Hebrews 1 – The Real Jesus

I recently pointed a friend to Hebrews as a place to learn about Jesus in relation to the OT law and temple system, so I thought I’d revisit myself. One of my favorite books of the Bible, so it was easy to talk myself into.
Hebrews 1:1-2 – Once, God communicated through man, but now, he’s spoken through his Son.
Hebrew 1:3 – “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” This is Jesus. Meditate on that for a while. This is who he was before coming to Earth, as an infant in the manger, on the cross and today.
In fact, the whole of this chapter is to clearly portray Jesus as God, superior to the angels, never ending, constant, secure and supreme. He is no mere man (remember verse 1?), he is God in flesh with all things beneath Him.
To the Jewish audience this was written to, this was a scandalous fact – that a man would claim to be God. The writer here comes out guns blazing – Jesus is no mere man, no simple priest or prophet. He is God’s son and as such equal to God himself and superior to everything, including the angels.
He is unlike and far superior to anyone or anything that has come or will come, so do not minimize him by trying to fit Him in to your preconceived notions or your existing religion. He, as we will see, has at once fulfilled and obsoleted the religious systems of the day.
I think the point was if you properly recognize and acknowledge His superior position, He will change everything you think you know about God and following Him.
In other words – Once you truly see the real Jesus, everything changes.

Joshua 24 – Choices

Joshua 24:3-13 – For those who like to think of having complete free will, that we determine our steps and we seek God an we find him and it is up to us, start reading Joshua 24 at verse 3. “Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him …” God states without hesitation that he was in control, directing Abraham’s steps. Abraham did not choose God, God chose Abraham. Same can be said about the 12 with Jesus or with Paul on the road to Damascus.
God clearly acts according to his will and purpose and steps into the lives of men and changes their directions. These men have decisions and responsibility to follow or not, but the journey clearly did not start at their urging or decision.
I won’t go as far as to say that God is the great puppet master, pulling the strings in each and every decision we make, every breath we take and every leaf that drops from a tree. I don’t think the evidence support that either. We clearly have a will and we act on our own but to say that our will rules the day all the time is to ignore Joshua 24 and many other situations in scripture where God clearly steps in and changes a man’s course.
Joshua 24:14-28 – I’ve heard lots of messages about ‘choosing’ based on this passage. But how many of those calls to ‘choose God’ put it in the context of a God who had already chosen Israel? Not only did God choose first, he chose them decades and decades before and demonstrated that choice over and over by acting on their behalf and the behalf of their forefathers in miraculous ways. God not only chose them, he sustained and blessed them and then asked them to choose him.
Any choosing we do today must look at God’s choice first at the cross. God has chosen us, redeemed us, invested in us already in the hope that we will choose Him too.
Imagine if other choices worked this way. A man buys a home and cars, plants a garden, fully furnishes it with cribs, beds, dressers, clothing and more. He establishes a career and income, fully funds college for 3 children and builds up a savings account. He then comes to his hopefully future bride and offers it all to her. I have chosen you, and I’ve done all this already for you. Will you choose me?
A builder researches a family. He knows their every need and buys land, constructs a house and fully furnishes is. Not only that, but anticipating the needs for the children, he provides land for them and builds homes for their future families as well. He comes to the family and say, I have chosen you to be the recipient of my best home. It is fully paid for and it is yours. Will you choose me?
Even these imperfect analogies move my heart. How much more a God who has anticipated my greatest need and already filled it, hoping that I might choose Him?

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