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044 - He Has Spoken to Us by His Son

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
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June 1, 2021 11:50 am

044 - He Has Spoken to Us by His Son

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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June 1, 2021 11:50 am

Episode 044 - He Has Spoken to Us by His Son (29 May 2021) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?

Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages. Welcome to More Than Ink. Hey, you know, I think most people's idea about who Jesus is is just too small.

Oh, I'm sure about that. So where can we go to find out how big Jesus really is? Well, how about to the book of Hebrews?

The book of Hebrews, who talks all about the bigness of who Jesus is. Who is this man? So join us today on More Than Ink. Well, good morning. I'm glad you're with us today. I'm Jim.

And I'm Dorothy. And we are launching off into a new venture here. Oh, what an adventure. And yeah, what we're going to do is we're going to go through the book of Hebrews together, which I know is kind of intimidating to a lot of people. It's like isn't a big book and isn't it confusing and has a lot of Old Testament-y stuff.

And I think that's way over my head. And that's why we're doing it. It is as dense as Romans.

It is. It's fascinating. And truth be told, part of our rationale for this is to give us a reason to jump back into the Old Testament to show you how these things stitch together some.

So we'll be doing a lot of that as we go along as well, which is kind of cool. But that introduces what Hebrews is. I think this is probably the worst named book in the entire New Testament because it's not about the Hebrews. Well, no, it's to the Hebrews. It's to the Hebrews. But it's not even really, well, sort of written like an epistle, but it doesn't have that apostolic beginning, that dear, you know, addressed to.

So-and-so says hello to so-and-so. It doesn't have anybody's name on it. It doesn't have that. We don't know who wrote it. And there's a lot of theories about that. But it feels like a letter, though, because it's several points the writer says, now you this and you that. So he has a particular audience in mind.

Especially when we get to the last portion, it kind of roughly chopped up into three big sections. And the last of the three sections, he addresses directly to us what do we do about this information. But what the whole content of the book is about is about who Jesus is. Who is Jesus.

And from kind of a Jewish, a Hebrew mindset. How do we determine who he is, what he was when he came? And there was a lot of debate about that. So if I was going to title this book, I would title this Jesus, because this is really about the identity of who Jesus is.

Who he is and what he accomplished and what our response is. Okay, but it firmly places him right at the center of Jewish history and Jewish religious practice and Jewish religious tradition. So all the cards are on the table about who is this Jesus in the first four verses. Exactly.

So we're going to look at kind of an approach. We talk about the fact that Jesus is called the Messiah. That's the anointed, the promised one. And the author here is going to say I'm going to make my case for why he is.

And it's bigger than you ever thought. So just like in the book of John, when we launched into the book of John, remember the very opening breath of John has those just amazingly huge statements about who Jesus is. In the beginning was the Word and the Word is with God and the Word was God. The writer of Hebrews does the same thing. He's going to give us his conclusion about the entire book almost in the first four verses. Pretty much. And then the rest of the book he's going to spend unpacking.

Unpacking what that means. Like each one of those statements and the implications of that. So we're going to look at those first four verses this morning.

It's like a gigantically more than we could ever accomplish in years of talking about it. And that's the point. He's giving us sort of the outline conclusions. And if this causes a lot of questions in your mind, where to get that from, well just stay tuned because we're going to pick it apart later as the book unfolds. Well yeah, we're not really going to try and unpack this in a definitive way for you. Not completely.

That's just ridiculous to do that in 25 minutes. But what we can do is give you some pointers as to how you can begin to unpack it for yourself. Yeah, yeah. And so I always am one to lean into study tools. How do we come to the Word of God and begin to crack that nut for ourselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit? And according to some pretty straightforward rules of interpretation, right? The Scripture interprets itself. Words have meanings that can be looked up in dictionaries.

And words can be tracked down to their original language. What was the author's intent? So we're not just going to read this and then kind of wig out on what we think it might mean. Because there's a lot of false theology that is undone, untwisted completely in just these first four verses. So let's just jump in the four verses and he'll make his bold statement about who this Jesus is, just in case you were in doubt. And you know, I made a little numbered list myself and figured he actually attributes about eight or nine things to who Jesus is. Just incredibly declarative statements.

