MDB 82: Hebrews 2

Chris Larson

While chapter divisions in our Bible can be useful for finding your place and referencing various passages of Scripture, here we have a particularly unfortunate case where the flow of Hebrews is interrupted. This letter needs not to be sipped, but gulped down in its entirety. If you can find a good audio Bible, listen to Hebrews as a whole. Each section builds on the other. Note this particularly when the Bible begins a chapter with "Therefore..." (Heb. 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 6:1; 12:1). There's your clue to ensure you recognize that the author wants you to understand what he is now saying in the light of everything he has said before. It's like a little map to guide you through an extended discussion.

Because Jesus is unique, the writer of Hebrews wants us to own for ourselves that there is no one else to turn to when times are tough. And so he exhorts to not neglect the "great salvation" (Heb. 2:3) given. The logic is compelling: since everything that was written by Moses and the prophets is reliable (Duet. 33:2; Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2), and now the Lord himself has declared the same, the Lord's disciples attest to everything as true, and moreover, the Holy Spirit verifies all that has happened through signs and wonders (Heb. 2:4).

Encouragement in trials comes when we confess with Peter that Jesus has "the words of life" (Jn. 6:68-69). Doubts and fears are overcome when we humbly acknowledge Jesus as "our Lord and our God" (Jn. 20:28).

Our faith grows when we understand what God is doing through the person and work of Jesus. All things are being put under his feet (Heb. 2:8). This is the language of dominion, of conquest. Jesus, as the perfect man, is doing what Adam could not (Gen. 1:26-28). And Jesus' work of dominion is not merely in the physical realm where the people of God were being tried and tested by persecution. Jesus' work extends to the spiritual realm. By His death, He overcomes death, the fear of death, and the devil himself (Heb. 2:14-15).

Instead of quaking at persecution, may the Lord grow our faith, such that, over our trials, we may confidently proclaim:
"in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
  What can man do to me?" (Ps. 56:11)