfiguration.
1. Matthew 17:2
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as a sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
2. Mark 9:2b-3
…and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
3. Luke 9:29
And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening.
F. LESSON: “Were Jesus merely a created being, or some espouse, there is no way that it could be said He is the ‘effulgence’ of Divine glory. A clearer affirmation of Deity cannot be imagined” (Wacaster, 36).
IV. THE ARCHETYPE OF THE FATHER (Heb. 1:3)
A. Express image (5481) charakter
1. Strong: character, the figure that is stamped by the engraver, an exact copy
a. A mark or figure bound in (Lev. 13:28) or stamped in, an impression
b. The exact expression (the image) of any person, or thing, precise reproduction in every respect
B. If one presses a seal into wax, what is seen in the wax is the image of that seal.
1. Vincent: God is conceived of setting His distinctive stamp upon Christ, carving into definite and characteristic expression in his person, so that the Son bears the exact impress of divine nature and character.
2. “Whatever ‘elements’ or ‘nature’ one find in the Father, this is precisely what one finds in the Son” (Wacaster, 36).
a. John 14:9
Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet has thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
b. Colossians 1:15a
Who is the image of the invisible God…
V. THE ANCHOR OF THE UNIVERSE (Heb. 1:3)
A. Upholding (5342) phero
1. Strong: to “bear” or to carry
2. Thayer: to bear up, i.e., uphold (keep from falling) of Christ the preserver of the Universe
a. It implies sustain, but also movement.
b. It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development.
c. All things consist and maintain their coherence in him.
a. The universe stays its course and the laws of nature continue to operate consistently and orderly because all these things are held in place by the ‘word of his power’” (37).
b. “Christ actually ‘bears or guides along (pheron)’ the universe in the way that He wants it to go. It is not that He is holding it up like one holds up weights, but rather that He, by His providence and power, is governing and sustaining the order about us” (37).
B. By the word of his power
1. Word (4487) rhema
a. Strong: Utterance
b. Thayer: that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
2. Power (1411) dunamis
2) Specifically miraculous power
3) Ability, might, strength, power
b. Thayer: Strength, power, ability, inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
3. The power is manifested through the Son’s word. It is not surprising seeing that His spoken word created all things.
a. Hebrews 11:3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
b. Psalm 33:6, 9
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth….For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.