"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"
Advantages Of Jesus' Humanity (2:5-18) INTRODUCTION 1. Following his warning against drifting (He 2:1-4), the writer of Hebrews continues to illustrate Jesus' superiority to angels... a. In the first chapter the emphasis was on Jesus' deity b. Now the focus is on Jesus' humanity 2. One can imagine the sort of objections that could be raised about Jesus' humanity... a. When Jesus became flesh, didn't that make Him lower than the angels? b. How then can it be said that He is superior to angels? 3. The response is that Jesus' humanity provided several advantages... a. In regaining man's lost dominion b. In bringing many sons to glory c. In disarming Satan, and delivering us from the fear of death d. In becoming a sympathetic high priest [Yes, becoming flesh did not prove to be a handicap or a mark of inferiority; rather, it served to make Him "perfect"! To see how, let's note how Jesus' humanity first...] I. ENABLED JESUS TO REGAIN MAN'S LOST DOMINION (2:5-9) A. MAN ONCE HAD DOMINION OVER THE EARTH... 1. At the beginning, man was given dominion over God's creation - Gen 1:26-28 2. David marveled that God set man over His works - Ps 8:4-6 a. Even though man was made "a little lower than the angels" b. Yet God "crowned him with glory and honor"! B. MAN HAS LOST THAT DOMINION... 1. As is rather evident: "But now we do not yet see all things put under him." - He 2:8 2. As a result of The Fall, man lost his dominion C. JESUS, AS A MAN, REGAINED THAT DOMINION! 1. Jesus was "made a little lower than the angels"; i.e., He became a man! 2. Because of His suffering of death, He was "crowned with glory and honor"! a. What man once had and lost...Jesus has regained! b. Those who are in Him share in that rule, both now and in the future! 1) Seated at the right hand of God, Christ rules over all - cf. Ep 1:20-22 2) Those in Christ sit together with Him - cf. Ep 2:4-6 3) Especially so, when we pass from this life to the next... - cf. Re 2:26-27; 3:21 [Such dominion, both now and in "the world to come", was never given to angels (He 2:5). Man had it and lost it. Becoming a man and suffering death enabled Jesus to regain that dominion for man! By the same suffering and death, Jesus was able to "taste death for everyone" (He 2:9). By the grace of God, then, His humanity also...] II. ENABLED JESUS TO BRING MANY SONS TO GLORY (2:10-13) A. HIS SUFFERINGS IN THE FLESH WERE "FITTING"... 1. God gave Jesus the task... a. To bring many sons to glory (to restore man to his position of glory and honor) b. To be the "author" (captain, pioneer, leader) of man's salvation 2. His sufferings in the flesh made Jesus "perfect" for the task! a. This is not to imply that Jesus was imperfect when He was on the earth b. The word "perfect" means to be "complete, effective, adequate" c. To be complete and effective as our Savior and High Priest, Jesus' sufferings were necessary - cf. He 2:18 B. HIS HUMANITY MAKES HIM "ONE" WITH THOSE BEING SAVED... 1. Even though He is the One who "sanctifies", and they are "being sanctified" 2. His humanity (and suffering) makes them "all of one" 3. Such identity with man makes Jesus proud to call us "brethren"! - He 2:12-13 [The idea of Jesus as the One whose suffering in the flesh makes Him the perfect author of our salvation, and not ashamed to call us brethren, is expanded even further in the remaining verses of the chapter. Here we see that the humanity of Jesus...] III. ENABLED JESUS TO DISARM SATAN AND DELIVER US FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH (2:14-16) A. JESUS' DEATH GAVE HIM VICTORY OVER THE DEVIL... 1. Through His own death and resurrection, Jesus "destroyed" the devil! a. The devil is still very active - cf. 1Pe 5:8-9 b. But though he once "had" (past tense) the power of death, no more! - cf. Re 1:18 2. His power greatly weakened by Jesus' victory over death, Satan will be destroyed for all time at the time of our own resurrection! - cf. Re 20:10-12 B. JESUS' DEATH GAVE US FREEDOM FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH... 1. A fear that keeps many in bondage throughout their lifetime 2. But the faithful Christian need not fear death!
- cf. Ro 8:37-39; 1Co 3:21-23; Php 2:21 3. Thus it is to the "seed of Abraham" (faithful Christians, cf. Ga 3:29), and not to "angels" that Jesus has given such aid! - He 2:16 [Finally, partaking of flesh and blood, suffering and dying on the cross...] IV. ENABLED JESUS TO BE A SYMPATHETIC HIGH PRIEST (2:17-18) A. JESUS IS A MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST... 1. In coming to this world, Jesus was "made like His brethren" 2. He became like man "in all things" 3. This equipped Him for the role of a merciful and faithful high priest a. "In things pertaining to God" b. "To make propitiation for the sins of the people" c. We read later that the role of high priest involved offering gifts and sacrifices for sin - He 5:1 B. HE IS ABLE TO AID THOSE WHO ARE TEMPTED... 1. He too has suffered, and been tempted, though we learn later He remained without sin - He 4:15 2. Such suffering makes Him compassionate - cf. He 5:2 3. Therefore those who come to Him can expect to receive mercy and grace in time of need! - cf. He 4:16 CONCLUSION 1. What angel has accomplished such things as... a. Regain man's lost dominion? b. Bring many sons to glory? c. Disarm Satan, and deliver us from the fear of death? d. Become a sympathetic high priest? 2. All these things (and certainly much more) Jesus has done by virtue of becoming man... a. Yes, He became "a little lower than the angels" b. But in so doing, even His humanity makes Him far superior to angels! 3. With the first two chapters we see the superiority of Jesus... a. Over the prophets, as God's perfect spokesman b. Over the angels, by virtue of His deity and His humanity -- Why should we ever want to turn our back on such a Savior? We have also seen that Jesus, who was tempted, who has suffered and tasted death for everyone, is not ashamed to call us "brethren". Are we ashamed to call Him "Lord"? Are we willing to serve Him as Lord?