HEBREWS - Chapter 2 (2024)

HEBREWS – Chapter 2

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Tuesday, February 13, 2024; October 11, 2011

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Chapter one closed with angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to the heirs of salvation.  With this mention of salvation, the writer of Hebrews closes his discussion concerning the cosmic dimensions of His Son and moves on to a new topic in Chapter 2---the role of Jesus in redemption.


Before developing the theme of salvation, the writer issues a warning:


2:1-3:  Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, less at any time we should let them slip.  If the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by them that heard Him.


This is the first two of twenty-two warnings to Christians in the Book of Hebrews.


1.      We ought to give the more earnest heed, lest we slip away from the truth.

2.     How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?


The writer understands that it is entirely possible for any group of confessing Christians to be made up of a mixed-multitude---those with and without genuine faith.  The only objective test to prove the reality of one’s own commitment to the Lord Jesus is the test of perseverance---faith made visible by a loyalty which continues throughout life.  That a vast multitude left Egypt under Moses proved nothing about the faith of that group.  That only two men entered Canaan at the end of the journey did.  The warnings of Hebrews are real warnings intended to point up this possibility of a mixed-multitude existing and to point out the tragic and ultimate consequences of those who defected in the wilderness.  But we are encouraged that we may show to our self and to the world that our confession is a real one by holding firm to it until the very end of life.  We may be sure of divine help in this determination to endure.



 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.



We must be sure our life is anchored securely to the truth of Christ.  If we become careless with these truths, then we will drift from Christ and head toward danger.  We can simply neglect this great salvation and lose our joy, peace, power, and victory during our time on earth.


Christians are judged at the judgment seat of Christ.  Unbelievers are judged at the Great White Throne judgment.  The Christian is immune from the guilt of sin and guaranteed entrance into Heaven by belief in the Lord Jesus Christ through the righteousness of His Blood.  Yet, we will be judged with what we have done with our Christian life.  To those of us who have been given ministries and charged with the gospel, we will be held to a higher accountability than those to whom we minister.


We still have a Christian culture that desires the limelight, platform and recognition of the ministry and ministry giftings, but do not want to take on the responsibility or accountability.


2:4: God also bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will.


The writer gives 4 reasons why the gospel is more valid and binding than the Law:


1.     The truths came from the Lord Himself.  His resurrection validated every claim He made.

2.     His teachings were passed on by the apostles with such power that sinners turned to Christ and changed.

3.     God backed the words of the apostles with miracles to attest to the truth they proclaimed.

4.     The gospel continues to be confirmed in the lives of the believers by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His manifest Presence.


So, it is not the lack of evidence that causes people to be indifferent or neglectful of the gospel.  They are that way because they prefer to do something else with their lives.  The warning stands: How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?


2: 5-8: For to the angels has He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.  But one in a certain place testified, saying, “What is man that you are mindful of him? Of the son of man that You visit him?” You made him a little lower than the angels.  You crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the work of Your hands:  You have put all things in subjection under his feet.  For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him.  But now we do not see all things put under him.


The writer now returns to his subject, i.e., Jesus’ superiority over the angels.  He will now show that the world to come (a theme pervading the book of Hebrews) will not be in the hands of angels but in the hands of Christ and redeemed mankind.  The writer is quoting from Ps. 8:4, the glory of man---as God meant it to be.  This is a tribute to the greatness the Lord had in mind for man when He made him.  Even though the first Adam fell, the glory of man will still be achieved, but only in Christ.


In Psalm 8, three things are mentioned in connection with God’s purpose for man:


1.     He is made a little less than divine.

2.     He has been crowned with glory and honor.

3.     He has been set over the works of God’s hands.


2:8b:  But we see not yet all things put under him.  Through the death of Jesus, the way has again been opened for humanity to enter into the Glory of the Lord.  It is this door and this journey that the writer sets before us.  It is the voice St John heard that said, “Come up hither.”  It is for this cause that we must not neglect so great a salvation.  It is the Glory of God restored to man on earth as it is in heaven.


2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.


WE SEE JESUS!!!  In the midst of the seven candlesticks one like the Son-of-man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; His feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.  He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shines in His strength…. I am he that lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Rev. 1:13-18)


BY THE GRACE OF GOD, HE TASTED DEATH.  It is this same Grace the Lord desires to work in us that we, too, will die to our flesh that would cause us to neglect so great a salvation.  Not all of us are called to be spiritual giants.  However, whether we are called to be great preachers, deliverers, healers, revivalist, teachers, pastors, prophets, evangelists, or apostles we all have access to the “rest” and walk as “sons of God” on this side of the grave through the Grace of God whereby he tasted death for every man.  That means that you and I will not feel the last pangs of death.  Our Spirit will be taken prior to our last breathe.


Jesus fulfilled the high place God describes in the 8th Psalm that he might redeem man back into the fullness of that place of glory and honor.


Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for a time.  Angels don’t get tired, neither do they eat or sleep.  Jesus did.  Angels cannot be tempted, but Jesus was.  Angels do not suffer death, but Jesus did.  As a man Jesus rejected evil.  It was as a man that he died rather than sin.  It was a King who was exalted to God’s right hand, the place of supreme power.


Rev. 4:21:  To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.


2:11:  For both he that sanctifies, and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause, He is not ashamed to call them brethren.  Saying, I will declare Your name to My brethren in the midst of the church will I sing praise to You.


This is a “key” verse. Jesus again identifies with those He came to redeem.  “The one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.”  We are inextricably bound up together.   The word “sanctified” here means “to make holy” and is a term used often in the O.T. meaning “set apart” and is used often of Israel.


Those who have been redeemed by the death of Christ are given the same designation used of ancient Israel (Exodus. 19:14) who by their sanctification were set apart as the special people of God.  This is a strong statement signifying Christians to be “set apart” people of God.


Exodus 19:14-15: Moses went down from the mount to the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.  And he said to the people, “Be ready against the third day…” It came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there was thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that were in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God.


This is the same “sanctified” used in Hebrew 2:11 which states we are one with the sanctified savior:   I will proclaim your name to my brothers. “I will declare Your name to My brethren.”  The identification is as complete as exits between father and child.   The first of these OT quotations comes from Ps.22, a Psalm which earlier had been used by the Lord of Himself while He was on the cross.


Heb. 2:13: “And again I will put my trust in Him, And again, Behold I and the children which God has given me.”


Isa 8:18: Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwells in Mount Zion.


We have the same Father: We are one with the community of God’s believing people who he has sanctified by the sanctifier whether Jew or Gentile.


2:14-15: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


The Son had to share in our humanity to get at our real problem---death.  By becoming human, the Eternal Son made Himself susceptible to death.  But the great paradox is that by death he destroyed (rendered powerless) the devil who holds the power of death and released once-and-for-all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. 


2:16: For verily he took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.


There is no way for anyone to become a human without being born into a particular nation and family.  When it came time for Jesus to become a man and receive the human nature, He was born a Jew, i.e., the “seed of Abraham.”  When the Lord began His earthly ministry, He did not go to the world, but to Israel only.  He had no ministry to the Gentiles at all. After he was crucified by His own people, He then took the gospel to the Gentiles through His apostles.  When a Gentile receives the “Spirit of Christ,” he is baptized (Spirit baptism) INTO CHRIST.   Once a man is in Christ, he is then “Abraham’s seed.”  This is why Paul told his Gentile readers, “If you are in Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”


All those who exercise faith toward the Lord are regarded as Abraham’s seed, whether O.T. or N.T. believers, there is but one “sanctified” -- “set apart,” family of God.   There is only one way that man can be saved and that is through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord.  He is the sanctifier.


2:17-18:  In all things it behooved Him to be made like to His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to  God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted.  He is able to help them that are tempted.


Now we have the big revelation that Jesus is the atonement, the Feast of Atonement, and the High Priest in things pertaining to God.  It is the first time this title is applied to Him directly in the Bible.  Not that he is not called a “priest,” but he was not called “High Priest.”  Once a year the chief priest went into the Holy of Holies with the blood of the sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people.  No one else was allowed in the tent as he performed the ceremony.  It was something he did by himself.  The primary task of the Jewish high priest was to reconcile the people to God by removing their sins.  If the high priest didn’t do his job just right, God’s anger would break through upon the people.  But if he performed the ritual exactly as prescribed, God’s wrath would be removed, and the people could draw near without fear. 


Jesus has gone into heaven (the holiest of all) with His sacrifice to put away the sins of the people.  Because He did His job just right, our sins are removed, and we can draw near to God without fear. 


This is why God was so insistent that the OT. Priests perform the ritual so precisely.  It pictured the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus to do everything the Father asked of Him.


In His office as High Priest, the Lord Jesus has a ministry to both God and man.  He did not just become our High Priest at Calvary.  From birth he was destined to be our High Priest.  All during His life, he was faithful to do everything needed to prepare Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 


Jesus is our faithful and compassionate high priest.   He was tempted in the same way we are tempted and is compassionate toward us as we draw close to the Grace of God to overcome our temptations.    


The writer’s course of action is simple and direct.  It is to prove that Christianity is the final and absolute revelation of God to man and that it alone discloses the only way of worshipful access to God. (Heb. 10:19)


He acknowledges that the religion of the OT was the highest and best of all religions because the one true God had revealed Himself to the Jews as He had to no other people, and second that the OT constitutes the inspired Scriptures containing this divine revelation of Christ.


Chapter 3 of Hebrews reveals Jesus as both Apostle and High Priest.


Taught by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.


Scripture from K.J.V.; Text quote from F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary – Gerald F. Hawthorne; Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I have gleaned.

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