As we continue through the rest of Hebrews chapter 1, the author is setting about to prove his assertions of Chris’s supremacy by comparing Him to the angels. Verses 5-13 are quotations from the Old Testament that contrast the Son with angels.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”?
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son
Notice that in these words, God has a special relationship with Jesus, the relationship of Father and Son; this is quite a different relationship than that which He has with the angels. In the next verse, our author shows that at the Incarnation, the angels must worship the Son:
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
As the chapter continues, we can see that the Son will reign, but the angels are His servants (1:8-9 c.f. 1:7) In vv. 10-12 he quotes Psalm 102 indicating that the Son will reign over the universe, will destroy it and yet remain the same always. In verse 13 he quotes Psalm 110 showing that God will destroy all of the Son’s enemies and make them “a footstool for your feet” surely God has never made such a promise to an angel!
Finally, comes verse 14 and a curve…
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
As the book continues, we will see the author demonstrate that Jesus is not only superior to the angels, but that He is also superior to Moses, that His sacrifice is superior to the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, that His New Covenant is superior to the Old Covenant, and that the promises of the New Covenant are superior to those of the Old Covenant, for they are brought by a superior High Priest (Jesus) who brings a superior sacrifice to establish a superior Covenant. With this in mind, consider 1:14 above…
By asking the question, the author is asserting its truth: Yes, the angels are “ministering spirits” sent to “serve those who will inherit salvation.” Slow down, take a closer look; Jesus is the “firstborn” of the Father, His salvation isn’t even an issue, who are these people the author is referring to? Let’s figure it out: Who inherits salvation? Who are called “co-heirs with Christ?”
Let’s see… salvation comes from accepting Christ as savior, by His work on the cross. Those who are “in Christ” are His co-heirs. Therefore, the angels are ministering spirits sent to serve you and me. Again, slow down and let that sink in…
This “in Christ” thing is really too cool!
So, why is it that we waste so much time arguing and complaining? It seems to me that our author is going to make the point that we really need to grab on to what we have in Christ, and not worry about all of the noise and distractions of this life.
Wow, ministering spirits…