OK, we finally made it to the end of our study about angels and demons. All this time I’ve been trying to make the point that this subject is not the center of Christian theology, nor it is even a close second. I’m attempting to give it as much attention as the Bible does, no more and no less. I’ve also taken great pains—and I hope it’s obvious—to only say what the Bible says about them and to leave out speculation and nonessential points. If our Lord in his wisdom has chosen not to reveal the answer to a certain question we have about these creatures, then it does little good to speculate about anything more. To paraphrase Calvin, where the Bible is clear we must be dogmatic, and where the Bible is less clear we need to be charitable with those who disagree, and where the Bible is silent we should probably keep our traps shut.
Yesterday I wanted to make sure to correct our (completely natural) tendency to focus on these beings and pay them undue attention. Today I just want to hammer that home.
The main point of the book of Hebrews, or at least one of its main points, is to make clear the superiority of Jesus. His superiority to what? Well, the author has at least four answers to that question. He says that our Savior is superior to 1) Angels, 2) Moses, 3) the Old Testament priesthood, and 4) the Law of Moses.
He spends an entire chapter telling us why Jesus is superior to the angels. In fact, it’s the first chapter he writes, so apparently he considered it of highest importance for us to get this straight. Just like today, many people during that time were enticed into false religions which were fixated on angels and even worshiped them. To strongly correct this tendency, I’ve found at least nine reasons in these 14 verses as to why the Son is superior to angels:
1) God has made final revelation thru his Son. The prophets gave us glimpses of the Lord's truth and plan, but the Son is the complete and ultimate revelation of God’s communication to us. No angel could ever claim that!
2) Angels reflect God's glory, like the moon reflects the sun. Jesus is God's glory.
3) No angel could ever provide purification for my sin. The Son could and did.
4) The Son is sitting at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven (a position of absolute authority), not angels
5) Jesus is God's Son, and angels aren’t.
6) Angels are called upon to worship the Son.
7) Angels are created as servants, while the Son, as God Incarnate, has an eternal Kingdom
8) God didn't say to any angels "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." This is a reference to fulfilling God’s ultimate plan for the human race. Angels have a part in that, just as we do, but Jesus is the center of that plan.
9) Angels are merely ministering (serving) spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (us). Once again we have a “throw away” line which leaves many unanswered questions. How do angels serve us today? How often? We don’t know, and we’re not meant to, at least on this side of the Great Divide. But the practical point still stands: Angels serve us; we don’t serve them. On the other hand, we are to serve, honor, and worship the One who both created the angels and saved us.
So let’s not take our eyes off the ball. The Son is the One who should get the lion’s share of our attention, along with all our obedience, our loyalty, and our love.
Yes, Father, you are the Boss. You've exalted above every creature and every power and every authority the Son whom you love. I want to join in that exaltation.
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