Hebrews: Greater Than… Part 2

Hebrews: Greater Than… Part 2 Slaughtering our sacred cows… Hebrews 1:4-2:18 May 5, 2019

I. The STRUCTURE of the TEXT. (1:4-2:18)
A. GREATER than the ANGELS. (1:4-14)
B. WARNING to pay ATTENTION. (2:1-4)
C. Jesus BECAME like us to FREE us. (2:5-18)
  1. HIM or THEM? (2:8; Ps. 8:4-6)

It’s always good to start with just the text. To do a little analysis and seek to see how the pieces all fit together. It’s especially true with Hebrews, that has so many references to Jewish history and the Old Testament. So let’s start right there and see where it leads us.

1. Kid’s question: What do you think angels are like?
2. What stands out to you about the structure of the text? Do you find it easy or difficult to follow what the writer is saying?

II. Why COMPARE Jesus to the ANGELS? (1:4-14; 2:5,16)
A. The JEWS and the TORAH/LAW (2:2; Deut. 33:2)
B. The new WORD had COME. (1:1-2)
C. Valuing past EXPERIENCE over present RELATIONSHIP. (2:1-4)

It’s pretty clear that the writer has a point in mind – Jesus is greater than the angels. But the question is why stress that point so strongly? Why compare the two? What was there in the thinking of the Jewish Christians that would make this comparison necessary.

3. Think of the way that the Jews viewed the law. What would be the equivalent in your own life?
4. What have been your own most meaningful spiritual experiences? Why were they so powerful?

III. Greater than WHAT for us TODAY? (2:1)
A. Than TODAY’S vague “SPIRITUALITY”. (Phil. 3:18-19; Jdg. 21:25)
B. Than your PAST meaningful EXPERIENCES. (Num. 21:7-9; 2 Kings 18:4)
C. Than your UNDERSTANDING of the BIBLE. (Jn 5:39-40)
D. The GREATEST is the BEAUTY and MAJESTY of Jesus. (1:3; 2:9-18)

As we said last week, Jesus is all we could ever need, but we often tend to look for something else despite that reality. There are many things today that we substitute for the angels of Hebrews 1 and 2. Some of them we can guess right away, but there are others way more subtle that tend to embed themselves in our lives.

5. “Spiritual but not religious” is a very common phrase today? What things have the church done that have contributed to making that phrase so popular.
6. How can you know if your past spiritual experiences have become demands you make of God or idols that you worship instead of God?
7. What is your reaction to the phrase, “Jesus is greater than the Bible”? Does that phrase unsettle you and if so why?
8. What has been, for you, the most beautiful or majestic characteristic or aspect of Jesus and why?