Having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
The book of Hebrews was written to a group of early Christians who were exalting the worship of angels over the worship of Jesus Christ. These Jewish believers were being persecuted for their faith in Christ. Because of the intense persecution they were suffering for their Christian faith, they were tempted to abandon Christianity and fall back into Judaism, where they could practice their faith without fear of losing their reputation, their jobs, and possibly even their lives.
Their fellow Jews were saying to these new believers, “Why should you embrace Christianity? Look at all the problems your belief is causing you. Why not come back to Judaism with us? Why, we Jews have everything you Christians have–we have prophets, we have Moses, and we even have angels.”
Knowing that these Christians were facing such intense temptation to turn back to Judaism, the writer of Hebrews encouraged them not to abandon their faith in Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus is superior to Judaism–and to every other belief system. The purpose of the book of Hebrews was to demonstrate to these believers that Jesus is superior to every element of the Jewish faith.
In Hebrews 1:4, the writer began by explaining that Jesus Christ is superior to the angels. Talking about Jesus, the writer said, “Having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” Jesus has a more excellent name than the angels because He is superior to the angels. The writer was urging these Christians not to abandon their faith in Christ for the worship of angels. Beginning in verse 5 to the end of the chapter, the writer showed several ways that Jesus is superior to the angels.
As we continue our study of the book of Hebrews, I think it would be helpful for us to do a brief study of angels, to look at what the Bible says and what it does not say about this fascinating subject. During the next few weeks, we will explore the reality of angels, the personality of angels, the purpose of angels, and some specific ways that angels minister to us today.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Angels And You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.