In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 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. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (emphasis mine) Hebrews 1:1-4
This passage has greatly influenced my life over the past year plus. There is a significant truth in it that has changed the way I live my life and the way I look at things around me. In the opening to the book of Hebrews, which itself is a very powerful book, the author sets the stage for its purpose. These opening verses speak to the dramatic shift in how God communicates with his people. In the past, it says that God spoke to his people through prophets–prophets who were imperfect, who had weaknesses, and who didn’t always get everything right. In Jesus, God now speaks through one who is:
- His Son, the heir of ALL things, and through whom He made the universe (John 1:1)
- The radiance of God’s glory (think Transfiguration, Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9)
- The exact representation, or exact imprint of God’s being
- Sustaining ALL things by His powerful word
In short, God once spoke through imperfect people; people who were created in the image of God, who were pictures, or types, of Jesus. In Jesus, God now speaks through His Son, who is God, and in whom there is no sin, no fault, no weakness, etc. When you see Jesus, you see the Father. When you hear Jesus, you hear the Father. When you read and study of Jesus, you read and study of the Father. The same cannot be said of other prophets, priests, or kings.
Why is this significant? People have tried to discern and walk in the will of God since man was created. The problem is everyone has their own idea of what it means to walk in God’s will. In Jesus, God has revealed His exact nature-how He loves, how He speaks, how He treats the outsider and the outcast, what He desires of His followers and more. In Jesus, we don’t have to figure out God’s will–it is revealed to us.
The author of Hebrews states, in these last days (God) has spoken to us by his Son… When the Spirit was poured out on God’s people at Pentecost, Peter stood up and said that this event was a fulfillment of what was spoken of by the prophet Joel, that in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people… The Day of Pentecost ushered in the last days. We have been in the last days since that event. The author of Hebrews tells us that we’ve been given Jesus, who gave us His Holy Spirit, to speak to us and empower us to live for the glory of God in these last days.
One of the problems we have today is that too many of us look to other people to speak to us for God. Whether it be a preacher, an author, a politician, an athlete, an activist, etc., we put too much hope in other people to be “God’s man/woman” and to speak to us on His behalf. The truth is, you can look into EVERY SINGLE PERSON’S life (besides Jesus) and find flaws. Our founding fathers had flaws. Martin Luther had flaws. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. allegedly had multiple affairs while leading a powerful civil rights movement. Countless pastors, Christian leaders, politicians, etc. have had their sin and shortcomings exposed. Every election cycle is a temptation to put our hope in one person to turn everything around, or as one current candidate says, to “make America great again!”
We’ve already been given the one man who has turned everything around. He revealed to us the love of our heavenly Father, by willingly going to the cross, by turning man’s thoughts about God upside down, and by sending us of His Spirit that me might have all we need to have life and life abundantly here and now. Our salvation is not in any president, any preacher, any activist, any policy, etc. Jesus has come that we might be saved from sin, from deception, and from much else. The thing from which we most need saving is ourselves. Salvation is found in no one else (but Jesus), for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) What’s in a name? When it’s the name of Jesus–everything…
Grace and Peace,