The Book of Hebrews #8 chapter 2:5-9
The Book of Hebrews
The Rediscovery of Man's Lost Destiny
Hebrews 2:5-9
       
I think it important to keep in mind that the author of Hebrews is writing to Jews in an attempt to show them, in a step-by-step format, one subject at a time, how Jesus fulfilled every requirement of the Old Testament. 
 
He begins by showing that Jesus is superior to angels.  That takes up most of the 1st chapter, and after a warning in the first four verses of chapter 2 to not miss Christ, he picks that subject up again. 
 
And as I thought about that, the question came to mind, “Why is so much attention given to angels?”
 
I think it is because the Old Testament, which is the Jewish Scriptures, was brought to earth by the angels.  Therefore, if you are going to prove that the New Testament, which is all about Jesus, is superior, then He must be superior to angels. 
 
So tonight we come to Chapter 2:5-9  where we he returns to superiority of Christ over angels. And he presents a fantastic point to prove that Jesus is superior to angels. And the point that he makes is in verse 5 and then he clarifies it in verses 6-9.
 
Verse 5
 
What is he saying? He is saying God did not give the reign over the world to come to angels. That responsibility goes to Jesus Christ. 
Once again, it is a reminder of the deity of Jesus.  If angels are next to God and Jesus is superior to angels, what does that make Him? God.  That's the point.
 
And so the whole section keys off of verse 5.
 
Now that little verse is just packed full of information, and I’m not sure we can cover it all tonight; we’ll try. 
 
First, and most obviously, it gives us another
 
proof that Jesus is better than the angels. 
 
That's initial and that's really the key to the argument. But look a little deeper and you’ll discover that it also, number two,
 
It answers an objection
 
Someone could say, and I think the angels especially have to deal with this, if Jesus was only a man who could He be superior to angels? Well, this passage explains how that can be. 
 
But thirdly, and where I want to center our thoughts is these verses reveal
 
man’s only hope to recover what we lost in Eden
 
You see man lost his destiny. Man today is a lost man. Man today has lost the meaning of his existence. Totally lost it. And this passage explains to us how man can recover his destiny and, in fact, what his destiny is.
 
We'll look at it just in three simple points.  The first one is
 
1. Man's Destiny Revealed by God
 
Look at verse 5 again.
 
Simply put, it was never the design of God for angels to rule over the world to come.  In fact, if you go back to 1:14, you'll find that angels are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. So in the world to come angels will be ministers, not rulers.
 
And notice the use of the phrase “in subjection”.  That’s a military term used for arranging your soldiers in order under a commanding General.
 
So to understand it in those terms, God has not turned over the administration of the world to come to angels. God is the one who gives out the administrations. According to Romans 13, the powers that be are ordained of God.  Simply put, God decides who will be in charge under Him. 
 
And we need to keep in mind, “the world to come” is  a world of perfection. So whoever reigns in that world must be glorious beyond glory, and it isn't angels. Now that means the position of superiority that angels have over man now is temporary. And that is addressed in the next couple of verses. 
 
Who it is that's going to rule in the world to come? A man.  In particular, it is talking about Jesus, but we also discover from our New Testament studies that we will reign with Him.  So in the world to come, angels don’t reign, men do. 
Now you'll notice in verse 5 the term world. This is not the common Greek word kosmos which means the system. It is not just a general term. It is a very specific word which speaks of dwelling or inhabiting.  And it is talking about the inhabited earth.
 
We know the Bible talks about an inhabited earth to come. We studied about it recently.  We call it the Millennial Kingdom. 
 
There is an inhabited earth to come and it can't be this earth, because this world is to go, not come.  But there is an inhabited world to come.  A new inhabited earth and everyone in that world will be totally different.
 
So the point he's making here is that there is a coming another inhabited earth. And there will be sovereignty in that inhabited earth, but it won't be angels. Now that's all he's said so far.  Are you with me?
 
Now, I must just add this:  the world to go, this world, is under the rule of angles.  The world to come won’t be, but this one is.  Let me illustrate that to you. Who is number one fallen angel? Satan. Who is prince of this world? Satan. Who is the sovereign of this world? Satan.
 
And even holy angels have a kind of rule also.  Daniel 10 illustrates that if you want to read about it when you get home. 
 
Michael is described as the great prince who stands for the people of God. So right now in some sense, the earth is subject to angels who are under the authority of God.
And the reason that is true is because man gave up his God-given right to rule the earth that God gave him in the beginning. 
 
And in the kingdom to come, that sovereignty will be restored to men. And that gets us to the argument the Jews would have advance.  They might say, “If Jesus is a man, how can He be better than angels?”
 
That's no argument at all, because when God mad e this world to begin with, He made it to be subject to men not angels. Angels are only filling in the gap.
 
