Hebrews Reading Plan: Day 2 (Hebrews 2:1-13)

As we walk through Hebrews in our reading plan, below are a few additional thoughts, questions, commentary, and quotes. These aren’t designed to substitute your personal study and reflectionon God’s Word, but they’re small supplements to your study. It’s always helpful to begin your study by reading the passage and making some basic observations. See the post “Making Observations”  for basic questions to help you understand and apply what you’re reading.

I’d love to hear about what you’re learning in Hebrews or what God is teaching you in particular through this study. Feel free to leave a comment or question. (To receive these updates daily, you can subscribe by clicking the Follow button on the left-column.)

Study, Reflection, and Discussion Questions

  1. What are signs or symptoms—internally and externally—that might signal you’re drifting from God?
  2. Can you think of OT examples where people ignored God’s message? How do those examples provide warnings that urge us to heed God’s Word today? What are practical ways we can better pay attention to and respond to him?
  3. How can the church, both the corporate gathering as well as our relationships, help us hold fast to God and His Word rather than drift from it?
  4. In what sense does Jesus become “perfect” through suffering (2:10; 5:9)? How do 2:10 and 5:8-9 help us understand what it means for Jesus to “learn” or become “perfect?”
  5. Why did Jesus become like us? Why must Jesus be God and man to be a High Priest who serves on behalf of God and his people?
  6. Read 2 Cor. 8:9; 13:4; Phil. 2:5-11; Matt. 20:28. How was the incarnation of Jesus (including his death) humbling?
  7. Jesus experienced humility in his incarnation and crucifixion, but he also experienced exaltation in his resurrection and ascension? Why do we need to keep both Christ’s humility and glory in mind? What might we learn about the nature of the Christian life from Christ’s example?
  8. Jesus is now crowed in glory, but he received glory after humility in his incarnation and suffering. Can we skip suffering and the cross and go right to a crown (Rom. 8:17)? What are ways we subtly seek the crown (glory or victory) without the cross (suffering)?
  9. Jesus endured suffering as one of us. Why should that stir up a trust and a desire to turn to him in trials?

 

For Further Study

  • God’s Suffering Servant: Is. 41:8; 42:1; 43:10; 52:13; 53:11; Ezek. 34:23-24; Acts 3:26; Phi. 2:7.
  • Sanctified[1]: Heb. 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Rom. 6:2-4.
  • Sinlessness of Jesus: 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5.
  • Solidarity with his people: Heb. 2:11, 17; Rom. 5:12-21; Col. 2:18; 1 Cor. 15:20-28; 1 Tim. 2:5.
  • Is Sanctification a Process or Position?” by Trevin Wax at thegospelcoalition.org; “Sanctification Is a Thing of the Past” by Dustin Crowe at indycrowe.com; Possessed by God by David Peterson.

 

Ideas for Response

  • Start, or continue, a page for notes to record where you see Hebrews refer to the person and work of Jesus. Or write down anything you see about the sufficiency and supremacy of Jesus.
  • Pray this section back to God by praising Jesus for all it tells us about him, and asking God to help you savor Jesus and hold fast to him rather than drifting away.

 

Additional Thoughts

Jesus our Brother

Hebrews 2:11 emphasis our oneness with Jesus. We often think of him as our Savior, but chapter two emphasize our nearness to Jesus as a forerunner for us, our sympathetic high priest, the one who sanctifies us, and our brother. A good older brother understands his younger siblings and cares for them.

Benefits of Christ’s Death in 2:10-18
Consider the benefits to us from Christ’s ministry in 2:10-18. Write down a short summary of what each means, why each of these is significant or valuable, and how you might better live in light of that blessing.

  1. Brings many sons, and daughters, to glory (2:10)
  2. Sanctified—set apart from sin and to God, made holy (2:11)
  3. Devil Defeated (2:14)
  4. Death Destroyed (2:14-15)
  5. Fear, Guilt and Shame, and Slavery Overcome (2:15)
  6. We become Abraham’s offspring and heirs, receiving the promises (2:16)
  7. A member of God’s family (2:11, 17)
  8. Union with Christ and Communion with Christ (2:11, 17-18)
  9. Christ as our Great High Priest (2:17)
  10. Propitiation for Sin (2:17)
  11. Help When Tempted (2:16, 18)

Jesus Offers Help…

  1. To the suffering (2:10)
  2. To sinners (2:14-17)
  3. To overcome death and the devil (2:14-15)
  4. To the fearful, anxious, and condemned (2:15)
  5. To the tempted (2:18)
  6. To ones struggling and needing help (2:16)

Jesus Became Perfect

“Rather, the perfecting had to do with qualifying him to be the leader of salvation through human suffering, the focus being on his suffering on the cross that accomplished the atonement and salvation for the “many sons.” But Cullmann argued persuasively that Jesus’ perfecting must include some sense of moral perfection. By this he did not mean that Jesus was lacking morally. By the word “moral” Cullmann meant that Jesus had to go through the stages of human life and his final sacrifice on the cross in order to fit him for the task of high priestly service to the church. Jesus’ ability to be tempted and to suffer in his humanity indicates that the “idea of moral ‘perfection’ within the concept of τελειουν [teleioun] was not in the least offensive to the author.” Jesus’ sinlessness is presented in Hebrews (e.g. 4:15) against the backdrop of his humanity and susceptibility to temptation, which is a part of the perfecting process that the author had in mind. This is what Cullmann meant by “moral” perfection as indicated by his comparison of Heb 5:8 with 5:9. The use of the word “learned” in 5:8 sheds light on the use of “perfect” in 5:9. The two are seen as parallel: through suffering Jesus “learned” obedience and through suffering he was “made perfect.” Additionally, the perfection of Christ includes an aspect of “fulfillment.” Through the sufferings of Christ culminating in the cross, Jesus fulfilled everything needed to be the “author” of our salvation.”[2]

 

Footnotes

[1] See also David Peterson, Possessed by God. “Sanctification Is a Thing of the Past” by Dustin Crowe at https://indycrowe.com/2019/05/27/sanctification-is-a-thing-of-the-past-2/

[2]  Allen, D. L. (2010). Hebrews (pp. 214–215). Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group.

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indycrowe

You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @IndyCrowe for the short & sweet stuff.

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