Many options for authorship suggested for book of Hebrews – “some have suggested Luke as the writer, others have attributed the letter to Apollos, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Timothy, Epaphras, Silas, and Philip—just to name a few.” Simple answer to authorship given in first verse of text: God, by inspiration of Holy Spirit has spoken to us through unnamed penman. Author of words before us in Hebrews as well as other 65 books is God himself.
Many themes assigned to Hebrews – contrasts between the good Old covenant things and better New covenant things; a book about persevering in the faith; warning not to return to Judaism. Is unquestionably true: Hebrews does contain instruction on all those topics. But what is overarching theme, the umbrella under which those topics are addressed?
“This is the theme, then, of Hebrews, that the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ should motivate us to enduring faith in the face of trials.” Steven Cole “…The Preeminence of Jesus Christ. For in the book of Hebrews that is the message. It is the message of Jesus Christ, superior to every thing and everybody.” John MacArthur In other words, Jesus Is the Best, he is absolutely supreme and superior without exception or qualification.
Original use of Hebrews – a sermon
Heb. 13:22 – “And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.“, Jewish way of referring to sermon (Acts 13:15); readout = 53 minutes NKJV, 38 minutes NIV, 56 minutes Greek
good pattern for preaching – continually referencing God’s Word, expounding God’s Word, quoting God’s Word, the OT
don’t, don’t make error in thinking: if Hebrews holds up Jesus as superior to everytihing contained in the Old Covenant, Jesus is superior to the Old Testament; all we need is Jesus and the New Testament. NO, the OT is full of Jesus, something we can fully appreciate now because we have Jesus!
One more thing to make sure you don’t lose sight of: Jesus is all we have said and all we will say about him. But…that’s not all: we believe in / worship a triune God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit. All persons of one true God present here in our text, will be throughout Hebrews as with all of Scripture.
“The author wants to impress upon us that there is no higher answer to deep relationship and fellowship with God than Jesus. You can’t do better than Jesus. There’s no place for a higher experience beyond Jesus.” Ligon Duncan
This portion of God’s word opens with hugely important and comforting truth: God has spoken!! Goes on to declare that: Jesus has revealed, Jesus has received, Jesus has redeemed, and Jesus is ruling. Any one of these truths enough to make Jesus superior to any other prophet, taken all together they present Jesus as the supreme prophet.
A. God has spoken v.1-2
his gracious self-revelation
necessary for mankind to know God on any level; God could have shut off flow of information when man despised it (Fall)
continued to reveal his character and will to his people that they might know and love him, even though undeserved
since the Garden, God has had witness to his character, his truth, his will for mankind – not only silent witness of creation, had spoken witness: head of the tribe (Adam), Flood survivor (Noah), party to the covenant (Abraham)
primary means not to individuals but through “mouthpiece” – Ex. 4:12-15; 2 Peter 1:21
just as Aaron was Moses’ mouthpiece, so Moses was God’s mouthpiece; seen clearly at Sinai – God spoke to Moses on the mountain, Moses communicated to people what God had said
whether preaching or writing prophets, what they said in their prophetic office was under direction of Holy Spirit
“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
bits and pieces, words and actions (thus says the Lord, object lessons)
reasons known only for certain by God – didn’t write the whole book at once; revealed enough to give hope, keep it alive
added more pieces at his chosen time, wrote the conclusion in “the fullness of time” although hints given earlier
communicated to and through prophets in different ways; core of message, though, always revealed through words
Shepherds were told: go look in the manger, that’s where you’ll find the Savior. The Prophet foretold by the prophets had arrived: “‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.” Deut. 18:18 Yes, he walked the earth for 33 years, no longer here. He left an indelible mark on the world, leaves an indelible mark on every heart where he makes his home and establishes his throne.
Do you want to see God? Look no farther than the Lord Jesus, look only at him as revealed in his Word by his Spirit. Do you want to know God? Know his Son; if you know the Son, you know the Father. The psalmist gives us the invitation: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8) But here’s the deal – a taste is never enough! And here’s the rest of the story: “He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9)
Let’s be like the shepherds: “And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:16) Make haste, run to Christ: He above all others will satisfy your longing soul.