"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"
Jesus’ Superiority To Angels (Heb 1:4-14)
1. The subject of angels has certainly become a popular one lately
a. Bookstores are filled with books dealing with angels
b. Popular TV shows and movies depict angels working in our lives
("Highway To Heaven", "Touched By An Angel", "The Preacher’s
Wife", "It’s A Wonderful Life")
2. Angels were also an important part of the Jewish religion
a. Angels assisted with the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai –
cf. Deu 33:2; Psa 68:17; Ac 7:53; Ga 3:19
b. They appeared throughout Israel’s history, coming to Abraham,
Daniel, and many others
3. Since the purpose of "The Epistle To The Hebrews" is to show the
superiority of Christ and the New Covenant to the Law of Moses
a. It is necessary that the writer has something to say about angels
b. So it is that we find the comparison of the Son to prophets
followed now by a comparison to angels – He 1:4-14
4. The premise is clearly stated that the Son (Jesus) is "much better
than the angels" – He 1:4
a. The reason in a nutshell is that "He has by inheritance obtained
a more excellent name than they"
b. That name is "Son", a title that only Jesus can properly wear
1) Angels may be called "sons of God" collectively – cf. Job 1:6
2) But no angel can be called this name individually
[As evidence for the superiority of Jesus over angels, the author
proceeds to offer scriptural support from the Old Testament. His first
two quotations are to prove-]
I. JESUS IS THE "SON" (v 5)
A. TWO PROPHECIES REFER TO THE MESSIAH AS "SON"
1. The first is Psa 2:7
a. A psalm depicting the enthronement of the Messiah (the
b. In which Jehovah calls the Messiah "My Son"
c. The "begetting" has reference to the resurrection of Jesus
– Ac 13:33 ; Ro 1:4
2. The second is 2 Sam 7:14
a. This passage had immediate application to Solomon, David’s
b. But as the Messiah who would receive the throne of David
was also descended from David
1) Its ultimate application would be to the Messiah
2) I.e., Jesus, the "son of David" – Mt 1:1; Mk 10:47; Jn 7:42
B. BUT NO ANGEL IS EVER CALLED "MY SON"
1. Collectively they were called "sons of God", but never
2. This not only demonstrates Jesus’ superiority to angels
a. It proves that Jesus Himself was NOT an angel!
b. Contrary to what some sects (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses) believe
[The superiority of Jesus over the angels is further illustrated as we
II. JESUS IS "THE FIRSTBORN" WHO RECEIVES WORSHIP (v 6)
A. JESUS IS DESCRIBED AS "THE FIRSTBORN"
1. The term "firstborn" does not always mean "born first"
a. It is also used in the Scriptures as a metaphor to describe
one who occupies the rank and privilege of being firstborn
(without literally being "firstborn")
b. Used by God in this way to refer to the nation of Israel
– Exo 4:22
c. Used by God in this way to refer to David, youngest of
eight – Ps 89:20; Ps 89:27
2. It is used of Jesus in this way to stress His preeminence over
a. As Paul explains in Co 1:15-18
b. By virtue of being the Creator, He maintains the rank and
privilege of "firstborn"
B. WHEN THE FIRSTBORN CAME INTO THE WORLD, THE ANGELS WERE TO
1. The quotation in verse 6 is from Deu 32:43 as found in the
2. The angels of God were to worship Him
3. Note well: No created being is or was ever worthy of worship!
a. The angels themselves refused to be worshipped – Re 22:8-9
b. The apostle Peter refused to accept worship – Ac 10:25-26
4. Yet Jesus received worship
a. From the wise men – Mt 2:11
b. From the leper – Mt 8:2
c. From the ruler – Mt 9:18
d. From His disciples in the boat – Mt 14:33
e. From the Canaanite woman – Mt 15:25
f. From the man born blind – Jn 9:38
g. From the women and other disciples following His
resurrection – Mt 28:9; Mt 28:17
h. From the disciples following His ascension – Lk 24:52
[That Jesus is worthy of worship, especially now, becomes more evident
as we consider how-]
III. JESUS IS "GOD" ENTHRONED AND ANOINTED (Vs 7-9)
A. ANGELS ARE SIMPLY FOR THE SERVICE OF GOD
1. They are created spirits to serve God (called "ministering
spirits" in He 1:14)
2. Their service can be as powerful yet transient as "wind" or
"flames of fire", if need be
B. BUT THE "SON" IS GOD HIMSELF, ENTHRONED AND ANOINTED!
1. The author is quoting from another Messianic psalm – Psa 45:6-7
2. Notice that the Son is called "God" – He 1:8
a. The Hebrew writer clearly proclaims the deity of Jesus!