And just lays them down. So hold on to your seats. Should we just read the whole four verses and come back? Sure. But you know, before we do that, let me just say, when I'm tackling a book, any book, but particularly a big one like Hebrews, I do my best to read the whole book in a sitting first.

And I know Hebrews is very dense, kind of like Romans. But you might be surprised at how much you can gain just from doing that overview first. So just sit down. It might take you an hour.

Don't be intimidated. Just sit down and just start reading and just ignore the verse numbers, ignore anything that your edition might include other than the actual text. And just read it and see if you can track the author's thought process from verse one to verse end. And that I found has been very helpful over the years. And I usually do that several times over the course of a study of a particular book. And kind of each time a new topic is introduced, I go back and read the whole book again. So there.

That's on the page. Well, and what you have to train yourself to do when you read those big overviews is to not stop when you don't grasp what's going on. You trip over the little things. And you can stop and look at them, but it's really valuable to say, you know, I'm going to hold on to that thought and come back to it later. Right. Right.

So that's valuable. Well, here we go. First four verses. This is what the writer of Hebrews says who Jesus is. He says in verse one, long ago and at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his son, whom he appointed the heir of all things and through whom he also created the world. He's the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. And he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Where do you start with that? That is a mouthful.

Well, you start at the beginning, one at a time. Okay. So sometimes, though, when I'm reading a passage like this to the group of women that I teach, we'll put this massive text on the table and I'll just ask them, what did you hear? What jumped out? What leaped out at you? Yeah.

Because that gives them a chance to immediately identify the things that the Spirit has said. Pay attention to that. Yeah. And then we go back in a more controlled manner.

Yeah. Go ahead. Say what you're going to say.

I'm always jumping in and interrupting you. Well, I thought you were going to tell me what leaped out at you when we read that. Well, actually, a couple of things did on this reading.

Okay, let's just do that and then we'll pick our way through it. The repeated words. A couple of times, he refers to an inheritance and an heir. Yep, that comes up.

Right? And he's spoken to us by his son, right? He used to speak in other ways. He has spoken to the past in other ways, in a variety of ways. But these days, in these days, he's spoken to us, the final word, in his son.

God has said everything he has to say in his son. Yeah, yeah. Those were the two things that kind of leaped off the page for me this time.

Yeah. You know, they all leap off to me, but I'm always intrigued in that verse through about he's the radiance of the glory of God, the exact imprint of his nature, which we'll talk about in a second, but that is an amazing thing when you think about the fact that God himself is invisible. So how can you understand who he is? And so here's Jesus doing just that. Well, okay, well, let's go back.

Okay. You mentioned about it seems like God has changed how he speaks to us and in the past he's done it and he says many times in many ways. I mean, there's very varied ways. Well, and he names some of those ways, right? He says visions and dreams and through direct communication, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And God hasn't stopped doing those things.

No, he hasn't. But they are all preempted. They are all put in their place by revealing himself in his son, speaking to us in his son, right? John 1 says the word became flesh and dwelt among us and he spoke God to us in our lives. He spoke it to us in our language. So God is interested in speaking to us. God communicates. And he has done so in a remarkably new way through his son, through Jesus. So that's his first off thing is that God's in the business of letting us know who he is and he's done it in a preeminent way through his son now. And we're talking about a son, not a servant, not an angel. Or an emissary. Because that's one of the other things that leaped off the page to me this time at the verse four, says having become as superior to the angels as the name he's inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Right? We live in a time when people are really attracted to angels. Actually people have always been intrigued by angels, right?

Well, they're cool to talk about. Well, yeah. And we'd rather focus on the angels than on the son. And that's the writer here is saying, you know, he is so much higher and more important than the angels. Well, and it'll become apparent next week that when we look at the rest of this, that clearly the issue of angels was a big one on their minds.

