Jesus the Son, Superior to Angels: Hebrews 1:5-14Related Media
Placement of this Section
Immediately on the heels of the prologue, which previewed the topic which would be covered-namely, that God's full and final communication to his people occurs through his now-exalted Son-the author begins to flesh out the topic by describing the superior place of the Son to the angels. There is no indication that the audience was in danger of worshiping angels or exalting them inappropriately. Rather, he uses the superiorty of Jesus to the angels to set up his first warning and admonition to his readers, which will occur in 2:1-4.
A Point about TechniqueIn this paragraph the author strings together seven different Old Testament citations, which he uses to prove the superiority of the Son. He does this both through the content of the citations and their support of his premise, but he also does this through the rhetorical power of the multiplicity of passages. This stringing together of passages is called a cabana, and the effect is in a sense to overwhelm the listener so that they agree with the argument not just on its logical basis but also through its rhetorical power.
Two Points about Theology1. The passages cited in this section have an original context they should be understood on their own merits, not solely on the basis of how our author uses them. However when we see the way our author uses the passages, we can make several assertions about how his theology works. Our author views the OT as God's true words which bear witness to Christ.
2. Underneath several of the citations runs the concept of the Davidic covenant. The author views Jesus as inaugurating the fulfillment of the promises associated with that covenant with the final fulfillment yet in the future.
Central IdeaThe Son's superiority to the angels is established through his nature and relationship to God the Father and their subservient role as God's servants.
A. The Son's unique relationship to the Father as his chosen Son makes him superior to the angels. (v. 5)
- The citation from Psalm 2:7 emphasizes the unique place of Jesus as the enthroned Davidic king. (v.5aB. The citation from 2 Samuel 7:14 emphasizes the unique place of Jesus as the final promised Davidic descendant. (v. 5b)
- The citation from 2 Samuel 7:14 emphasizes the unique place of Jesus as the final promised Davidic descendant. (v. 5b)
- The citation from Psalm 97:7/Deuteronomy 32:43 emphasizes the role angels will have as worshipers of Jesus at his second coming. (v. 6
- The citation from Psalm 103:4 emphasizes the transitory role angels have as God's servant. (v. 7)
C. The Son's eternal reign over this world and the entire universe makes him superior to the angels. (vv. 8-12)
- The citation from Psalm 45:6 emphasizes the Son's eternal reign over this world. (v. 8-9)
- The citation from Psalm 102:25-27 emphasizes the Son's eternal reign over the entire created universe. (vv. 10-12)
D. The Son's exalted place of supreme authority makes him superior to the angels. (vv. 13-14)
- The citation from Psalm 110:1 emphasizes Jesus' exaltation to the place of supreme authority. (v. 13)
- The angels' subservient place to those who receive the salvation the Son offers makes them inferior to the Son. (v. 14)
ApplicationA. There are many things in our life which are good and have their proper place in God's order, but they must never take the place of Jesus as God's superior Son.
B. Jesus holds final and ultimate authority over this world and indeed the universe. We must learn to submit to that authority in all aspects of our life, and we cart rejoice that ultimately no power will ever prevail against him
C. Just as the angels have the privilege of worshiping Jesus, let us worship him as well with unbridled love and devotion.