We have been reading about and studying about Jesus coming into this world in the flesh (Hebrews 2:14-15). Now, we are going to consider another detail in addition to the things we’ve already discussed. The passage of our study in this article is this: “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16). In staying true to the context, this is in continuation of the fact that Jesus came in the flesh to die in the flesh. First century Christian Jews needed to grasp that as we have discussed in our studies thus far. Then, they needed to further consider why Jesus, like all who have been born in the flesh, had put on the flesh and as such was made a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:5-9).
If you will recall, we have studied how that angels are spiritual beings (Psalms 104:4 and Hebrews 1:7). Angels have identities. We know some of their names. For example, we know of Gabriel (Daniel 8:16, Daniel 9:21, Luke 1:19, and Luke 1:26). We know of Michael (Jude 1:9). We know of angels that sinned (Revelation 12:7-9). We know that angels could appear in different forms that included appearing as men (Genesis 19:1-13). Yet, they were not born of a woman. They did not come from the seed of human beings. That is where Jesus is different. He did not come to this world in the form of a spirit in the first century. That is not to say He did not appear in another form in times past (I Corinthians 10:1-4). However, when He came in the first century it was from the seed of a human being. That seed ties all the way back to Abraham.
Here is the promise made to Abraham regarding his seed that was fulfilled in Christ: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed… And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 22:15-18).
This statement in Hebrews 2:16 should have been very thought productive for a first century Jewish Christian that read it. The Jews knew the significance of being the children of Abraham (Luke 16:22-24, John 8:33, and John 8:53). Mary magnified God recognizing her pregnancy with Jesus was a step in God keeping His promise to Abraham and his seed (Luke 1:46-56). The Holy Spirit moved Peter to use the promise to Abraham in teaching an audience of Jews (Acts 3:11-25). The Holy Spirit had Stephen use this point to a Jewish audience as well (Acts 7:1-8). The preaching of the Gospel to a Jewish audience in Antioch included a reminder of the promise made to Abraham and how that tied to Jesus (Acts 13:14-43). Paul, aided by the Holy Spirit, used this point in the defense of Himself before king Agrippa (Acts 26:6-7). The Jews were aware of what God said to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
You can see the failure of the Jews to understand this point in the letter Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia. The congregations in Galatia had fallen prey to a perversion of the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-9). Part of the problem was that they had been taught to be circumcised (Galatians 5:1-9 and Galatians 6:11-15). Circumcision of the flesh had been done since the days of Abraham because of the covenant made between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:1-14). The Jews kept missing that this promise, in regard to the aspect of salvation, was fulfilled.
Whosoever had or has been converted into Christ are beneficiaries of the promise made to Abraham and his seed. As we conclude this brief study, consider what Paul said to the erring saints in Galatia as commentary on Hebrews 2:16: “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:15-29).
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