For to which of the angels did God ever say,
‘You are my Son;
today I have become your Father’?
‘I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son’?
6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
‘He makes his angels spirits,
and his servants flames of fire.’
8 But about the Son he says,
‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.’
10 He also says,
‘In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.’
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet’?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
As we have seen, this part of Hebrews 1 demonstrates the Superiority of Jesus over the angels. (The opening verses showed Him to be greater than the prophets).
We may find this to be a slightly strange way of using Old Testament Scripture, but it’s a Jewish way of arguing (and remember the letter was written predominantly for Jewish believers). Nevertheless, as you read through verses 5-14, I’m sure you will be able to see the main points the writer is making. It’s all about Jesus being greater than the angels (even though the latter were revered in Judaism). I am particularly struck by the thought that Jesus is the Eternal Son (11,12), and He has an Eternal Throne (8).
Note in Hebrews 1:
- Jesus has a more excellent Name,
- Angels worship Jesus,
- Jesus is God,
- Angels are servants.
In addition to all this, I found I had written a note in my Bible next to verse 9:
‘Holiness – a key to joy not misery cf.Lam.5:15-18.’
Here’s how John Piper concluded a sermon on the subject:
“Once you see angels in their proper place their role is a magnificent one. They have a role toward Christ and they have a role toward the people of Christ. Toward Christ, verse 6 says their role is to worship. Toward the people of Christ, verse 14 says their role is to serve and help us reach salvation. Which means—if you’re willing to let me use the familiar language—that God created angels that his Son might be glorified and his people might be satisfied.
I want you to leave this morning with this truth ringing in your heart: Jesus Christ is infinitely superior to angels. They were created not to compete with Christ, but to worship Christ and honor him. And the chief way that they do that on the earth is by serving us so that we hold fast to Christ and trust him and love him and treasure him and finally reach him in the fullness of our salvation. So angels were created for Christ’s everlasting glory and for our everlasting joy—which, as you well know, are not contradictory aims. Because Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
The universe is filled with helpers. Christ wants you to be encouraged and hopeful. That’s why this chapter ends with this amazing promise. The heavenly worshipers are all—all of them—sent to serve you and bring you safely home.”