The Promised Son

Hebrews 1, Matthew 21
English
Year: 
2022
Quarter: 
1
Lesson Number: 
3

                                                   Lesson 3 The Promised Son

                        (Hebrews 1, Matthew 21)

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: What does the beginning of Hebrews teach us about Jesus? Two weeks ago we studied that the introduction to Hebrews started with praising Jesus. Last week we looked at how the first two chapters of Hebrews described the various aspects of Jesus’ work. This week we look at the way the beginning of Hebrews describes the nature of Jesus. We cannot learn too much about Jesus, so let’s dive in! 

  1.    The Son Comes
    1.    Read Hebrews 1:1-2. We previously looked at these verses to see if Hebrews started in the same way as other books written by Paul. Now, let’s look at what is being said.  How long ago had God spoken to His people through prophets? (“Long ago.” When I checked, it turned out to be about 400 years since the last Bible prophet had spoken!)        
      1.    If you were one of God’s people, and God had not spoken to you through a prophet for 400 years, what would you think?
        1.    What could be God’s reason for not communicating for so long?
    1.    Read Matthew 21:33-36. In Jesus’ parable who are the master’s servants? (They are the prophets.)
    1.    Read Matthew 21:37. What is the reason for sending the son?
      1.    Is Jesus talking about Himself?
      1.    If so, is this God’s reason for not communicating for so long with His people?
    1.    Read Matthew 21:38-39 and re-read Hebrews 1:2. What is the reason to rejoice in God speaking to the people through Jesus? (Not only has the communications resumed, but this time Jesus is the Communicator!)
      1.    What is the very dark side of this? (God’s people seem to have learned nothing. They continue their hostility to God.)
      1.    Is this so very different from us? We claim to be God’s followers, but when we hear the word of God we have a hostile reaction?
    1.    Look again at Matthew 21:34. What is God’s goal in sending the prophets and His Son? (To get His fruit.)
      1.    What do you think that means as a practical matter?
        1.    What do Christians do today to kill Christ over the “fruit” issue?
    1.    Look again at Matthew 21:38. What is “his inheritance,” and what is the parallel for us today?
      1.    How does the “fruit” related to “his inheritance?”
  1.   The Son Speaks
    1.    Look again at Hebrews 1:2. Before you hear a public speaker, you normally are given some sort of introduction.  Does the introduction help you to gauge the speaker’s credibility? Verse two tells us that Jesus is the “heir of all things,” and He is the Creator of the world. What does that suggest about Jesus’ credibility? Could you have a more credible speaker?
      1.    Let’s be sure we understand the introduction. How is Jesus the “heir of all things?” (Normally the heir ends up being in charge of the estate.)
        1.    Doesn’t that require the death of the parents?  God the Father is not going to die. What, then, does this mean?
      1.    Verse two also tells us that Jesus created the world. Since He did that, would He have to wait until His Father died to be in charge of the world?
    1.    Read Hebrews 1:3. Where does Jesus sit? (At the right hand of “the Majesty on high.”)
      1.    What does the “right hand” denote? (Jesus is not above God. For that reason, “heir of all things” has to be understood in the context of our Father God.)
    1.    Look again at Hebrews 1:3. How would you interpret the statement that Jesus upholds the universe by the “word of His power?”
      1.    If you asked a secular scientist, the scientist would say that the planets and stars are held together by gravity. Do you think God uses gravity to “uphold the universe?” (This is where things become very interesting. Scientists are able to observe how gravity operates, but they are not able to say why it operates the way it does. They posit the existence of “dark matter” to explain what they don’t understand about gravity. This text tells us that Jesus is gravity.)
      1.    Why do you think the text refers to Jesus’ “word” as the triggering mechanism for His power? (Repeatedly during the account of the creation week (Genesis 1) we find the phrase “God said.” Speaking was the triggering mechanism for the creation of the earth and Hebrews tells us that things still work that way.)
      1.    Why does Jesus need to speak to create and uphold things? Or, does this have something to do with Jesus being described as the “Word” (John 1:1)? (You could view Jesus as the communication from God the Father. Lately, I’ve been reading about Panpsychism. This is the philosophy that mentality is a fundamental part of matter. If all matter has some sort of consciousness, that would explain how Jesus speaks and matter conforms to His instruction.)
  1. The Son Radiates
    1.    Look again at Hebrews 1:3. How do you understand the phrase, “the radiance of the glory of God?” (Normally we think of “radiance” as some sort of shine or glow. I think this says that God the Father shines through Jesus.)
      1.    When this verse tells us that Jesus is the “exact imprint” of God’s nature, could there be any variation between the two?
        1.    If your answer is, “No,” then how do you explain that the picture of God in the New Testament is much more kind and loving than the picture of God in the Old Testament?
          1.   Does this difference reflect a failure of understanding on our part?
    1.    Read Exodus 24:16-17. Consider whether this explains the different Old/New Testament pictures of God? To the people who did not know God, He appeared to be a “devouring fire,” but to Moses it was a time of communion with God. Does that seem right to you?
  1.   The Son is Begotten
    1.    Read Hebrews 1:4-5. When Hebrews compares Jesus to angels by saying that they were not “begotten” of God, does that suggest that Jesus was “born” by God the Father?
      1.    If so, how do we explain that John 1:1 says that Jesus (the Word) was present “in the beginning?” (Read Hebrews 1:8. This tells us that the throne of God is forever and ever. John 1:1 and Hebrews 1:8 together describe an everlasting Jesus. What Hebrews 1:5 must mean by “begotten” is that Jesus came to earth and was born as a human to redeem us.)
      1.    John MacArthur writes about Jesus, “He was always God, but He fulfilled His role as Son in space and time at His incarnation and was affirmed as such by His resurrection (Romans 1:4).” Does that seem to be an accurate description of Jesus as both One who was born and as an everlasting God?
    1.    Friend, if you want to know about the nature of God, simply study the life of Jesus. Many of God’s people in the Old Testament killed both the prophets and Jesus. Will you pray that you will have the right attitude about Jesus and His desire that you bear “fruit” in your life?
  1.    Next week: Jesus, Our Faithful Brother.