corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Hebrews 2

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Hebrews 2:1

Drifting.

The influences against which we are warned by the words of my text are those of currents which are flowing just where we are, and which may operate so insidiously that we may not know of their effect until, perhaps, it is too late to resist their power. Of these currents I will specify three.

I. Take first the age current, or what a recent essayist, borrowing from the German, has called the "time-spirit." Every epoch has its own special tendency. These vagaries will pass away, even as the fleecy clouds remove from the summit of Mont Blanc; but Christ abides, like the grand old mountain, with its majestic mantle of stainless and eternal white. Hear Him, therefore. Hear Him, and keep fast hold of His sayings; so shall ye partake of His stability.

II. The second current to which I would refer is that of the place in which we dwell. Every city has its own peculiar influence. I do not hesitate to say that it is a less difficult matter to be an earnest Christian in some cities than it is in others. But the principles of the Gospel are not shifted by the tendencies of any place; and when we measure ourselves by them we may always discover how it is with us. Let us not take it for granted that because we are making some effort in the right direction, therefore we must be going forward. These efforts may not be enough to neutralise the forces of the current, and we may be drifting backward after all.

III. There is, thirdly, the personal drift—the drift in each of us individually. Let us not be self-confident here, or imagine that there is no fear of us. That imagination is itself the beginning of the personal drift. Distrust yourself, therefore, and trust only and always in the Lord. Anchor on to Christ; that is the sure preventive of all such drifting as I have been seeking to expose.

W. M. Taylor, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxii., p. 40.


References: Hebrews 2:1.—J. G. Rogers, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii., p. 361; Bishop Westcott, Ibid., vol. xxxvi., p. 136; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. x., p. 83. Hebrews 2:1-4.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 183. Hebrews 2:3.—J. Natt, Posthumous Sermons, p. 425; Homilist, 2nd series, vol. iv., p. 207; 3rd series, vol. vi., p. 166; Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 300; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 185. Hebrews 2:3, Hebrews 2:4.—Hay Aitkin, Around the Cross, p. 145. Hebrews 2:4.—W. M. Taylor, The Gospel Miracles, p. 173. Hebrews 2:5.—Homilist, vol. v., p. 1. Hebrews 2:5-9.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 122; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 325.


Verses 5-10

Hebrews 2:5-10

Consider:—

I. What it is that the Son of man, humbling Himself for us, hath endured. There are two expressions used—to suffer death and to taste death. Let us remember that between Jesus, as He was in Himself and death, there subsisted no connection. In Him Satan could find nothing. Death had no personal or direct relation unto Him. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life, of His own power and will, laid down His life. The death of the Lord Jesus in this respect is different from the death of any human being; it was the free, voluntary, spontaneous act of His will. When the Lord Jesus Christ died He put forth a great energy. He willed to die. And so in one sense we may say that His death was a great manifestation of His power.

II. Consider that the Lord tasted death. A man may die in a moment, and then he does not taste death. But all that was in death was concentrated in the cup which the Lord Jesus Christ emptied on the cross. He was made a curse for us; He was left alone with the power of darkness. But though He emptied the cup of wrath, though all the waves and billows of death went over Him, He continued to live, to trust, to love, to pray. He gained the victory in the lowest depth of His agony.

III. He tasted death by the grace of God for every man. We speak about the pardon of sins; we are pardoned, but all our sins have been punished. All our sins were laid upon Jesus, every one was punished. In the Cross there is not merely the forgiveness of sins, but there is the actual putting away of all our sins; and the Apostle explains to us that this great marvellous mystery of the death of Christ as our Substitute, bearing our sins, bearing our curse, enduring the penalty of our sins, and overcoming all our enemies (that is, the law of Satan and death), that this is in order to manifest unto us the fulness of the perfection of God.

A. Saphir, Expository Lectures on the Hebrews, vol. i., p. 118.



Verse 6

Hebrews 2:6

Faith.

I. When man rises above the merely savage state, he begins to show some signs of faith; some evidences of his looking forward to a future; some reliance upon powers which are unseen. For, observe, the savage lives by his bow or his nets; the next step is to the pastoral or agricultural life. The shepherd must trust to the sun that warms and to the rains that moisten, and the ploughman must trust to the bounteous earth and the gracious season, and look forward to the harvest which promises, and guard against the scarcity which threatens. He begins, then, to show faith, and a firm conviction that he will have the good things he looks for, though the ripened grain and blessed harvest be as yet unseen.

