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Hebrews 1:3 | Words Of Truth Weekly

Hebrews 1:3
Volume 21 – Issue 3 – September 20th, 2020
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By: Brian A. Yeager

In a context about Jesus, we read: “…Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…” (Hebrews 1:3). As we dive right into this text we have to understand that, in talking about Jesus, He was in the brightness of the glory of our Father. John writes: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

When Jesus was in the flesh, those that He worked among were able to see His Father in/through Him. To understand this, consider these statements:
“Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also… And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me… Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake… If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father” (John 8:19, John 12:45, John 14:6-11, and John 15:24).

When we think of Jesus as the brightness of the glory of God; we should think about Jesus as a light reflecting the majesty of God. John prepared the way for Jesus to come. He preached, in part, that Jesus was the true Light to the world (John 1:6-9). Then, Jesus came preaching. Jesus referred to Himself as the light of the world (John 8:12, John 9:5, and John 12:46). Then, the Apostles went out to proclaim the Gospel to the world. Paul taught that Jesus was a light to the people of Israel as well as to the Gentiles (Acts 26:23). What Jesus taught and how Jesus lived in the flesh was a reflection of our Father. Jesus was without sin in this world (Hebrews 4:14-16 and I John 3:1-5). In this, Jesus was a pure light in this world. He had no corruption. That is exactly what our Father is (I John 1:5).

To further explain the matter, the Hebrew writer revealed that Jesus is the express image of the person of God the Father. When you take some time to look into that statement, you find some thought provoking information. The definition includes “an exact copy” (Strong’s # 5481). Here is some biblical commentary to help us here:
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:3-6). Jesus was the image of God, the fulness of God while on earth (Colossians 1:12-19 and Colossians 2:6-9). He was fully unified with the Father (John 10:30) and expects us to be as well (John 17:20-23).

Jesus, by Himself (John 10:1-18), died to purge sins (Hebrews 9:11-10:18). These first century Christians, whom once were under the Law of Moses, needed to appreciate that (Acts 13:38-39 and Galatians 2:15-21). They needed to relearn that our just Lord died for them to be saved (I Peter 2:21-25 and I Peter 3:18).

We will later read that they had regressed in learning. They were, at the time this letter was written, not ready to learn more about Jesus that they needed to consider (Hebrews 5:1-6:3). Think about how sad that is! Yet, the Hebrew writer continues to teach in this context about things they needed to recognize about our Lord. If these lessons ended with the death of Christ, then there would be nothing left to consider. If Jesus had just come to die, salvation would not be possible (I Corinthians 15:1-24). The Jews had spread lies to discount the resurrection of Christ (Matthew 28:11-15). So, teaching about Jesus being raised from the dead and having ascended into Heaven was very important.

These first century saints needed to consider where Jesus was at the time this letter was written. After Jesus died He was risen on the third day, witnessed, and then ascended into Heaven to sit on the right hand of God the Father (Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:1-11, and Acts 2:22-36). From the right hand of the throne of the Father, Jesus is in authority over all things (Ephesians 1:20-22 and I Peter 3:22). He is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34). No one else could do these things that Jesus has done. This shows them and us, the work of Christ was not over when He died.

As we wrap up this study, let’s think about an application for all of us saints. We are supposed to be lights to this world in a way that glorifies our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:14-16). We are supposed to shine and hold forth the word of life in this evil world (Philippians 2:14-16). We are also supposed to live with God as our example (Ephesians 5:1). When people look at us, do they see Christ (I John 2:3-6)? Do they see our Father? Furthermore, when we die, will our example live on (Hebrews 11:4)? Think on those things!

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