Don’t even think of ignoring this
- 2:1 People, we’ve got to pay attention. If we don’t stay focused on what we’ve learned, it can fade away and we’d lose it all.
- 2:2 Let’s say the angels got God’s message right and his laws became well-known. And let’s say everyone who disobeyed God by breaking the laws got the fair punishment they deserved.
- 2:3 Do we think we’re exceptions who can ignore God? If we neglect this gift of salvation, what’s left but punishment for our sins? Come on, our Lord himself taught us about salvation. We got first-hand confirmation from people who heard what he said.
- 2:4 God confirmed it for us, too. He gave us one miracle after another. The Holy Spirit gave people remarkable gifts as well.1
Humans get a promotion
- 2:5 God didn’t put angels in charge of our future home in heaven.
- 2:6 Someone somewhere said this.
“Why do you give a rotten fig about human beings?
Why do you care about humans and their kids?
You ranked them lower than angels,
for a while, anyhow.
Then you lavished them with praise,
and decorated them with honor.
Wow, you made them boss of the whole world. 2When I say the whole world, I’m not kidding. I mean every single thing. We have no idea how far this reaches. We haven’t even discovered some of what we can control.
Our brother Jesus
- 2:9 We’ve seen Jesus. For a while, angels outranked him. Not anymore. He’s wearing glory and honor like a crown. That’s because of what he did. He suffered and died on behalf of everyone, in an act of God’s kindness for us.
- 2:10 God made everything that exists. Creation belongs to him. He wanted to share this glorious place with a big family of children. So, it seems fitting he sent a hero to rescue us, a leader made perfect3 through the suffering he endured.
- 2:11 Jesus and those he spiritually purifies all come from one Father. That’s why Jesus isn’t embarrassed by us. We’re family. He’s not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters.
- 2:12 He says to God,
“I’ll tell my family about you.
When we get together,
I’ll brag about you in front of everyone.” 4
- 2:13 He says this, too.
“I’m putting all my trust in God.”5And this:
“Here I am,
with the children God gave me.” 6
- 2:14 Since God’s children on earth are flesh-and-blood humans, God’s Son became human, too. He did this so he could die like a human, and in the process defeat death and decimate the devil, who had weaponized death against humans.
- 2:15 Jesus freed people enslaved by their fear of dying.
- 2:16 Angels don’t need this kind of help. So, it’s obvious Jesus was helping Abraham’s descendants.
- 2:17 Before Jesus could help his brothers and sisters, he had to become like one of them—human in every way. Then he could serve as their high priest and settle with God the matter of their sins, granting them mercy.
- 2:18 Jesus suffered when tempted. Because of that, he knows how to help others when they’re tempted.
“God said, ‘Let’s make humans. They’ll resemble us. They’ll be in charge of the planet’” (Genesis 1:26). The full poem seems to pull from Psalm 8:4-6.
The writer of Hebrews uses versions of the word “perfect” many times in this letter. When he uses that word to describe people, some scholars say he usually seems to be talking about sins and guilt washed away. He later says Christ “forever perfected those who are holy” (10:14). The writer seems to imply that unless people are perfect, they can never feel perfectly comfortable with God. Spiritually speaking, they feel underdressed, if not naked. “Perfection,” to this writer, might mean “ready to stand with confidence before God.” In the case of humans, their sins are forgiven, the slate is clean, and the spirit is ready. In the case of Jesus who suffered on the cross, his job is done. God raised him from the dead and welcomed him home.
What presumptions do you think it’s fair to make from the first verse in Hebrews 2?
Sum up the first four verses of Hebrews 2 in a sentence or two or three.
Come on, what kind of writer speaking for God is going to introduce a quote from Genesis and Psalms by writing, “Someone somewhere said this” (2:6)?
What in Hebrews 2:5-8 jumps out at you? Maybe it’s surprising, amazing, or just odd. But it gets your attention.
God “sent a hero to rescue us, a leader made perfect through the suffering he endured” (2:10). The writer is talking about Jesus. How do you think God made Jesus perfect? Wasn’t he perfect already?
How has the devil “weaponized death against humans” (2:14)? And has God really “freed people from their fear of dying” (2:15)?
LIFE APPLICATION. When the writer urges believers to keep the faith, he reminds them they have confirmation the teaching about salvation is true. They have “first-hand confirmation” (2:3) from people who heard Jesus teach it. They have “one miracle after another. The Holy Spirit gave people remarkable gifts as well.” What do we have?