Thirty teens ran through a dark church filled with haze from fog machines, strobe lights, and laser beams flashing everywhere. Hillside Community Church was completely transformed into a Laser Tag facility for one great event to begin a new season for the youth group. This youth group, in all honesty, is the best behaved group of youth I have ever led (I’ve led a bunch over the years). I have a feeling that being a father of four in my forties is the reason. I’m bigger than I used to be (and, I don’t mean my girth). I’m superior, and they know it. Before you start thinking my head is bloated, let me tell you why I used the word “superior.”
Jesus is superior. That sentence could be a whole book on its own. We can compare Jesus to anything else and conclude that Jesus is far superior. He’s bigger, and better than anything. Like the kids in my youth group recognize that there’s something about me that’s superior to them (at least, for now they seem to), there is something about Jesus that is far superior to everything else we could compare Him with.
That’s really the whole point of Hebrews, to show us how much superior Jesus is. In the letter of Hebrews, the original readers seem to have grown apathetic to Jesus and had started to pursue (or, at least, consider) other options. The writer is desperately concerned so he/she inspires with a masterful description of Jesus (yes, he/she, because we have no idea who the author is).
In Hebrews 1:1-4, the author reveals Why Jesus Is Superior, And How To Embrace Him
1. First, Jesus speaks best
1:1-2, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,” NIV
I. God used to communicate indirectly
At one time, God had communicated indirectly. When the text reads, “in the past,” the reference is made to the time when God spoke through prophets, priests, some kings, and angels. For the readers, angels and Moses were the two sources of God’s voice that were most favourable for them.
II. God now communicates directly
God now communicates personally. The author writes, “in these last days,” referring to a time that’s characterized by a better form of communication. He now communicates directly, through Jesus.
III. Direct communication from Jesus is superior
Communication from Jesus is far superior. That’s not only true for the original readers, it’s true for you, too. There are people around me who like to dabble with strange spiritual things. There are also people around me who value the words from the people they feel are popular and well liked. Regardless of your sources of spiritual insight, communication from Jesus is far superior. Not only does He get it from the source, He is the source of everything spiritual, and He’s the only one who’s been there, come here to tell us about it, and has gone back to ensure we can also get to be where He is.
Jesus speaks best because Jesus speaks for Himself. All other options we tend to follow for spiritual insight are really just guesses. Only Jesus can communicate what is spiritual because He’s the source of everything both spiritual and physical.
2. Second, Jesus acts best
1;2-3, “whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” NIV
Here is a summary of some of Jesus’ activity.
I. He has created (the phrase, “made the universe,” indicates that it was Jesus who created the heavens and the earth).
II. He has redeemed (the phrase “provided purification for sins” means that the one who created us is the one who died for us to restore us into friendship with God).
III. He has Completed (the phrase “sat down” indicates that His work to restore us into friendship with God is done, leaving our response of faith and faithfulness all that’s required from us).
IV. He is God (the phrases “radiance of God” and “exact representation” indicate that Jesus is exactly God; talking about the trinity can make my head spin sometimes, but this statement is clear enough).
With all that Jesus has done the author seems to be challenging us to take inventory of those who influence us to ask ourselves what those other options have done. No other spiritual option has come close to doing what Jesus had done.
Since Jesus is superior, here’s how to embrace Him
I. Pursue Friendship
He wants our faith and faithfulness. An easier way to say that is, “He wants our friendship.” Choose to believe in Jesus, and then learn what it means to live as His friend for your whole life. If you will live as his friend for your life, He will reward you with an eternal friendship.
II. Reject everything else
He wants you to reject everything else. Jesus is so far superior than any other choice of spiritual direction that we can confidently stop looking around and dabbling. Looking around and dabbling with other spiritual directions is akin to telling Jesus that you are not convinced that He’s superior and you’d prefer to play the field and find a new spiritual friend to follow. Stop that. Make Jesus you’re only spiritual direction.
Jesus Is Superior
To bring this post to a close and summarize the gist of the message, here are three words for you to carry with you: “Jesus is Superior.” Please let those words renew your focus on Jesus and reject all other options and distractions so that you can grow your friendship with Him with all your heart, strength, mind, and soul.
What about you?
Do you agree with what the author writes in the opening passage of Hebrews?
Or, did you see something different in the text?
Sharing helps other busy people connect with Jesus, too.