Right. He asked the question, who is this Jesus? And some people might say, well, you know, he did some incredible things. He could be an angel. Well, no, he's going to say he's much more than that.

So, so yeah, much, much larger. So he's, first off, he's a, he's a spokesman for who God is in verses one and two, which is really interesting. And then he goes on and makes an incredible claim through, he's spoken to us by a son whom he appointed the heir of all things. And of course an heir is the one who gets the property, gets the assets when someone else dies. But it says that everything in the estate and that estate we're talking about is all creation. Everything in the estate of creation is going to him. Well, because the second half of that sentence is through whom he created. So you could make a case for the fact that he owns it to start with because he created it. And so he started it and it's all going back to him.

That's a huge claim. That puts Jesus way out of the angel category. And John says in the beginning of his gospel, you know, all things came into being through him. Nothing came into being that came into being except through him.

Except through him. So, you know, this is a theme that occurs again and again in the New Testament writers, particularly in Paul's letters. Yeah. Yeah.

It's not uncommon. So here we've really ratcheted it up. Not only is God speaking to us about who he is, but Jesus himself is to whom everything is going. So he's preeminent in that sense. Now, see, that's helpful when we remember that Jesus kept saying, now, my Father has done and said this and everything that I say and do is from my Father. I never do anything the Father hasn't given me to do.

I never say anything the Father hasn't given me to say. He was demonstrating constantly by everything he did and said that he was the human, visible representation. Right. Representative. Right. Or the one authorized Son. Yeah. Or the Father.

Exactly. And we talk about the fact that Jesus is simultaneously God and man. And then the man half of that is what makes the nature and character of God visible to us who are creatures as well. So that's a huge part of who Jesus is. Not just the heir, but also the one through whom we can understand the character and nature of God. And that's what he goes to next in verse three.

He says he's the radiance of the glory of God, the exact imprint of his nature. Wow. Okay, those are two parallel connected statements, but not the same. Parallel. Exactly.

Yeah. So when you do that in Bible study, look at what's similar and look at what's different because in the difference you find another little sparkling gem about why he said it two different ways, but the same thing twice. So the radiance of the glory of God. Radiance is just literally in Greek is the outshining.

The outshining. You know, if you were to put a candle inside of a tin can, you wouldn't see any light coming out of it. But if there's a way that you can actually poke a hole in the tin can, then the light inside there will outshine from that place. So in a way, Jesus is the visible, what we can see, the visible light that we can see of who God is.

He outshines who God is. I had someone explain this to me, actually, I think I read it in a book about this relationship between the source of the light and the outshining of the light as like the light that emanates from a light bulb. You can't separate the two, right?

When the light bulb is turned on, the light shines out of it and the light draws all of its characteristics of who and what it is from the shining of the bulb. But the outshining is a separate. Yeah, and the outshining is a purposeful thing, so you can actually see the light. So Jesus is a very purposeful means in which God makes known to us as creatures who He is. Yeah, because God is invisible. You can't see Him. Exactly. Scripture says over and over again, no human being has ever seen God.

Exactly. And you can't. But through Christ, you can. But in the sun, we can see Him. So He is that radiance. And by the way, the radiance also implies the fact that you're seeing a truth, you're seeing a light of something that's kind of distant from you, not really distant, but sort of separated, but not really separated because the light is coming to you.

You know what I'm saying? It's like a light bulb radiates out. And so if you wonder, where is God? I don't know where God is, but that doesn't matter because whoever God is and wherever He is, He's shined into our presence to Christ.

Okay. And if you see a ray of light shining into the darkness, don't you wonder where's that source of that light? Where's it coming from?

Where's it coming from? I don't know what the writer is getting at here. And then he says it's an exact imprint of His nature. Isn't that interesting? Yeah. So now we kind of tend to think of that as being like a printing press, to chunk, right?

That's not exactly the relationship here. No, it shares the word in Greek. The word only used here is the word character. And character has always meant an exact imprint of something else. But this just isn't an imprint.

