Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
In a previous time God spoke to man through the prophets, but now (“these last days”) He has spoken through His son, Jesus Christ. Additionally, God appointed Him heir of all things and through Him created the world.
Opening to the letter of Hebrews, written to Jews that had believed and obeyed the gospel. The writer is beginning his argument and evidence for why everything is better in Jesus by pointing to the prophets (and angels) that had, in times past, delivered God’s message.
Jesus made three direct statements about His mission on earth (which was God’s mission13). First, He said He came to “seek and to save the lost”3. This is possibly the most well-known fact about His mission. He was the remedy for sin12,15, culminating in His death, burial, and resurrection10. The salvation aspect of His mission is repeated and reiterated several times in Scripture in various ways2,5,6, including Jesus’ own analogy of Himself to a door and a shepherd11.
Second, Jesus said that He came to “bear witness to the truth”1. Specifically, He ushered in the gospel of the kingdom of God9. The words He spoke were from the Father (John 17:14-17) which He embodied12 by becoming flesh (John 1:1,14). This is highlighted when Jesus says He came not to bring peace but a sword4 and when Paul says the Old Law was nailed to the cross7. It was a fulfilling all that had been communicated by God to that point14 and freeing us from fleshly sin to live in/with His Spirit12.
Third, Jesus said He came “for judgment”8…which links to the first two. Jesus came to judge all mankind8 against the truth1,9 of God’s word. Those that accept/believe Him (e.g. enter through “the door”11) receive eternal salvation2,3,8,10.
Jesus was asked this exact question by His disciples1 and we have a rare instance in which Jesus gives a direct answer to a direct question. His reason was not that it was an “effective teaching method” or because it would make it “memorable” or “easy to understand.” In fact, it was just the opposite1,4. The disciples needed to ask what they meant2,7 and later, Jesus would actually contrast the practice with speaking “plainly about the Father”3.
The message of the kingdom is hidden1,5 for those that are not truly listening2 for it (or, as other Scripture puts it, seeking it). Teaching in parables (or figures of speech3) was Jesus’ practice7 as a prophet of God6 in order to distinguish those that were truly seeking truth4. This was consistent with how God spoke through His prophets of old8.
The New Testament begins with the books called the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the accounts of the life of Jesus. Jesus was the Son of God and promise of the new covenant. But did Jesus live under the new covenant? Jesus lived under2,3 the [more]
The "Root of David" is a proper name used in Scripture, in particular in the book of Revelation1. As is typical in Bible books of prophecy, a highly figurative and visual term is used to describe something...but what? Many times, we are not able to absolutely assert the prophets' [more]
Did Jesus sin while He walked the earth? Some might argue the question is mute, believing that He couldn't sin since He was the Son of God. However, Scripture is clear on that point -- while Jesus was the Son of God, He was at the same time fully human. [more]
Our top five images of the church are powerful! In fact, God very often communicates in His word through imagery and metaphors, and why wouldn't He given their use "takes an abstract, hard to understand idea and compares it to a simple, concrete, well-understood idea" ("Why Metaphors are Important", [more]
Scripture doesn't comment about the time of Christ in typical human terms. The exact dates of his birth or death are not mentioned. But that's not to say that Scripture is silent about the time of Christ. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about the time of [more]
There is a belief among some that Jesus did not accomplish all that He came to earth to do. On the surface, the suggestion that God could fail and that Jesus did not accomplish His mission seems absurd. Yet, this seems to come primarily from some premillennial thought and teaching [more]
Sin is an unfortunate reality in this world. The remedy for sin and evil in this world has been pursued and framed by many different movements. Recently, the "New Age" philosophy has centered around man's own ability to do better or be better. This "look inward" approach to the [more]
He came to earth once, and when Jesus returns it will be different. He came to earth the first time on a mission. When Jesus returns a second time, there won't be a literal thousand year reign nor will He even come all the way down to earth. [more]
