SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
Jesus the Son is the Supreme Revelation of God the Father
Key Verse: Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son. – Hebrews 1:1-2.
The writer of Hebrews shares the Apostle Paul’s uncompromising view of the supremacy of Jesus Christ. Brilliantly he sums up how God has made himself known to humankind. Long ago he spoke through his prophets. Now he has spoken through his Son Jesus Christ. The first several verses of Hebrews Chapter 1 sounds almost like a paraphrase of Paul’s description of Jesus in Colossians Chapter 1.
Neither writer can speak too highly of Jesus as the visible Son who revealed the nature of the invisible Father. Like the letters of Paul, Hebrews helped First Century Christians understand that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God because the Son is “the exact imprint of God’s very being.” Grasp that lofty concept and you can no longer think of Jesus as one of several great teachers or prophets. Indeed Jesus perfectly reflects God’s glory as no one else has in the history of the world.
The idea that God “speaks” through his Son is consistent with the entire Bible’s portrayal of God. In Genesis God creates by speaking as in “Let there be light and there was light.” Centuries later John says Jesus is “the Word” of God created “in flesh” – thus “the Word made flesh” who “dwelt among us” so we could “behold his glory.”
Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus is greater than the angels. Angels were considered powerful beings and messengers of God but Jesus is superior to them all. Not only were all things created by Jesus, he has been given dominion over all things by his Father. Therefore Jesus has a name that is above all other names and is, in fact, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Wise we are then to exalt Jesus by giving him glory and honor with our lips and our lives. He is our Savior and our everlasting Lord. Our daily aim should be to recognize his authority and submit ourselves to him completely so that he can be Lord of all.
The writer of Hebrews is not bashful in giving praise to Jesus. Perhaps we should ponder these questions, “Do other people hear me speak highly of Jesus? Do I speak of him with words of highest praise? Do my friends and family members often hear me speak of the majesty and glory of his name?”
Usually our willingness to praise Jesus is directly related to our experience of the forgiveness of our sins. Trusting Jesus to forgive us for our sins normally triggers a flood of gratitude for his love. To hear him whisper in your heart, “Your sins are forgiven,” will open the floodgates of praise for his mercy.
Hebrews tells us Jesus the Son “made purification for sins.” He did this by shedding his own blood for our sins. He suffered and died so that we might be saved by grace and receive the gift of eternal life. The Son’s suffering, death, and resurrection opened the way for us all to be reconciled to God. That is why the song writers insist that “There is power in the blood” of Jesus.
Until we realize who Jesus is, we can never steer our churches in the right direction. The church may be busy with many things and yet fail in its primary mission to make Jesus known and loved and served. Many churches work hard doing things that are not worth doing at all because these activities are not lifting Jesus higher. Putting people in touch with Jesus is the business of the church. Everyone needs to know Jesus because of who he is and what he can do for all who trust him. We come to the Father, and get to know the Father, through Jesus the Son.
We do well to heed the words of C. S. Lewis: “The church exists for nothing else but to draw men unto Christ. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergies, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose.”
When you experience the forgiveness of your sins, and realize who Jesus is and all that he had done for us, you cannot help but lift your voice to praise and worship the Son! But be sure of this: we must do more than praise him with our lips. We must so live in our pagan culture that people will be able to see the supremacy of Jesus Christ in our lives! + + + +
(Contact Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org)