It's more deep than that. I mean, what he's trying to say is that when you talk about characters, even in printing characters and so on, when you talk about characters, you're talking about two things that are exactly the same. You know, for instance, I can't take a printing press and print a letter and have the letter be different than the actual print itself. It'll be exactly the same. So we're not really talking about the different means in terms of seeing the same. What we're talking about the fact is that the original and the secondary, as it were, are exactly the same.

There's no variations between them at all. And that's what character is really meant to represent, the exactness of the two. So when you see Jesus, is he kind of like God? And this character word says, no, he is exactly, he is exactly like God.

In fact, he is God. Which is why Jesus could say at that Last Supper to Philip, who asked him, you know, show us the Father. And he said, Dad, don't you get it? If you've seen me, you've seen the Father. You've seen the Father. Everything about the Son speaks of, images the Father, makes the Father visible.

So the invisible Father is made visible in Jesus. And that visible representation of who God is, is exact. That's what the word character is trying to represent, it's exact. It's not like we're painting a picture where it's kind of close.

This is no, this is an exact representation. There's nothing lost in this translation. So there's nothing lost in seeing, when you see who Jesus is, there's nothing lost in terms of understanding who God is.

That nature is perfectly, is perfectly represented in who Jesus is. But we could, we could ask a lot of questions at that point. We could. Think about that for the rest of the day. We're not going to do that right now. Exactly.

Exactly. But what I would encourage our listeners to do at this point is start, as you're reading, start tracking down those parallel passages that are in your cross reference columns. Most Bibles have a cross reference column, either along the side or at the bottom.

And look at those cross references. Probably one of the very clearest ones to this passage, at least it's the one that came to mind for me, is in Colossians 1. So Paul says in Colossians 1, starting in verse 13, He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. And He is, here it comes, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Yeah, huge parallels to this. Very parallel statement to what the writer of Hebrews has written here. So we understand who God is, because He's the radiance, the glory of God, He's the exact version in the flesh of who God is. And then He says He upholds the universe by the word of His power. So after we've seen Him as creator in the beginning half of this section, suddenly He not only started it, but He's still holding it together. He sustains it. He sustains it.

Oh my gosh, you mean it's not stable? By the word, by the spoken, the content, what it really means to say He has power, is what holds the entire universe together. That's an absolutely remarkable statement when you think about pagan false god worship. No one went this far in pagan false god worship. So how big is your God?

That's the question. Is your God contained by creation? Or is your God the one who contains, holds together all of creation? And by the way, this statement is very scientifically supportable, because the way the universe operates scientists look at how it operates, but they can't tell you why it stays operating that way. Why it sticks together.

Why does it do that? In fact, one of the best interest ones is in the nucleus of the atom. There's things that should repel each other. In fact, they do repel each other. In fact, the static collector, they repel each other. But for some reason that nobody understands, they stay together and they call it the strong force. No kidding, that's the highfalutin, that's the strong force that inside the nucleus in very small disks, things hang together and they shouldn't.

And they shouldn't. And nobody understands why. So if you ask a scientist straight up, what holds the nucleus of cells together, they go, well, I can tell you what we call it. We call it the strong force, but why it's there, I don't know. But we're fortunate because when that strong force goes away, everything just dissolves.

So when you look at this, it's actually an exact statement of what goes on inside the nucleus of every single atom you're made of. So the creator himself holds it together and then he switches to a remarkable statement. After making purifications for sins, he sat down at the right hand of majesty on high.

What? So suddenly we've moved from the communication of God to the power of God to the one who holds everything together. Suddenly he's interested in dealing with our sin.

Right, right. A problem in this creation is this sin itself. So the creator in a sense, him, he keeps going with this creation by fixing one of the problems in this creation that we created ourselves, which is sin. And he has taken care of that problem, the purification for sin.

He'll talk a lot about this in coming chapters, about how that happens. But think about this. Well, yeah, because the whole religious Jewish system was dealt with all about dealing with your sin.