Inspired by the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland in 1998, U2 wrote a song called "Peace on Earth". The song challenged the very premise of its title. In the bombing's aftermath, Bono, the Irish-native and lead singer confessed, "the whole 'peace on earth, goodwill to all men' struck a sour [more]
God's plan for a savior is fundamental to His plan of salvation. Messiah, or "lit. 'the anointed one,' is a saviour or liberator of a group of people". We can read about the life of this Messiah, Jesus Christ, in the four Gospels. However, looking at God's plan for a savior [more]
The concept that God was fully human is a difficult one for mere mortals to grasp. Even the phrase "God incarnate" does not give the full impact. According to Dictionary.com the word incarnate means "embodied in flesh; given a bodily, especially a human, form". The idea of "God fully human" [more]
Many believe that Jesus will reign 1000 years when He returns (the doctrine of "millennialism"). In fact, the Bible says that, "they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him [Jesus] for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6) However, it's just one verse. Could it [more]
Did Jesus perform miracles because He was compassionate? This is the typical reason given by many. Possibly influenced by the popularity of the "social gospel" in modern Christianity, it's often assumed that Jesus performed miracles purely as an act of compassion. Indeed, Matthew records at the feeding of the five [more]
Where Jesus is today is a simple enough question. However, level-setting on the answer can be foundational in understanding other aspects of the Godhead. It can also be the first step in understanding other characteristics and responsibilities for the Son of God. Jesus is in heaven, seated at [more]
What Christian's believe and how they have come to understand what the Bible teaches isn't always shaped purely by Scripture. The Ancient Greek influence of Gnosticism has had a profound and enduring effect on Christian thought. Indeed, that may be the case in needing to ask the question, "For [more]
A literal return of King David is a tenant of much of the modern religious thought today. Purveyors of premillennial doctrine, such as David Jeremiah, teach that King David will return in the flesh to rule alongside Jesus during the thousand year reign on earth. The prophets have much to [more]
Helping the needy was a central activity of Jesus during His short public ministry. Whether He was healing the sick, feeding the poor, even raising the dead, we see Jesus helping the needy in various ways. In fact, his reputation for helping the needy spread, and great crowds would [more]
The awaiting of Jesus' second coming and Jesus return to earth are synonymous. (Of course, just like some false teachers taught in the first century, some believe Jesus has already returned.) Our emphasis here is the "to earth" specifically. This is the unchallenged position of many Christians today. It's [more]
A literal one thousand year reign of Jesus on His throne. There are many that believe Jesus' return is for just that - a literal one thousand year reign (millennium) on earth. It is widely taught and even passed down as "church doctrine." It is a teaching that comes [more]
Jesus' mission is something that can be confused with His actions. What Jesus came to this world to do (Jesus' mission) and what he did (Jesus' activities) are not necessarily the same thing. For example, one of the things He did was feed the hungry. But was that Jesus' [more]
"It's a miracle!" That's an exclamation we hear often and have probably uttered ourselves. It might be used to describe passing a test you didn't study for or to sum up a great, come-from-behind victory. For example, the great Olympic victory by the U.S. Men's Hockey team is known as [more]
Must an apostle see Jesus? This question gets raised when attempting to justify the appointment of apostles today. The word "apostle" in the Greek (apóstolos) literally means "one who is sent" or "to send off" or simply "messenger". Therefore, while the word could be applied to any missionary or emissary, [more]
Christ's church goes by many, many different names in this day and time. The signs in front of Christian churches testify to the countless denominations that exist as well as thousands of independent or non-denominational groups. Christ's church may indeed be hard to identify with a sign. Wikipedia defines a [more]
A parable as defined by Dictionary.com is "a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson" or "a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like." If we were to just take this [more]
You've probably seen the red-letter Bible -- in fact, you probably own one. These Bibles place all of Jesus' words in prominent red letters in order to stand out from all the other recorded words in Scripture. This is obviously a man-made introduction to Scripture, along with the chapter/verse [more]
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