Superior to Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (Hebrews 1:3b–4, ESV)

I have had many discussions with people over points of doctrine. It seems that one of the most misunderstood is the doctrine of angels. This confusion has been perpetuated by folklore, cultic activity, myths, television shows, movies and even supposed Bible teachers. Some have told me that when people die, they become angels and that angels have to earn their wings by doing good works. Hallmark often portrays angels as cute little chubby babies with bows and arrows that shoot couples to cause them to fall in love. No wonder love can be so painful.

There are angel cults today, some in the guise of Christianity that promote unbiblical ideas. There is an unholy predisposition with angelic beings that causes people to seek them, to pray to them and worship them. Most of us look to this and scoff at the thought. However, I know of believers who are caught up in such unbiblical thinking and practices.

It might surprise you, as it did me, to know that in biblical times, many Jews also had strange thoughts concerning angels. Many embellished the biblical facts regarding angels. Much of this came through rabbinical teachings, as seen recorded in rabbinical writings. They considered angels to be the highest beings next to God. Some thought that angels superintended various aspects of the creation. Some felt that God had to consult with a counsel of angels in a variety of things, like the creation of man.

Believing that angels were mediators of the Law (Gal 3:19), (God giving the Law to the angels, who in turn gave it to Moses who gave it to the people), many Jews viewed the angels as mediators of the covenant. Thus, the author of Hebrews makes the point that Jesus is superior to the angels in order to communicate that the New Covenant is superior to the Old. The author gives several arguments regarding the angels and Jesus from the Hebrew Scriptures, the O.T., to make this point clear.

First, the author quotes Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14, indicating that unlike the angels, God calls Jesus His Son. Second, he cites Deuteronomy 32:43 where God tells the angels to worship Jesus. Third, he contrasts Psalm 104:4 showing the angels as ministering spirits to Psalm 45:6-7 where God declares Jesus to be eternal God. Fourth, also in Psalm 104:4, the author indicates that Jesus is the anointed one who will rule forever in true righteousness. Fifth, he quotes Psalm 102:25-27, showing that Jesus created everything, including the angels, and though Heaven and earth pass away, He will never pass away. Last, quoting Psalm 110:1, the author concludes that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, the supreme position of privilege, authority and power where all the adversaries of Jesus will be placed in submission.

The author makes a clear case that Jesus is superior to the angels. Jesus is God the Son.

Let me make a couple points here to consider. First, let everyone develop their theology from the Bible. It is the only true infallible source. Through careful biblical examination, avoid the godless myths and old fables popularized by extra-biblical materials. But most importantly, understand the supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things. He is God and by faith in Him, we who believe have entered into a superior covenant.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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