II. As man advances in the scale of civilisation, this faith in the future goes on ever increasing; there is a more unselfish looking forward, a more far-reaching prudence, a desire to conciliate even a posterity as yet unborn. As men get nobler and wiser and holier they look further and further. According as a man is animated by a lofty purpose or a merely selfish one, so his view is wider and far-reaching, or confined and paltry; according as his faith in things hoped for is firm and unwavering, and his conviction of the reality of things unseen is deep and reverent, so is he ready to dare and suffer to the utmost in any way his faith requires of him. They that love God, the Unseen, must trust Him, must believe that He is; and they that seek Him humbly and devoutly, will find their faith in Him grow, and their love for Him increase, and so receive from Him ever a fuller and fuller assurance of their acceptance.

A. Jessopp, Norwich School Sermons, p. 108.


References: Hebrews 2:6.—T. B. Dover, A Lent Manual, p. 66. Hebrews 2:6, Hebrews 2:7. —W. H. Dallinger, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxii., p. 360. Hebrews 2:6-8.—A. Rowland, Ibid., vol. xx., p. 164; W. H. Dallinger, Ibid., vol. xxxiv., p. 200.


Verse 8-9

Hebrews 2:8-9 (R. V.)

History is a succession of economies or dispensations, of which the Christian is the crown and completion. It follows on the rest, realises all they designed, and embraces the whole future of the coming world. The threads of the ages have been woven in the great loom of Time with the weft of the Divine purpose and the ways of human experience, and on the web is traceable in clear characters the God-given sovereignty of man. In the world that is coming man is king. "All things shall be put in subjection to him," like captured slaves to the authority and use of their conqueror,

I. "Not unto angels has God subjected the coming world." Angels filled and crowded Hebrew thought for a long time, as God's "mighty ones," the swift-winged messengers who delighted to do His will; agents of deliverance, as for the imprisoned Peter, and of punishment, as for Sennacherib. "Ministering spirits sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation "; and thus they had aided the Jew in the explanation of the phenomena of life, and solved the more mysterious problems of supernatural and divine action. But not to these "men in lighter habit clad" had God subjected the coming world of manhood, the advancing goodness and perfecting character and service of the sons of God.

II. But if to man, to what man is this sceptre of dominion finally granted? To all and sundry, and to them all alike, simply as men, or to particular races or one race of men? To whom is the ultimate leadership of the world to be given? We believers are the heirs of the coming world, and belong to the meek who are now beatified with salvation, and destined ultimately to inherit and rule the earth. Not "the great white race," but the great Christian race rises to joint-heirship with Christ Jesus in the salvation, and service, and sovereignty of the future of humanity.

III. On this earth and amongst men—"we see Jesus"; and though, in seeing Him, our first glimpse may only confirm the impression that man has not yet fully entered on his inheritance; yet the deeper look assures us that he is on his way to it, has already been anointed with the oil of joy above his predecessors and contemporaries, and, though suffering, is really ascending by suffering to the throne from which He shall rule for evermore. ''We see Jesus," Son of Mary, "man of sorrows," "made a little lower than the angels"; but "crowned with glory"; crowned, indeed, for sacrifice, but for the sacrifice which draws all men to Him, and wins them to loving and ardent loyalty to His authority, and makes them "kings and priests unto God." That sight explains the ages' long delay; the dissolution and disappearance of the ancient and illustrious Jewish religion, and is the indefeasible pledge and guarantee that the sovereignty of man shall yet be realised, and all things be put under His feet. The Conqueror of Calvary shall take man's crown from the dust and put it on his head. The Redeemer from sin shall break the chains of man's long servitude, and lift him at once to freedom and power.

J. Clifford, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xl., p. 241.


Manhood crowned in Jesus.

The text brings before us a threefold sight.

I. Look around us. "We see not yet all things put under man." Where are the men of whom any portion of the Psalmist's words is true? "All are yours and ye are Christ's." If so, what are most of us but servants, not lords, of earth and its goods? We fasten our very lives on them; we tremble at the bare thought of losing them; we give our best efforts to get them—we say to the fine gold, "Thou art my confidence." We do not possess them, they possess us; and so, though materially we may have conquered the earth, spiritually the earth has conquered us. What then? Are we to abandon in despair our hopes for our fellows, and to smile with quiet incredulity at the rhapsodies of sanguine theorists like David? If we confine our new wealth—yes. But there is more to see than the sad sights around us. Looking around us, we have indeed to acknowledge with plaintive emphasis, "We see not yet all things put under Him "; but looking up, we have to add with triumphant confidence that we speak of a fact which has a real bearing on our hopes for men, "we see Jesus."

