Of Men and Angels

Hebrews 1 stated in no uncertain terms, Jesus stands superior to angels in every way.

In this next bit, Hebrews 2:5-8 he briefly points his lens at us.

For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying,

“WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM?
OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?
YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS;
YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR,
AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.”

For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. – Hebrews 2:5-8

First, let’s have a shout-out to all of us who sometimes remember a verse, but can’t quite pinpoint where it is. And to the rest, who judge harshly those who forget references – back-off dude!

He’s quoting from Psalm 8, and again if you go back and compare, depending on what translation you have in your lap (or laptop, tablet, phone…) there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll find God not angels in the text.

A bit of the nerd…

Let me start by saying I love the KJV. Much of the word hidden in my heart is in the king’s English. I honor it and am so thankful that we had God’s word in our language.

But one of the reasons some folks don’t see it as the “most accurate” translation comes from the fact that it is translated from the Septuagint, not the Hebrew scriptures. So, it’s a translation of a translation which, from a practical standpoint can be a little dangerous.

On the other hand, and somewhat ironically, in my opinion, the writer to the Hebrews quotes the Septuagint to his Jewish readers. Clearly, God has the ability to speak and anoint two layered translations.

…end of nerd bit.

The translation in question: Angels. Hebrew – Elohim, Greek (LXX) Aggelos.

In any case, the writer’s point is that though man may come across as being lower than angels in the hierarchy of heavenly economics, it’s not so, because God put all things in subjection to us, even the “world to come.”

Adam gave up much of man’s right and authority to the accuser in the garden. He chose to obey satan, rather than God, and this cut him off from walking in dominion as God planned.

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? – Romans 6:16

Enslaved to sin and satan, we gave up dominion. But Jesus redeemed us from that slavery and God put us back on track for dominion over “all things,” including, “the world to come.”

We may not see the full aspect of that dominion as yet, but the writer here promises it’s coming.

In the Beatitudes Jesus teaches us:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

This word meek doesn’t mean doormat, as you are no doubt aware. The best definition of meek I can come up with is “submitted to the will of the Father.”

Take the Bible’s two examples of meek.

(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) – Numbers 12:3 KJV

Moses!

They had to get Charlton Heston to play Him in the movies. A man’s man if there ever was one. This is the guy who stood before Pharoh and demanded the release of hundreds of thousands of slaves. This is the man who led millions of complainers through the wilderness. This is the man who told God what was on his mind, over and over. And this was the man who is remembered as the friend of God.

Moses – meekest man on the face of the earth!

The Bible’s second picture of meek is Jesus.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

I used the KJV in both cases because it links to the word meek. The NASB (my favorite) uses gentle, and I just don’t think gentle communicates the intent of the word here.

So, Jesus is meek! Was He meek when He dumped the tables of the money changers and drove out the livestock with a whip of His own making in John 2? Was He meek when He pronounced the “woes” to the Pharisees in Matthew 23?

Yes, because the meekness God is looking for, and the meekness God has promised the earth to, is the meekness marked by submission to Him and His will.

These are the ones who are crowned with glory and honor. These meek ones will reign with Christ in His coming kingdom. These meek ones walk in the favor of God and will hear those fine words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into thy rest.”

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping by today.

Blessings

Ben

If you’ve missed anything – check out the Hebrews page to get caught up.