II HEBREWS 1
INTRODUCTION TO II HEBREWS
(Intro: Because I did a series on Hebrews in 2004, I had to use some
notation to differentiate this series from that one. This is why you
will see this entitled II HEBREWS. The 1 after the title does not mean the chapter, as we have said before. It means the number of this essay in this series.)
The writer of Hebrews is unknown. As Origen said, “Only God knows the author of Hebrews”. Because of the language used and some of the things the author says, I am personally convinced that it was not the Apostle Paul. Most scholars now agree, because Paul always identified himself in his letters. However, the writer was obviously inspired by God, for many of the things he says are far beyond the knowledge, or even the imagination, of the human mind. Therefore, even though it violated their rule that the only books to be included in the canon of the Bible were those written by an Apostle or a student of the Apostles, the content of Hebrews was so sublime that it demanded to be included. This should impress us with the importance of this wonderful book.
I want to spend some time on the majestic first paragraph of this extraordinary book. The writer begins by introducing the One whose message the book is going to reveal…God! He says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things and by whom He made the worlds”. (KJV) This incredible statement says two things of primary importance to us. First, it says that the Creator of the whole universe wanted to communicate with us, the seemingly insignificant creatures He had made. Second, it says that, even though He had communicated with men in the past, through prophets, that was not sufficient. His message was so important that He sent His only Son to earth to bring the message.
The writer begins his book with this magnificent thought, because
he wanted his readers to be impressed with the tremendous importance of maintaining their faith in Jesus Christ. It seems that the people to whom he was writing were under severe persecution and, as a result, some of them were defecting from Christianity. Throughout the book we will find the words “we ought to” or
“we must” used many times. He always speaks to them not as a
ruler ordering them, but as one of them as he often says, “Let us”.
Another important fact found in this first great statement is that Jesus Christ was a part of God Himself. God called Him his Son and
gave to Him the responsibility of creating the worlds. Note the plural of “worlds” used here. God is not just the Creator of this world but of the entire Universe, no matter how far it reaches or how vast its dimensions. God is omnipresent (everywhere). He is Spirit and therefore cannot be limited to any space or time, for He holds the
entire Universe together and yet knows everyone of us personally.
To the rebellious sinner this is a fearful thought, but to every
penitent sinner it is a great comfort.