II. So, secondly, look upwards to Jesus. Christ in glory appears to the author of this epistle to be the full realisation of the Psalmist's ideal. What does Scripture teach us to see in the exalted Lord? It sets before us (1) a perpetual manhood; (2) a corporeal manhood; (3) a transfigured manhood; (4) sovereign manhood.

III. Finally, then, look forward. Christ is the measure of man's capacities. We too shall be exalted above all creatures,—far above all principality and power, even as Christ is Lord of angels. What that may include we can but dimly surmise. Nearness to God, knowledge of His heart and will, likeness to Christ, determine superiority among pure and spiritual beings. And Scripture, in many a hint and half-veiled promise, bids us believe that men who have been redeemed from their sins by the blood of Christ, and have made experience of departure and restoration, are set to be the exponents of a deeper knowledge of God to powers in heavenly places, and, standing nearest the throne, become the chorus leaders of new praises from lofty beings who have ever praised Him on immortal harps.

A. Maclaren, Sermons in Manchester, 2nd series, p. 170.


References: Hebrews 2:8, Hebrews 2:9.—R. Lorimer, Bible Studies in Life and Truth, p. 273. Hebrews 2:9.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii., No. 777; vol. xxv., No. 1509; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ii., p. 213.


Verse 10

Hebrews 2:10

Life ascending into Heaven.

I. At the moment that our blessed Lord was standing on the Mount of Olives, in the early morning, with a few faithful men around Him, and passed up into heaven in their sight, victorious, to begin His everlasting reign—at that moment the whole world lay in its many thousand years' sleep of sin, and knew Him not; at that moment Jerusalem stood with its great walls, strong and bright as usual, and the sentinel passed to and fro; and here in Britain, in the great forests and the wild wastes, the native tribes hunted and fought, all unconscious of the early dawn on the far distant Eastern hill, and the Lord of life beginning His reign. It is a fact of the very simplest kind, that the whole world has changed, and has become practically a new creation, since that hour of the ascension, and because of that hour. The conquering spirit of life now reigns. That is the great truth of this day, this ascension time.

II. And we need to be reminded of it, because of the other truth, which is part of it, that on this earth there is no triumph of truth, only a victorious working, always unfinished, always to the human eye, at its best, the little company on the hill, with a sleeping hostile world against them. Note the seed-like character of the life of the ascension. Its intense vitality wrapped up in a seed. How, at the very moment of victory, Christ ascending in triumph, Lord of all the worlds, is represented by a small company, at dawn of day, on a hilltop. Stand with Him, and look down on the sleeping world, and be not discouraged. You are not overmatched. The smallest seed of life in your hearts will live and prevail. We serve the King of heaven, Christ ascended; He knows His own and their trials.

E. Thring, Uppingham Sermons, vol. i., p. 218.


Christian Suffering.

I. Christian perfection does in some degree consist in, or rise out of, Christian suffering. Christian perfection is the working out of Christian character, up to the height of the Divine ideal. The means by which Christian character is to go on to that perfection is Christian suffering; for in order that you may have perfection, in order that your Christian character may be crowned, it must be consolidated by the acquirement of Christian virtues; and it is by the power of suffering that Christian virtues are acquired. (1) Christian humility, which is one of the very deepest, most fundamental, as well as most beautiful Christian virtues, is the result of Christian suffering. (2) Patience is also a result of suffering; the "trial of our faith" is to "work patience." (3) Courage is born of suffering. If we are to crown our Christian life with courage, it must be by Christian suffering.

II. If we are to go on to perfection, we require elevation of nature and purification of heart. What are the powers of purification and elevation? I answer, without the slightest fear of challenge, The power of separation, and the power of aspiration towards God; or, to put it in simpler language, the power of sacrifice and the power of prayer. (1) Prayer preeminently springs from suffering. If a man prays he lives. Once let the clouds come; once let us lose a friend whom we have loved; once let us stand face to face with the great revealer—Death; once let health give way, or circumstances change, or sorrows rain down upon us, then, then preeminently if we are Christians, we learn to pray. (2) Purification comes from a deep sense of immortality. Now that sense of immortality is deepened by suffering, for it is suffering that teaches us what this world is. It is suffering that brings the gayest, the most trifling to be real at last. Therefore it is suffering that helps to purify our lives.

