"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"
Advantages Of Jesus’ Humanity (Heb 2:5-18)
1. Following his warning against drifting (He 2:1-4), the writer of
Hebrews continues to illustrate Jesus’ superiority to angels
a. In the first chapter the emphasis was on Jesus’ deity
b. Now the focus is on Jesus’ humanity
2. One can imagine the sort of objections that could be raised about
a. When Jesus became flesh, didn’t that make Him lower than the
b. How then can it be said that He is superior to angels?
3. The response is that Jesus’ humanity provided several advantages
a. In regaining man’s lost dominion
b. In bringing many sons to glory
c. In disarming Satan
d. Delivering us from the fear of death
e. In becoming a sympathetic high priest
[Yes, becoming flesh did not prove to be a handicap or a mark of
inferiority; rather, it served to make Him perfect! To see how,
let’s note His humanity first]
I. ENABLED JESUS TO REGAIN MAN’S LOST DOMINION (He 2:5-9)
A. MAN ONCE HAD DOMINION OVER THE EARTH
1. At the beginning, man was given dominion over God’s creation
– Gen 1:26-28
2. David marveled that God set man over His works – Psa 8:4-6
a. Even though man was made "a little lower than the angels"
b. Yet God "crowned him with glory and honor"!
B. MAN HAS LOST THAT DOMINION
1. As is rather evident: "But now we do not yet see all things
put under him." – He 2:8
2. As a result of The Fall, man lost his dominion
C. JESUS, AS A MAN, REGAINED THAT DOMINION!
1. Jesus was "made a little lower than the angels"; i.e., He
became a man!
2. Because of His suffering and death, He was "crowned with glory
a. What man once had and lost, Jesus has regained
b. Those who are in Him share in that rule, both now and in
1) Seated at the right hand of God, Christ rules over all
– cf. Ep 1:20-22
2) Those in Christ sit together with Him – cf. Ep 2:4-6
3) Especially so, when we pass from this life to the
next – cf. Re 2:26-27; Re 3:21
[Such dominion, both now and in the world to come, was never given
to angels (He 2:5 ). Man had it and lost it. Becoming a man and
suffering death enabled Jesus to regain that dominion for man!
By the same suffering and death, Jesus was able to "taste death for
everyone" (He 2:9). By the grace of God, then, His humanity also]
II. ENABLED JESUS TO BRING MANY SONS TO GLORY (He 2:10-13)
A. HIS SUFFERINGS IN THE FLESH WERE "FITTING"
1. God gave Jesus the task
a. To bring many sons to glory (to restore man to his position
of glory and honor)
b. To be the author (captain, pioneer, leader) of man’s salvation
2. His sufferings in the flesh made Jesus perfect for the task!
a. This is not to imply that Jesus was imperfect when He was
on the earth
b. The word "perfect" means to be "complete, effective,
c. To be complete and effective as our Savior and High Priest,
Jesus’ sufferings were necessary – cf. He 2:18
B. HIS HUMANITY MAKES HIM "ONE" WITH THOSE BEING SAVED
1. Even though He is the One who "sanctifies", and they are
2. His humanity (and suffering) makes them all as one
3. Such identity with man makes Jesus proud to call us
"brethren"! – He 2:12-13
[Jesus’ suffering in the flesh makes Him the perfect author of our salvation
and he is not ashamed to call us brethren. This is expanded even further in
the remaining verses of the chapter.]
III. ENABLED JESUS TO DISARM SATAN AND DELIVER US FROM THE FEAR OF
DEATH (He 2:14-16)
A. JESUS’ DEATH GAVE HIM VICTORY OVER THE DEVIL
1. Through His own death and resurrection, Jesus "destroyed" the
a. The devil is still very active – cf. 1 Pe 5:8-9
b. But though he once "had" (past tense) the power of death,
no more! – cf. Heb 2:14
2. With His power greatly weakened by Jesus’ victory over death, Satan
will be destroyed for all time at the time of our own
resurrection! – cf. Re 20:10-12
B. JESUS’ DEATH GAVE US FREEDOM FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH
1. A fear that keeps many in bondage throughout their lives
2. But the faithful Christian need not fear death-
cf. 2 Tim 1:10; 2 Cor 1:9-10; Ph 2:21
3. Thus it is to the "seed of Abraham" (faithful Christians,
cf. Ga 3:29), and not to angels that Jesus has given such aid
– He 2:16
[Finally, partaking of flesh and blood, suffering and dying on the cross]
IV. ENABLED JESUS TO BE A SYMPATHETIC HIGH PRIEST (He 2:17-18)
A. JESUS IS A MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST
1. In coming to this world, Jesus was "made like His brethren"
2. He became like man "in all things"
3. This equipped Him for the role of a merciful and faithful high
a. "In things pertaining to God"
b. "To make propitiation for the sins of the people"
c. We read later that the role of high priest involved
offering gifts and sacrifices for sin – He 5:1
B. HE IS ABLE TO AID THOSE WHO ARE TEMPTED
1. He too has suffered and has been tempted, though we learn later
in Hebrews that He remained without sin – He 4:15
2. Such suffering makes Him compassionate – cf. He 5:2
3. Therefore those who come to Him can expect to receive mercy
and grace in time of need! – cf. He 4:16
1. Is there an angel that has accomplished such things as
a. Regain man’s lost dominion
b. Bring many sons to glory
c. Disarm Satan
d. Deliver us from the fear of death
d. Become a sympathetic high priest
2. All of these things (and certainly much more) Jesus has done by
virtue of becoming a man
a. Yes, He became "a little lower than the angels"
b. But in so doing, even His humanity makes Him far superior to
3. With the first two chapters we see the superiority of Jesus
a. Over the prophets, as God’s perfect spokesman
b. Over the angels, by virtue of His deity and His humanity
— Why should we ever want to turn our backs on such a Savior?
We have also seen that Jesus, who was tempted, who has suffered and
tasted death for everyone, is not ashamed to call us "brethren". Are
we ashamed to call Him "Lord"? Are we willing to serve Him as Lord?