“Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? 5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:
‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’
“For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.“ (NKJV)
It was necessary for us to explore what would seem to be a moot point last week, that Jesus is not an angel. But it was obviously necessary because God wrote it for us to read, know and understand. Once we have established that Jesus is not an angel, we can now move on with the rest of what He has to say in the book of Hebrews. He begins Hebrews 2 with “Therefore” (based on the fact that Jesus is not an angel; we can now move on; I can teach you some other things). Once again, Hebrews is to saved people, and it assumes that the reader has a sound doctrinal foundation. Let us look at this chapter together.
- Drifting Away, verse 1
The idea of drifting has to do with a ship that is moving away from its moorings because it is not anchored to anything. The boat does not have to do anything; it is just bobbing with the tide and the movement of the water. The writer is encouraging that we should be anchored to something, and that something is Jesus’ salvation that He offers us freely. If we are not actively tied to the doctrines of the Scripture, we can drift away; not deliberately, not by active rebellion, but by apathy. We just drift with the tide, the winds of change that blow ever so slightly, and soon we are no longer doctrinally sound. We have ‘buts’ for every statement of God’s in the scripture. We add caveats to God’s precepts, and we water down even the very Gospel that saved us.
This is the idea that the writer adds in verse 3; we “neglect so great a salvation.” Soon we begin to doubt the importance and the exclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus. We begin to think that there are other ways to heaven, and we are no longer adamant about what Jesus said – “I am the Way.” It takes nothing to go to Hell; we are born on the way there. It takes an act of God to change our course. Are you drifting away? Have the doctrines become benign and seemingly tedious? Have we begun to water down the Gospel or add to it with works, and by doing so, stealing the thunder of God’s grace?
The Gospel was spoken by Jesus himself. He is the one who paid for it, He is the one who sends His Holy Spirit, and the one who will hold us accountable for it. But unless we are actively reading, studying and applying the Gospel, the truths of the scriptures, and living them out daily, we will drift away from the absolutes of the Bible, and so on. We will even neglect the very salvation that we have in Jesus and stop sharing the Gospel, or worse, share a false Gospel that is even more destructive.
Not only do we show contempt for Jesus, but we also show contempt for God who confirmed that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah by miracles and other supernatural events like the Mount of Transfiguration. Then God followed up the miracles by sending His Holy Spirit to indwell us and to empower the local New Testament churches all around the known world at the time. God confirmed that this salvation was the one; this was the special gift from God that all men need to know that is available to all men free of charge. Jesus paid it all, God sanctioned the sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit secures us forever.
God does not take our salvation lightly; He did all He could to make it possible for all men everywhere to be saved. And to this very day, 2000 years or so later, the Gospel of Jesus is still all people need to be saved (see Acts 16:31). Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there is just something about that name.
- Jesus’ Humanity, verses 6-9
One of the very important doctrines that God brings to the forefront here is Jesus’ humanity. Jesus is not half man and half God. He is, in fact, 100% God and 100% man. One of the false doctrines of some of the early churches was that Jesus was God but only seemed to be human. This is wrong. Jesus was 100% human. He experienced everything that a human would experience. He was a baby and nursed at his mother’s breast. He had to be carried. He had to be washed. He had to learn how to roll over, crawl, and walk, and He fell as other kids did as well. He had to learn the language and how to speak it. He had to deal with siblings and make friends. Jesus had the whole human experience; He even had to learn how to use the washroom.
Like God, we know that He created the whole universe (see John 1: 1-4). But as a man, He also had the creation under Him as part of the Adamic instructions. Go back and see Genesis 1:25-27:
“God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them.” (Berean Study Bible)
Jesus, the man, was under this decree from God as well as being the Creator; He now has the Adamic dominion over the earth and all that is in it as well. Jesus died as a man to taste death for everyone (see Hebrews 2:9). Only a man could do that. God cannot die. Thus, it was essential for Him to come as a man, true flesh; he could bleed, feel pain, suffer and die for you and me. In turn, we get the Holy Spirit, and in us, God lives.
1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
2 Corinthians 6:16, “Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'”
Ezekiel 36:27, “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be