III. Christian perfection comes from Christian suffering. Suffering in itself works no perfection. (1) If your suffering is Christian suffering, it must be willingly accepted for the love of God. (2) To suffer as a Christian is not only that; it implies also looking unto Him. To keep our eyes steadily fixed upon the King of suffering is to see what suffering was, in God's life, as He came to bear sin in His human nature.

W. J. Knox Little, Characteristics of the Christian Life, p. 96.


References: Hebrews 2:10.—H. Bushnell, Christ and His Salvation, p. 219; Expository Sermons on the New Testament, p. 256; C. J. Vaughan, Lessons of the Cross and Passion, p. 76; R. W. Dale, The Jewish Temple and the Christian Church, p. 57; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. viii., p. 144; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 326; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. viii., No. 478; C. Kingsley, National Sermons, p. 17; Homilist, vol. iv., p. 402; 3rd series, vol. i., p. 345; J. Oswald Dykes, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 97. Hebrews 2:10-14.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. i., p. 418. Hebrews 2:10-18.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iii., p. 186.


Verse 11

Hebrews 2:11

The Mystery of Godliness.

I. Our Lord has the Divine nature, and is of one substance with the Father, which cannot be said of any creature. He it was who created the worlds; He it was who interposed of old time in the affairs of the world, and showed Himself to be a living and observant God, whether men thought of Him or not. Yet this great God condescended to come down on earth from His heavenly throne, and to be born into His own world; showing Himself as the Son of God in a new and second sense, in a created nature, as well as in His eternal substance. Such is the first reflection which the birth of Christ suggests.

II. And next observe, that since He was the All-holy Son of God, though He condescended to be born in the world, He necessarily came into it in a way suitable to the All-holy, and different from that of other men. He took our nature upon Him, but not our sin; taking our nature in a way above nature. He came by a new and living way, by which He alone has come, and which alone became Him.

III. When He came into the world He was a pattern of sanctity in the circumstances of His life, as well as in His birth. He did not implicate and contaminate Himself with sinners. He came down from heaven, and made a short work in righteousness, and then returned back again where He was before He came into the world; and He speedily left the world, as if to teach us how little He Himself, how little we His followers, have to do with the world. He could not rest or tarry upon earth; He did but do His work in it; He could but come and go. And while He was here, since He could not acquiesce or pleasure Himself in the earth, so He would have none of its vaunted goods. When He humbled Himself to His own sinful creation, He would not let that creation minister to Him of its best, as if disdaining to receive offering or tribute from a fallen world. He came to it as a benefactor, not as a guest; not to borrow from it, but to impart to it. He who was so separate from the world, so present with the Father even in the days of His flesh, calls upon us, His brethren, as we are in Him, and He in the Father, to show that we really are what we have been made, by renouncing the world while with the world, and living as in the presence of God.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. v., p. 86.


The Brother born for Adversity.

I. The relation of a brother. What is the essential feature of this family relationship as compared with others, close and dear, which we sustain? Surely it is that father, mother, brother, sister, wife, child belong to us, are part of our very being; while in the same measure we belong to them. There is a oneness which precludes the idea of separate interests; interests, cares, sorrows, hopes, joys, are common. Our brethren are obeying the instincts of their own hearts, and seeking their own noble ends, in the sympathy and help they may extend to us. The sense of indebtedness hardly enters into the service on either side. The brother who helps, urges no claim in helping; the brother who is helpful, feels no debt but to love. It is a delight to them to undertake for us in our necessity. There then is an association, a relationship, which has an element of rest, of satisfaction in it, which no other known to man in this world offers; fairest type on earth of the relationships of that celestial state where love reigns supreme in the universal brotherhood, of which the Lord Christ is the Elder Brother, and the great Father is the Head.

