Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don’t see God, I’ll bow down before something else. —Ann Voskamp
Do you remember those childhood puzzles with the square plastic tiles? You were supposed to slide the tiles until the image was solved. If a tile had a wheel on it, then you were in business. But no wheel? No luck. You were on your own, kid.
Some of us see Jesus as those childhood puzzles. We have one corner that looks a lot like Him, but the rest of our understanding is a jumbled mess. We need some help before we give up.
Hebrews does a beautiful job of putting the remaining tiles in their places, so our portrait of Jesus is full and clear. The author does this by drawing our attention to Jesus’ high rank.
So [Jesus] became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1:4)
What are we supposed to do with this introduction? Why were angels even a thing?
The Jewish audience of the book of Hebrews would have listened through a different cultural lens. They knew that, according to Scripture, the message of angels had almost always been accepted, while Jesus’ message had been rejected. They also knew angels were traditionally welcomed as being sent by God, while Jesus was seen as blasphemous—working against God.
And so we see the author of Hebrews has created an argument of superiority—of lesser to greater. Angels are lesser and Christ is greater. Israel had accepted the lesser but rejected the greater. By allowing this truth to examine them, the Jews were given the opportunity to increase their understanding of Jesus’ superiority.
We have the same opportunity today. Often we will accept God’s blessings, His healing, His protection, and His love… but struggle to accept His Son. If this is our struggle, we can go to God and ask Him to show us how Jesus ranks in our life. We can ask for the ability to see that Jesus is best.
Lord, I live with areas of lesser and greater. Family, career, wealth, service, education, health—all of these and more exist in a hierarchy of importance every day. Search me, Lord, and reveal to me whether or not I have You ranked above all people and priorities. Amen.