– cf. He 1:3a
b. Yet in the next verse we read where it says "God, Your God
1) Here we find a distinction of personalities within the
2) Which we learn through later revelation involves the
Father and the Son (and the Holy Spirit)
3. The Son, Who is God, has been enthroned, and reigns over an
everlasting kingdom with righteousness
a. A kingdom of which Daniel said "shall never be destroyed"
– Dan 2:44
b. A kingdom of which Gabriel (an angel) told Mary:
"there will be no end" – Lk 1:33
c. Both Paul and John wrote of this kingdom – Co 1:13; Re 1:9
4. This Son, Who is God and King, has been "anointed" – He 1:9
a. Of course, the word "Messiah" means "anointed one"
b. In this passage, the emphasis is on how Jesus has been
anointed with gladness "more than Your companions"
1) Who are these "companions"?
2) In view of He 2:11 and He 3:1, they are likely the
followers of Jesus, His brethren!
[As God, King, and Messiah, Jesus is certainly greater than angels!
But there is even more]
IV. JESUS IS THE "LORD" WHO IS THE ETERNAL CREATOR (Heb 1:10-12)
A. JESUS IS "YAHWEH" (JEHOVAH)!
1. Now the Hebrew writer is quoting from Ps 102:25-27
a. A psalm which addresses God using His covenant name Yahweh
b. This is the name that God used to identify Himself to Moses
– Exo 3:13-14
2. But the Hebrew writer, by inspiration, knew this psalm equally
applied to Jesus
a. Such would be blasphemy, unless Jesus is truly Deity!
b. So while the Son is distinct from the Father (cf. He 1:9),
He and the Father are also the same!
3. In this chapter, then, we find evidence relating to the nature
of the Godhead
a. There is one God, but three distinct personalities within
the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
b. As Jehovah, Jesus is not "a god", or any sort of created
being (contrary to the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc.)
c. As the Son who is distinct from the Father, the Son is not
the same in personality as the Father (contrary to the beliefs of
the Oneness Pentecostals)
— Though not a biblical term, the word "trinity" does help to
convey the Biblical evidence as to the nature of the Godhead!
B. JESUS IS THE ETERNAL CREATOR!
1. In the beginning it was He who created the earth and the
heavens – He 1:10
a. As the author had already stated in He 1:2c
b. As both John and Paul professed – Jn 1:3; Co 1:16-17
2. He is also eternal, therefore unchangeable – He 1:11-12
a. The heavens and the earth "will perish", "grow old" and "be
changed" – cf. 2 Pe 3:10-12
b. But Jesus will "remain", be the "same", and "not fail"
– cf. He 13:8
[The superiority of Jesus over angels is illustrated with one last
comparison in this chapter]
V. JESUS IS THE "SOVEREIGN" (Heb 1:13-14)
A. NO ANGEL HAS BEEN INVITED TO SIT AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND
1. The psalm quoted now is Ps 110:1
a. This psalm is quoted or alluded to more than any other
psalm in the New Testament
b. It refers to the Messianic reign of Christ that began when
Jesus sat down at the right hand of God – cf. He 1:3; Ac 2:34-36;
1 Pe 3:22
2. That no angel has been asked to sit at God’s right hand
a. Once again this proves that Jesus was not an angel
b. Only Jesus, as the Son of God, has been so invited, and is
truly the Sovereign!
B. ANGELS ARE BUT MINISTERING SPIRITS
1. While Jesus sits enthroned in heaven, angels are "sent forth
to minister (serve)"
2. They minister for those "who will inherit salvation"
a. They have certainly ministered in the past – cf. Lk 1:11-38
b. They will certainly minister at the time of Christ’s return
– cf. Mt 13:36-43
c. The Scriptures reveal little as to what extent they minister in the
present (cf. Mt 18:10 ), and we should be careful to avoid vain speculation
1. In a very forceful manner, the Hebrew writer has shown
Jesus’ superiority to angels
a. Jesus is the "Son" (not angels)
b. Jesus is the "Firstborn" who receives worship (not angels)
c. Jesus is "God" enthroned and anointed (not angels)
d. Jesus is the "LORD" (Yahweh) who is the eternal creator (not
angels, who are only created beings)
e. Jesus is the "Sovereign", reigning at God’s right hand (angels
are but ministering spirits)
2. While angels certainly have a special place in God’s plan for
a. They are not to become the object of worship or adoration –
b. Only Jesus is worthy of such worship and adoration!
As innumerable angels proclaimed with a loud voice:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and
wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
– Re 5:11-12
Let Jesus, and not angels, be the focus of your interest and adoration!