Yep, that's what the temple was pretty much dominated by, is dealing with sin day by day and stuff like that. So I interrupted you, sorry. No, no, no, that's okay.

We'll talk about that more later because we're running sort of short on time. But I mean, that's a remarkable statement right up against the fact that he's the creator and he's holding everything together and he represents the perfect representation of who God is. And oh, by the way, he took care of the purification of sins. And then he sat down. And then he sat down, which in an ancient sense means he's finished. He's finished.

Finished the work. He did the job and he sat down. And where did he sit? At the right hand of the majesty on high. Or if someone is sitting at the king's right hand, he is the right hand man. The right hand man.

That's where it comes from. The right hand man is the one who executes the work, right? The king says, do it in Star Trek parlance. Make it so. Make it so.

And the first officer makes it so. The right hand man makes it happen. So Jesus in the past tense has finished this work. Well what is the finished work of this purification for sins? Because as a Jew reading this, you'd say, well what did he do that finished it? I mean, don't we have to do something about that every day when we sin? Right, because sacrifices had to be offered morning, noon, and night and twice on the Sabbath. Right. If you're a Jewish reader, this should tweak you really fast.

And sure enough, he'll cover this in great detail later. And then finally in verse four, having become as much superior to angels as the name he's inherited is more excellent than theirs. So when we talk about names, you have to switch gears a little bit. Names are not as arbitrary in their culture as ours. Names always represent a characteristic of the person who holds the name. An identity. An identity.

Or if you want to expand that, a kind of a visible reputation of the person. He's the guy that does dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. So we call him dah, dah, dah. So that's what we're talking about here. So his name is superior to angels because, well, he's done things that are as far superior to what angels is.

Nothing any angel ever could do. Exactly right. Yeah. In fact, angels yearn to look in on what it is that Jesus has done on our behalf. Yeah.

They're fascinated by it. And he's inherited a name, again, the inheritance comes back. He's inherited a name, not only he inherits the universe back to himself, but he inherits a name that's far superior than theirs, excellent than theirs. So he's the name. And in fact, Jews, when they talk about God as a shorthand, call him the name. Yeah.

Call him the name. Yeah. And so in Philippians 2, Paul says, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. This is Philippians 2, 9 and 10, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Yeah. Huge. And I want that by a verse from Ephesians.

Okay. Ephesians 1 21, far above, he's been seated far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. So we're talking about in this opening sequence right here, these first four verses, the most gigantic claims you can make about Jesus possible.

And for a Jew reading this, they'd say, well, you know, I might go as far as he's the Messiah, but this makes him the creator. I mean, really? Yeah. Yes.

Who is this Jesus? Yes. That's what this book is going to be about.

And I would encourage you just as a study skill now, sit with this passage and list out these declarative statements, list them separately. You're going to come up with seven, eight, nine of them, and then track down the cross references and the definitions, think through those words, restate them in your own words after you've done that, and kind of synthesize what is he saying about Jesus? Yeah.

Yeah. This understanding of Jesus is smaller than it really should be. And what does this mean to me? And this is how he's going to expand in our mind that our relationship with Jesus isn't just one of a simple carpenter who walked through, you know, 2000 years ago, but as the creator and to whom everything is going back to. Who is this one?

Who is this guy? So that's why this book ought to be called Jesus, because it's all about who is Jesus. And right here, he's laid down the gauntlet and he should probably have piqued your curiosity. I hope he has.

It's the letter to God's own people about his own son to whom he had promised them. And he's going to reference the Old Testament prophets who gave us hints all the way through. Well, we're glad you're with us. We hope you join us next week on this adventure. This is going to be a great adventure. Oh my gosh.

It's going to go so fast. A great adventure. So I'm Jim.

And I'm Dorothy. And we're delighted you're with us. Read Hebrews and we'll get together next week and keep going. So bye. More Than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content.

To contact us with your questions or comments, just go to our website, morethanink.org. Okay. Are you ready? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-11 11:52:44 / 2023-11-11 12:05:04 / 12

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