In our study, we will see how Jesus Christ is superior to everything that has come before. Although scholars cannot agree on who wrote this, it is pretty obvious that it was written by the apostle Paul. As we shall see, the letter was written to Jewish believers in Jesus Christ that were struggling in their faith.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
The letter starts off with a reminder that God had been active in the lives of the Jewish people for a very long time. The "forefathers" speaks of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob as well as the leaders that would follow them. God spoke to them in various ways such as through dreams, the law, & prophecy. This was done through various prophets over the years and it was a progression in that no single prophet received the complete plan of God for man's salvation.
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
We see, here, that God has sent the Last Word to the Jewish people as well as to the rest of mankind. This Word is His only Son who has been given all things and in fact was there when everything was spoken into existence. (see Genesis 1)
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Jesus saved us from sin with His death and resurrection but He did not stop there. He is now at the right hand of God in heaven. The right hand is the position of power and inheritance and He is there on our behalf. He not only was there at the creation of all things as we see here that He even keeps things going (sustaining all things). We see here that He sat down there and it is interesting to note that the priests that served God in the temple did not have a place to sit inside the temple. That is because their work was never done. Jesus the High Priest finished the work of purification on the cross and that is why He was able to say it is finished. With the work of salvation completed, He now sits and intercedes with the Father on our behalf.
So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
With the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His going to sit at the right hand of the Father, it was demonstrated that He, in fact, is the Son of God.
For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son'?
Paul quotes from Psalm 2:7 and it is talking about the fact that God declared that Jesus was His Son. He also quotes from 2 Samuel 7:14 where God promises King David that a king would come from his family line whom God would call His Son. That was fulfilled through the family tree of Jesus. Paul uses these quotes to demonstrate that Jesus is far superior to the angels just as the Father is superior to them. It seems that this fact is even more relevant today as many people have elevated angels up to the point where they actually worship them instead of God. We must remember that both the Father and the Son are far superior to the angels and the only ones that deserve our worship and praise.
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, 'Let all God's angels worship him.'
We see the third example of where God said that Jesus was superior to the angels.
In speaking of the angels he says, 'He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.' But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.'
Paul continues to explain how Jesus is superior to the angels by quoting from the book of Psalms. As he is talking to Jewish believers, he speaks of the anointing "with the oil of joy". They would have understood anointing because of the anointing oil that was used in the temple.
He also says, 'In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.'
We see, also, that Jesus is superior because He was not created as He was there at the beginning. Things come and go but Jesus has always been with God and will not pass away. Angels are created beings and so were not there before they were created.
To which of the angels did God ever say, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'?
Paul quotes David from Psalm 110 as he was speaking about Jesus Christ. Paul asks this question and gives the answer from David and Jewish history. Although this does not seem to have happened yet, in reality it has because the enemy (Satan, sin, and death) were defeated with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This will be obvious in the days described in Revelation 20.
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Paul concludes this section by pointing out that angels are sent to serve man. Jesus is superior in that He was not only a servant (died for us) but also a king (rose again to reign).