Friday, August 4, 2023

God is Speaking in Jesus!

Today, many a Christian is seeking new revelations about God and mystical insights into His plans for his or her personal “destiny.” Unfortunately, too often we find ourselves looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps in the hidden meaning of a Hebrew letter or number, a dream, the next lunar cycle, and the like. But the New Testament is explicit. God is speaking today, and He is doing so in His Son. In Jesus, all God’s “mysteries” are unveiled, and we ignore the “word of the Son” at our peril. If you want to know your “destiny,” look to Jesus, the “Author and Finisher of our faith.”

And Hebrews leaves us in no doubt as to where to find this superior word.Considering all that God has done, we need to give “more earnest heed to the things that were heard.” The word of salvation was “first been spoken through the Lord and confirmed unto us by them that heard,” namely, the apostles. And the New Testament is the only reliable source we have for what the apostles taught.

Boy Surprised by Bible - Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
[Photo by Ben White on Unsplash]

Letter to the Hebrews exhorts believers not to abandon Jesus when difficult times arise. It does so by emphasizing the superiority and finality of what God has accomplished in His “Son” over the earlier and preparatory revelations that He provided “in the prophets.” And it does this by comparing the old Levitical system with its incomplete provisions and inadequate sacrifices to the “better” priesthood and “once for all” sacrifice of the “Son.”

Thus, the Letter demonstrates the superiority of the Son’s ministry, priesthood, and one-time sacrifice over the priestly services and repeated animal sacrifices of the now obsolete Aaronic priesthood and the rituals of the “former covenant.”

In doing so, it does not denigrate God’s past revelations, but it shows by comparison how much the “Word in a Son” surpasses the earlier and incomplete “words” given “in the prophets.”

Hebrews is addressed to a congregation that is experiencing pressure from outsiders. Consequently, some members are contemplating a return to the local synagogue to avoid persecution and other difficulties.

  • (Hebrews 1:1-4) - In many parts and in many ways of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets; upon the last of these days - He spoke to us <in a Son>, Whom he appointed heir of all things, Through whom also he made the ages, Who, being an eradiated brightness of his glory and an exact impress of his being, also, bearing up all things by the utterance of his power, having achieved purification of sins, sat down on the right hand{a} of the Majesty on HighBy so much becoming better than the angels, by as much as, going beyond them, He inherited a more distinguished <name>.” [{a} – Quotation from Psalm 110:1. The terms “Son” and “Name” are emphatic in the Greek sentence].

In the original Greek text, the opening paragraph is one long sentence consisting of 74 individual words. It begins by contrasting how God spoke in the past with how He does so now – Partially, “of old” to the “fathers in the prophets,” but today, definitively “upon these last days to us in a Son.”

The sentence then describes the accomplishments of the “Son” through several declarations with each prefaced by the relative pronoun “who.” And it includes an allusion to what will become the Letter’s main proof-text, Psalm 110:1, 4 (See Studies in the Epistle to the Hebrews by Joseph B. Rotherham, The Restoration Library, page 21).

Only in its final clause does the sentence begin to identify who this “Son” is by ending the sentence with the word “name.” He has inherited a “more distinguished name.” This prepares the reader for the next paragraph in which the Letter contrasts the one it identifies as “Son” with the “angels” of God.


For the discouraged believer to return to the synagogue he or she would need to conform to some, at least, of the rituals detailed in the Book of Leviticus, and it would mean betraying and dishonoring the “Son” in whom God has spoken with great finality. Hence, the severe warnings against apostasy threaded throughout the Letter - (Hebrews 2:1-3, 2:15, 6:1-12, 10:25-39).

Accordingly, “upon THESE LAST DAYS,” the superior “Word of God” has been spoken in one who is a “Son.” And this revelation marks the end of one era and the commencement of another and vastly superior age.

The Greek sentence begins with two adverbs - polumerōs and polutropōs – both formed with the adjective polus or “much, many.” Polumerōs is formed with meros or “part,” and polutropōs with tropos or “manner.” The terms stress different aspects of the past revelation “spoken in the prophets.”

The individual “words” spoken “in the prophets” were parts of a larger but incomplete whole (“in many parts”), and each was revealed in a different “way” and at various times. Presumably, the latter category includes prophecies, visions, dreams, and other forms of inspired communication. God did speak before, but He only disclosed portions, “glimpses and shadows” of His coming “good things.”

Three contrasts are presented in the sentence to prove the superiority of this final “word.” First, God spoke “of old,” but now, He speaks “upon these last days.” Second, He spoke to “the fathers, but now, “to us.” That is, to the followers of Jesus, the church. And third, He spoke “in the prophets,” but now, He is speaking to His people in one who is “a Son.”

The previous revelations were promissory but incomplete. They did not reveal all that God intended to do for His children; therefore, a fuller disclosure was required. As the Letter will argue, the priestly services and sacrifices of the Aaronic priesthood were incapable of achieving the “purification of sins” so desperately needed by all men.

The term, “these last days,” provides the time element for this new “word” and the era it inaugurated. It began with the death, resurrection, and exaltation of the “Son.” Afterward, he “sat down” in God’s very presence where he now intercedes for his people as their “High Priest forevermore.” Whatever the Letter means by the term “last days,” that period began with the exaltation of the “Son” to God’s “right hand” - (Acts 2:17, Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 1:10).


In the Greek sentence, there is no definite article or “the” before the word “son.” That omission stresses the class or status of the one who is called “son,” not his identity. The “word” that God now speaks is by means of ONE WHO IS A SON.

A son is in the closest possible relationship with his father, and that familial closeness emphasizes his elevated status. As the “Son,” he is superior even to Moses, the greatest of the “prophets.” Therefore, his “word” is superior to all others by its nature as well as its content. It is not just one among many inspired words, but one with absolute and final authority.

The “Son” in whom God now speaks is the one He appointed as the “heir of all things.” This clause alludes to the second Psalm, another key proof text used in the Letter. Yahweh promised to give His Son the “nations as an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth.” But the Letter shortens and clarifies that original promise so that now he is the heir “of ALL THINGS” - (Psalm 2:7-8).

And the “Son” reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the “exact impress” of His essence. Jesus our High Priest shows us the very glory and nature of God. This is not metaphysical speculation about the nature of God or His Son. It points to the surpassing greatness of the position he now holds. And only in God’s “Son” can His true Divine nature and splendor be comprehended.

Thus, this “word” is superior to all past revelations. This is especially so in two distinct ways. First, it is the last word in a long series of prophetic revelations. Second, the “Son” is the means of this communication and the consummation of those past “words.” Only in him is the definitive word of Yahweh found.

What preceded the “word spoken in a son” was preparatory, promissory, and never intended to be final. With the advent of the Nazarene, God has “spoken” decisively and with absolute finality, and nothing can or will ever be the same again.