And Satan came along and stole it from men.  He moved in and took what wasn't his. So to argue that Jesus can't be better than angels because He's only a man is all wrong because man was originally created to rule, not to be subject. He was created as the king of the earth.
 
And ultimately, it is God’s final destiny for man He was to be the sovereign that God designed Him to be in the first place. 
 
And that’s what the next verses are all about.  They are quotes from Psalm 8 and  the point is simply this, God what is man that you would be so good to him, that you would give him so much bounty and so much blessing?
 
And the response is in verse 7
 
Did you know that God's original design destiny for man was that man is to be the king of the earth and that everything in existence was to be in subjection to man?
That's what David was saying, God you've done this, but why? What is man that you would do this? See David was in the same predicament as us in that all he ever knew was fallen man.  We have no appreciation or understanding of what God’s original design was for us. 
 
That’s why it is a mystery for David to ponder that God “crowned Him with glory and honor and set Him over the works of your hands. You put all things in subjection under His feet.” Man is king. God made Him that way. That's man's destiny revealed by God.
 
And if we really understand Genesis 1, that’s what we see.  We are made in the image of God.  We are given dominion by God.  Over what?  The earth. 
 
God said be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Everything on the earth, every seed, every animal, it’s all for you.  
 
And that’s what these verses in Hebrews are telling us.  God originally intended that man in innocence was king over the undefiled earth and the chain of command is God, angels, man, and earth.
 
Now notice in verse 6, he mentions the son of man. Some interpret that to be a reference to Christ. I don’t think so.  I think what he's talking about is created men. He’s referencing mankind. 
 
So what David is saying is what's the big deal about men that you've made Him king of the earth? Why have You looked on him with favor?  Why do you care for Him or help Him?  Of what importance is frail humanity? And the answer is He must be of great importance to God to be made king.
Then notice verse 7
 
When God first created man, He made them in a sense lower than angels. It was not that they were lower than angels spiritually or in the way God loves us, but one was physical and one was spiritual. 
 
Angels were heavenly, and men were earthly and therefore lower than the angels.  But there is an interesting meaning in that original language, “Made a little lower thant he angels” and it is a time designation. 
 
In fact, it can be translated leek this: "You made him for a little time lower than the angels." You see God in the very beginning knew that the ultimate destiny of man would not be something lower than angels. This is a temporary chain of command. God has a destiny for man that rates Him as a king at least on an equal basis with angels. And it was for a little time at the beginning that God made Him lower than angels.
 
But it was only temporary. God has designed a destiny for man that will make his existence lower than angels only a temporary thing. And God here is looking forward to the full plan of redemption when redeemed men are gathered to Him and redeemed men gathered to Him will no longer be lower than angels.
 
Daniel 7:18 says, "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever even forever and ever."
 
 
verse 27 says "And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominion shall serve and obey Him."
 
Isn't that amazing that God has promised the ultimate kingdom to men, redeemed men. No wonder David said what is man that you should be so good to him? The kingdom is for men, redeemed saints.   Let me show you a verse that is very seldom preached on and is often overlooked, but it will light your pilot. 
 
Turn to Luke 20.  Now just to catch us up to speed, this is the time the Sadducees came to Jesus and they kept asking Him about this woman who was eventually married to seven brothers because the one she was married to kept dying, and finally the woman died and who’s wife will she be in the resurrection?
 
I'd say by the time the fourth or fifth brother came around the guy that would marry would be nuts you know. But anyway, they kept dying off and dying off and dying off and they said to Him, you know, "whose wife is she going to be in heaven?"
 
verses 34-36
 
What He’s telling them is in the kingdom age, it's going to be a whole different set up. There won’t be any marriage and men and angels are equal. And man is again crowned in Christ. The earth is redeemed. That's the promise for the future.
 
Now I know that took some time, but I wanted us to understand what he means when he says, "you have made him a little lower than the angels."   And notice is says in verse 7, that "You have crowned him with glory and honor." When God made Adam, He gave him honor. He gave him glory.  In fact, the “crown” here is the stephanos crown, which is the crown of rank. Man was created and crowned king of the earth.
 
Verse 8 says, "He put all things under His feet."
 
Kings are always elevated.  Their chariots were higher; their thrones were higher.  They were always elevated above their subjects.  The people they ruled were always below them and it was stated as such that people were under their feet. The king was way up here and you were always under their feet.  That’s why you bow to royalty so they will be higher. 
 
That’s where man is in relation to all the rest of creation.  God gave him the right to rule and all of the things that God has made have been put under the feet of man.
 
That’s what verses 7 and 8 are telling us.  There's nothing that isn't subject to man in the original creation. And that was God's revealed destiny for man in the beginning.  Man was created to be king over an undefiled earth.  The earth served him, fed him and was subject to him.  Then for a little while, that same man was made a little lower than the angels.  Do you know why? 
 
Because something drastic happened and that's point two.  That destiny was affected by sin and we’ll see that next week. 

 

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