II. It is precisely this relationship which by His Incarnation and Passion the Saviour claims. He seeks to give us a relation that we can rest upon; which will draw us by the bands of fraternal sympathy to His strength when we are weak, to His bosom when we are weary and long for rest. We have wearied God with our sins, we cry. The sense of the profound wrong we have done Him is the heaviest part of life's burden. There is that in man which is unable to repose in the naked idea, nay, even in the naked assurance of God. We want some natural bond of union, some natural relationship in which we can rest. Hence the essential gladness of the glad tidings, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

III. It is said in a passage of the Book of Proverbs that "a brother is born for adversities." That He might know our souls in adversities surely the elder Brother of the great human family was born in the human home, tasted all pure human experiences, and made Himself familiar with all forms of human pain. We are of His kindred, the brethren of Christ. It is no pity that moves Him to us; it is pure and perfect love. God is pleading His own cause in pleading against our sins. The battle which God is fighting in our hearts is the battle for which He made the great universe to be the theatre, and in which the devil's triumph would rob Him of His everlasting glory and joy.

J. Baldwin Brown, The Sunday Afternoon, p. 10.


References: Hebrews 2:11.—Homilist, 2nd series, vol. iii., p. 102; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ix., p. 279; H. W. Beecher, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 199. Hebrews 2:11-13.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 453.


Verses 11-18

Hebrews 2:11-18

I. The first truth which is brought before us in these verses is, that Jesus, who is not ashamed to call Himself brother, and us His brethren, is one with us. We who are sanctified by Him, and He who sanctifies, are of one. Christ is He who sanctifies. The source and power of sanctification are in Jesus the Son of God, our Saviour. He is the foundation, source, method, and channel of our sanctification. The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, is sent by Christ to glorify Him, and to reveal and appropriate to us His salvation. We are conformed to the image of Christ by the Spirit, as coming from Christ in His glorified humanity. II. Jesus, by His experience, by His sufferings, and, above all, by His death, has become a merciful and faithful High Priest. We are now on earth, in the flesh, sin around and within us. How can the Holy God look on us, and grant us blessings? How can there be communion between heaven and earth? Jesus is ascended, and having put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, presents us to the Father, and we are holy and unblameable before Him, and Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are able to send down the fulness of blessings, of grace and strength; to have communion with us, notwithstanding all our sin and defilement. Christ is a merciful High Priest, not merely full of pity, compassion, and grace, but full of sympathy. He is most lovingly and earnestly anxious that we should always obtain the victory, and suffer no injury; for having gone through all the conflict Himself, without a single moment's wavering or surrender, He wishes us to be found continually in Him, and to conquer continually. He is faithful in bringing down to us all the gifts of God; all the counsel, will, and blessings of the Most High; faithful in taking up to God all our need and trial; all our petitions, fears, and tears; all our sufferings, and all our works.

A. Saphir, Expository Lectures on the Hebrews, vol. i., p. 142.



Verse 14-15

Hebrews 2:14-15

In Bondage to the Fear of Death.

I. There is no real ambiguity in the passage before us, though it may appear so at the first glance, in the use of the word death. Our Lord is said, by means of death, to have destroyed him who has the power of death. On the first occasion of its use, death means of course the death of the body; the completion of the life of suffering which is in itself inchoate death. In the second instance, the death, of which the devil is the source and power, includes more, for it includes the death of the soul. But the Christian writers look upon death, whether that of the body or soul, as the victory of a power opposed to God. As God is the God, not of the dead, but of the living, so He is the God of life, not of death. Every one who has died since Adam has yielded to a conqueror, and confessed his power. It is the curse of sin, that only through defeat can we conquer. We watch a Christian deathbed, and see it calm and triumphant; but it is the triumph of a confidence that is in obedience to power; in submission is victory.

II. The fear of death is not connected with any special religion. It belongs to the constitution of our being. We are made to love life, and to shrink from annihilation. Christ died, not to remove the necessity of death, but to deprive it of its sting; to rob the grave of its victory. Death remains; the last enemy, whose defeat is not yet, but seen in the light of Christ's revelation, and encountered in His Spirit, its triumph is annulled. For the Christian's triumph over sin is the pledge and foretaste of his triumph over death. The resurrection of the soul is earnest of the resurrection of the body. Death is a curse still; but we are no longer slaves to it when once we feel the stronger arm on which we may lean, the rod and staff which are at hand to comfort. And we may feel that He who has power to kill the body is welcome to the victory, since Christ has obtained for us the salvation of the soul.

A. Ainger, Sermons in the Temple Church, p. 87.


References: Hebrews 2:14.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iv., No. 166; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 111; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 273; Bishop Westcott, The Historic Faith, p. 59. Hebrews 2:14, Hebrews 2:15.—Church of England Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 3; F. Lawrence, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvi., p. 267; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 454. Hebrews 2:14-16.—Homilist, 2nd series, vol. iii., p. 109. Hebrews 2:14-18.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 249. Hebrews 2:15.—Ibid., vol. xiv., p. 43.


Verse 16

Hebrews 2:16

Christian Sympathy.

I. We are all of one nature, because we are sons of Adam; we are all of one nature, because we are brethren of Christ. The thought of Him, "the beginning of the creation of God," "the first-born of every creature," binds us together by a sympathy with one another, as much greater than that of mere nature as Christ is greater than Adam. All those common feelings which we have by birth are far more intimately common to us now that we have obtained the second birth—One thing needful, one narrow way, one business on earth, one and the same enemy, the same dangers, the same temptations, the same afflictions, the same course of life, the same death, the same resurrection, the same judgment. All these things being the same, and the new nature being the same, and from the same, no wonder that Christians can sympathise with each other, even as by the power of Christ sympathising in and with each of them.

II. Nay, and further, they sympathise together in those respects, too, in which Christ has not, could not have gone before them—I mean in their common sins. We have the same gifts to sin against, and therefore the same powers, the same responsibilities, the same fears, the same struggles, the same guilt, the same repentance, and such as none can have but we. The Christian is one and the same, wherever found; as in Christ, who is perfect, so in himself, who is training towards perfection; as in that righteousness which is imparted to him in fulness, so in the righteousness which is imparted to him only in its measure, and not yet in fulness. We are much more like each other, even in our sins, than we fancy. Perhaps the reason why the standard of holiness is so low, why our attainments are so poor, our view of truth so dim, our belief so unreal, our general notions so artificial and external, is this, that we dare not trust each other with the secret of our hearts. If it be awful to tell to another in our own way what we are, what will be the awfulness of that day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed? Now, though there be shame, there is comfort and soothing relief; though there be awe, it is greater on the side of him who hears than of him who makes avowal.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. v., p. 116.


References: Hebrews 2:16.—J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 8th series, p. 163; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii., No. 90; Homilist, 1st series, vol. vi., p. 264; Preacher's Monthly, vol. x., p. 151. Hebrews 2:16-18.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 455.


Verse 18

Hebrews 2:18

I. The Divine Son of God, before His incarnation in our flesh, was in His own personal being separate from the sons of men. The counsels of infinite love resulted in His becoming the Saviour of the world—of that world whereof man was the head and lord. It pleased Him, in His amazing condescension, to plant Himself in the root of our human nature, which had fallen from God and from love. We all see and know how necessary this was. But we do not, perhaps, so often reflect upon the necessity which there was, that He should take upon Him human infirmity, and trial, and suffering, for a reason that sprang, not so much from Divine as from human requirements. He knew, he felt, as a Creator, all that we suffer. But one link was wanting to bind Him to us—in fact, a gulf of vast extent lay yet between us—He had not undergone these things; we had undergone them. He can now be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, not merely because, as our God, He knows them,—and not one pang of the suffering heart is hidden from Him—but for more, because, as our brother, He has Himself felt them; has been a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

II. Christ's temptation was His training for our help in temptation. Not only does He know our frame, and remember that we are but dust, but each trial of our faith and constancy finds a vibrating chord in His personal being. His temptation was His training, and it is our help. Do you find Christ not sufficient for your day of temptation? It is because your view of Christ wants enlarging and deepening. But this is not all. Christ is not a fact but a Person. Study the character and acts of Jesus, but with a view to know not only more about Him, but more of Himself, by personal communion.

H. Alford, Quebec Chapel Sermons, vol. iii., p. 84.


The Efficient Sympathy of Christ.

I. The Suffering. (1) It was personal suffering. This is impressively indicated by the use of the word Himself. (2) It was positive and most painful suffering. (2) In all its reality, variety, and extent, it bore the special character of temptation.

II. The Succour. (1) This succour is accompanied with the truest sympathy. Our knowledge of temptation or trial is measured by our personal endurance of it. (2) This succour is imparted with the utmost promptitude. (3) This succour is conveyed in the form of actual deliverance, or effective relief, or, at least, adequate support.

E. Thomson, Memorials of a Ministry, p. 264.


References: Hebrews 2:18.—J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. x., p. 377; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., p. 487; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 279; A. Rowland, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxvi., p. 246; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iv., p. 89; vol. x., p. 78; Homiletic Magazine, vol. vi., p. 153.



 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Hebrews 2:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/hebrews-2.html.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology