|The writer of Hebrews quotes verbatim from the OT Greek rather than the Hebrew.
THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET:panta hupetaxas (2SAAI) hupokato ton podon autou: (He 2:5 1:13 Ps 2:6 Da 7:14 Mt 28:18 Jn 3:35 13:3 1Co 15:27 Eph 1:21,22 Php 2:9-11 1Pe 3:22 Rev 1:5,18 5:11, 12, 13 )
Click for comments by F B Meyer on Hebrews 2:8 (from The Way into the Holiest)
Remember that in this verse the writer is still referring to man as the primary subject, even as he prepares us for the contrast of the God Man in the next verse.
All things - means no exceptions including the angels are to be in subjection to man. Adam, was given dominion over the earth and all its creatures, but sin intervened and "the last Adam" (1Cor 15:45), redeems and thus regains for man his forfeited dominion.
Man's sovereignty was meant to be all-inclusive including the administration of "the world to come." He was crowned king of nature, invested with a divine authority over creation but oh how far short of this destiny has we come!
Subject (5293) (hupotasso from hupó = under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner) means literally to place under in an orderly fashion. In the active voice hupotasso means to subject, bring under firm control, subordinate as used in (see note Romans 8:20). Hupotásso means to submit (to yield to governance or authority), to place in subjection. Hupotásso was a military term meaning to draw up in order of battle, to form, array, marshal, both troops or ships. Hupotásso meant that troop divisions were to be arranged in a military fashion under the command of the leader. In this state of subordination they were now subject to the orders of their commander. Thus, it speaks of the subjection of one individual under or to another. Hupotasso was also used to describe the arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in order that one might carry out effective warfare!
Under his feet - The king’s throne was always elevated, and everyone who came into his presence bowed down before him and sometimes even kissed his feet. His subjects, therefore, were often spoken of as being under his feet. When man is one day given the right to rule the earth, all God’s creation will be put under man’s feet. That is man’s destiny and will reveal and restore his glory and honor and rule over God's creation.
Under (5270) (hupokato from hupó = under, + káto = down) means down under, beneath, underneath.
FOR IN SUBJECTING ALL THINGS TO HIM HE LEFT NOTHING THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO HIM: gar hupotaxai (AAN) auto ta panta ouden apheken (3SAAI) auto anupotakton:
Nothing (3762) (oudeis from ou = not +dé = but + heis = one) means not even one (thing).
BUT NOW WE DO NOT YET SEE ALL THINGS SUBJECTED TO HIM : nun de houpo oromen (1PPAI) auto ta panta hupotetagmena (RPPNPA): (Job 30:1-12 41:1-34 1Co 15:24,25)
But now - a very sad note!
Not yet - a very hopeful note!
Not yet (3768) (houpo) is an adverb an adverb negating an extension of time beyond a certain point. Not even today in the day of internet and technology capable of putting a man on the moon has man reached the goal intended by God for him - the real "human potential"! Such is the costly price of sin! Not yet as alluded to above is a good time phrase for it it indicates the delay is not permanent but temporary. The writer's use of not yet projects an optimistic outlook he desires to pass on to his struggling, tempted readers. It is as if he is saying "not yet… but just wait, because the best is yet to come!" One day this subjection of all things will be a reality.
Wuest notes that "now comes a sad note. The words, “But now we see not yet all things put under him,” point to the fact that Adam through his fall into sin, lost the dominion he had before enjoyed. He was no longer master of himself. He had become a fallen creature, with a totally depraved nature. He was a slave to sin. The animal kingdom was subservient to him not now through affection but fear. The ground, instead of yielding only good things, now produced also thorns, weeds, and other harmful things. Extremes of heat and cold, poisonous reptiles, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, all conspired to make his life a constant battle to survive. He had lost the dominion over all these things." (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)
William MacDonald - Everything will be put under man’s authority in that coming day —the angelic hosts, the world of animals, birds, and fishes, the planetary system—in fact, every part of the created universe will be put under his control. This was God’s original intention for man. He told him, for instance, to “fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Why then don’t we see all things in subjection under him? The answer is that man lost his dominion because of his sin. It was Adam’s sin that brought the curse on creation. Docile creatures became ferocious. The ground began to bring forth thorns and thistles. Man’s control over nature was challenged and limited. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
|BUT WE DO SEE HIM WHO HAS BEEN MADE FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS NAMELY, JESUS: blepomen (1PPAI) ton de brachu ti gar aggelous elattomenon (RPPMSA) Iesoun :
More literally it could be rendered "And Him who was made some little less than messengers we see -- Jesus -- because of the suffering of the death, with glory and honour having been crowned, that by the grace of God for every one he might taste of death.
Click for comments by F B Meyer on Hebrews 2:9 (from The Way into the Holiest)
Spurgeon explains that…
See (991) (blepo) means to see frequently in the sense of becoming aware of or taking notice of something. Blepo denotes voluntary observation. The writer uses it in the sense of urging his readers to "take care" (see to it) later in the letter writing…
In another usage of blepo that somewhat parallels the sense of the use in Hebrews 2:8 (note) the writer exhorts his readers to not forsake their…
In Hebrews 11 he uses blepo in the well known definition of "faith" (and illustrates it with Noah building the ark despite never having seen rain) writing that…
Spurgeon on Jesus - He is not, indeed, in this text referring to any seeing of the Lord by mortal eyes at all; he is speaking of faith. He means a spiritual sight of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sight is very frequently used in Scripture as a metaphor, an illustration, a symbol, to set forth what faith is. Faith is the eye of the soul. It is the act of looking unto Jesus. In that act, by which we are saved, we look unto him and are saved from the very ends of the earth. We look to Him, and we find salvation. It does not say, “We can see Jesus”—that is true enough; the spiritual eye can see the Savior. Nor does it say, “We have seen him”—that also, glory be to God, is a delightful fact. We have seen the Lord, and we have rejoiced in seeing Him. Nor does the text say, “We shall see him,” though this is our pride and our hope, that “whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is” (1 John 3:2). But the text says, “We see Jesus.” We do see Him now and continually. This is the common habit of the Christian. It is the element of his spiritual life; it is his most delightful occupation; it is his constant practice. We see Jesus, for we are sure of His presence, we have unquestionable evidence of His existence, we have an intelligent and intimate knowledge of His person. Our soul has eyes far stronger than the dim optics of the body, and with these we actually see Jesus.
We do not see man triumphant, but we do see Jesus. How? Moses gives us a clue…
Jesus (He 8:3 10:5 Ge 3:15 Isa 7:14 11:1 53:2-10 Ro 8:3 Ga 4:4 Php 2:7, 8, 9) - as noted by Vincent "the use of the human name, Jesus, at this point, is significant. In this epistle that name usually furnishes the key to the argument of the passage in which it occurs. See notes Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 12:2)
Also imagine yourself as a Jewish reader and here for the first time you encounter the name Jesus.
Wuest goes on to add that a Jewish reader "would say to himself that the name Jesus in the Greek text is just the transliteration of the Hebrew name Jehoshua, the name of the God of Israel that points to His distinctive nature as the One who saves. The idea of Deity would come to his mind. But as he read on, he would see incarnation in the words, “who was for a little time made lower than the angels.” And that would lead him to the Person who in the Gospels was spoken of as Jesus of Nazareth. Up to this point, the writer has not mentioned the name Jesus to his Jewish readers. He was well aware of the fact that they were in a frame of mind in which they would be hard to handle. The controversy centered around the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to the Messiahship. At one time some of these Jewish recipients of this letter had acknowledged Him as such, with an intellectual assent to the fact, but not a heart acceptance of His Person and Work. Now, they were drifting away from their former position. The writer up to this point had spoken of the Son as superior to the prophets and the angels. Now, he suddenly says that the Son is the Jehoshua of the Old Testament and the Jesus of Nazareth of the New. The vision of Jesus which the writer wishes to bring to his readers is that of the Son incarnate, glorified, crowned with glory and honor, seated at the right hand of God, a position of glory and honor which the saved of the human race will share with Him in His future Millennial glory and earth dominion. That is the glorious ray of light which the writer brings into the dark picture of man’s present estate. (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)
BECAUSE OF THE SUFFERING OF DEATH CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOR: dia to pathema tou thanatou doxa kai time estephanomenon (RPPMSA): (Ps 21:3, 4, 5 Ac 2:33 Rev 19:12)
Because - term of explanation
Suffering (3804) (pathema from páscho = suffer. The suffix –ma = that which is suffered, experience a sensation/suffer pain) describes what happens to a person and must be endured (misfortune, calamity). It is almost always plural (sufferings).
Jesus was crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death. Christ’s exaltation and preeminence over the angels was won through humiliation and death.
Vincent writes that…
Christ's suffering was not an accident but foreknown and preordained by God, Peter declaring to the Jews on his first post-Pentecost sermon that…
In the KJV of the Revelation John writes that Jesus was…
Death (2288) (thanatos) is literally a physical separation of the soul from the body. Every form of death in the NT is treated not as a natural process but always as a destroying power related to sin and its consequences. This is certainly true in the case of the sinless God Man…
Crowned (4737) (stephanoo from stephanos = crown - see word study) literally meant to adorn one with an honorary wreath which served as the "crown" of the victor in the Greek public games. It is fitting that crowned is in the perfect tense which signifies the permanence of this crown.
This particular Greek verb emphasizes Christ finishing the course and receiving the stephanos, the Victor's crown ("oh death where is your victory"). Paul's famous passage records this exaltation.
It follows that Christ is our example to follow "in His steps" that we receive a stephanos! Peter expands this idea writing…
THAT BY THE GRACE OF GOD HE MIGHT TASTE DEATH FOR EVERYONE: hopos chariti theou huper pantos geusetai (3SAMS) thanatou: (By the grace: Jn 3:16 Ro 5:8,18 8:32 2Co 5:21 6:1 1Jn 4:9,10) (Taste: Mt 6:28 Mk 9:1 Lk 9:27 Jn 8:52 ) (For everyone: Jn 1:29 12:32 2Co 5:15 1Ti 2:6 1Jn 2:2 Rev 5:9)
Spurgeon says He tastes death - Thus lifting man back into the place where he first stood so far as this matter of dominion is concerned. Oh, how glorious it is to realize our position in Christ, and to see how He has lifted us up, not merely to the place from which the first Adam fell, but He has made us stand so securely there that we shall not again descend among the ruins of the Fall! Glory be to His holy name!
That (3704) (hopos) means in order that (see discussion of terms of purpose or result) and introduces a purpose clause which is pregnant with meaning. The author puts Christ's death in behalf of (huper) or even better instead of (we were guilty and condemned to die eternally) every man as the motive for His incarnation and death on the Cross.
By (dia) defines the instrumentality or channel.
On the phrase by the grace of God, Octavius Winslow's words are so apropos "Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy; but the Father, for love!
Grace (5485) (charis) (Click word study on charis) refers to God's unmerited favor (Acrostic = God's Riches At Christ's Expense). Grace is costly. There is no room for a philosophy or theology of "cheap grace". Grace made it possible for Jesus to taste death for you and for me!
As D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said "The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God."
Oswald C. Hoffman rightly spoke of the Son of God's love and the grace bestowed on Him "Grace is love that gives, that loves the unlovely and the unlovable."
Thomas Adams said that "Grace comes into the world as the morning sun into the world; first a dawning, then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness.'
Thomas Brooks - Grace is a ring of gold, and Christ is the sparkling diamond in that ring.
Vincent writes that "God manifested His grace in giving Christ the opportunity of tasting death for every man, and so abolishing death as a curse. The same thought of glory in humiliation is expressed in John 1:14. To be called to the office of “apostle and high-priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1), an office which involved personal humiliation and death, was to be “crowned with glory and honour,” and was a signal token of God’s favour. Note John 12:23, 28; 13:31, 32, in which Jesus speaks of his approaching passion as itself his glorification. Compare Hebrews 3:3 (note). It was desirable to show to Jews who were tempted to stumble at the doctrine of a crucified Messiah (Gal. 3:13), that there was a glory in humiliation (Hebrews 2: Word Studies)
Francis Burkitt said it well that "Grace is glory begun, and glory is grace consummated. Grace is glory in the bud, and glory is grace in the fruits. Grace is the lowest degree of glory, and glory the highest degree of grace.
Taste (1089) (geuomai) means to taste with one's mouth and is a figure of speech meaning to "come to know" something, not with just to sample but to partake fully. It was used idiomatically to mean "to experience something to the full". When used in this connection, it gives prominence to what is really involved in dying. It means here that Jesus died, with all that that entails. It even makes one thing of the "sour wine" the soldiers gave him.
Moffatt observed that this taste was "a bitter experience, not a rapid sip."
Spurgeon writes of His tasting of death - Thus lifting man back into the place where he first stood so far as this matter of dominion is concerned.
Death (2288) (thanatos) it is worth reiterating signifies a physical separation of the soul from the body. Every form of death in the NT is treated not as a natural process but always as a destroying power related to sin and its consequences.
As Puritan writer Stephen Charnock stated "The doctrine of the death of Christ is the substance of the gospel."
As John Murray says "He humbled himself to the accursed death of the cross. There were no lower depths possible, for the cross bespeaks the whole curse of God upon sin. It is humiliation inimitable, unrepeated, unrepeatable.
A. Sapir writes 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. (Expository Lectures on the Hebrews)
For (huper) means for the benefit of. It speaks of substitution, in this context of Christ's substitutionary death for everyone.
For everyone - Note the truth that Jesus tasted of death for every man is clear testimony to the universality of His atonement (in contrast to the aberrant theology of a "limited" atonement taught by some).
As J. H. Vincent phrased it "He himself was forsaken that none of his children might ever need to utter his cry of loneliness.
He died that we might be forgiven,
Paul wrote that Messiah…
Jesus Himself testified that…
John spoke of the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice writing…
His death was in behalf of every one (not everything as the early Greek theologians took it).
On the other hand, the writer of Hebrews is not teaching universalism (that everyone will be saved) as is commonly taught in many liberal Protestant pulpits today! To reiterate, what this truth teaches is the death of Christ was sufficient for all, and efficient for some (for the "some" who come and drink the water of life by grace through faith).
Octavius Winslow's Devotional…
F B Meyer writes (in The Call and Challenge of the Unseen)
THE FIERY ORDEAL OF TEMPTATION
Heb. 4:15, 2:9-10
WHAT is God doing at this moment? He may be creating new worlds; may be work-ing up into new and beautiful shapes what we should account as waste products; or may be preparing to unveil the new heavens and the new earth. But there is one thing of which we may be sure: He is bringing many sons unto glory! In order to help these to the uttermost, the Son of God was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. It was real temptation, for He suffered being tempted; but being perfected through the terrible ordeal, He has become the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Let us learn His talisman of victory!
This bringing of many sons unto glory is a long and difficult process, for three reasons:
(1) It is necessary that we should be created as free agents, able to say "No" as well as "Yes."
(2) We have to choose between the material world, which is so present and very attractive to our senses, and the eternal, spiritual, and unseen. But the choice is inevitable if we are to really know things. We can only know a thing by contrast with its opposite:
(3) There is a realm of evil spirits constantly regarding us with envious hatred, and bent on seducing us from the paths of goodness and obedience. They are adepts at their art.
If it be asked why we are placed in circumstances so perilous, so trying, the answer, so far as we can formulate it, is that we are being tested with a view to the great ministries awaiting us in the next life. We are to be priests and kings! There are vast spaces in the universe that may have to be evangelized or ruled or influenced for righteousness. It may be that important spheres of ministry are needing those to fill them who have learned the secret of victory over materialism on the one hand, and over the power of Satan on the other. We know that there was war in heaven before Satan and his angels were cast down to earth, and there may be another, and yet another. Therefore earth may be the school, the training-ground, the testing-place for the servants and soldiers of the hereafter. This thought need not be in conflict with, the ideals of rest and worship which we are wont to associate with the future life. Eternity will give opportunities for all I But, if it became Him of whom and through whom are all things to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through the suffering of temptation, it stands to reason that His comrades and soldiers must pass through the same, that they may become more than conquerors, and, having overcome, may sit with Him on His throne, as He overcame and is set down with His Father on His throne.
The first temptation on record is that of our first parents in Eden. It is a masterpiece of psychology. The experience of all after-time has added nothing to this marvellous analysis.
1. Temptation is more formidable when we are alone f Solitude is full of peril, unless it is full of Christ!
2. Some outward object, or some fancy of the mind, attracts our attention. It may be an apple, a face, a gratification, the lure of popularity, or money. The longer we look at it the stronger the fascination grows. Some birds are mesmerized by the fixed gaze of their foe at the foot of the tree. The longer we gaze at something forbidden, the stronger its mesmeric power. While we continue to look, the tempter covers the walls of imagery with more definite and attractive colors, and his ideals imperiously demand realization in act. Our only hope is to tear ourselves away from those basilisk eyes; to hasten from the haunted chamber; to escape, as Joseph did in the house of Potiphar.
3. If we linger, many thoughts will gather to ply us--all of them suggested by the tempter, who speaks through the voice of our own soul. These suggestions will question the love and wisdom which have forbidden. "Perhaps we have placed an exaggerated interpretation on our limitations and prohibitions. Are they not rather arbitrary? Would it not be good to know evil just once, that it might be avoided ever after? Besides, is it not necessary to know evil in order to realize good? Perhaps it would be better to satisfy the inner craving for satisfaction by one single act; then the hungry pack of wolves would at least be silenced! After all, is it not probable that if one were to know the forbidden thing it would be so much easier to warn others?" Such are the reasonings in which the tempted shelter themselves, not realizing that the only certain way of knowing evil is not by committing, but by resisting it.
4. Finally, we take the forbidden step, eat the/or-bidden fruit; the garment of light which veiled our nakedness drops off; the tempter runs laughing down the forest glade; a shadow falls on the sunshine, and a cold blast whistles in the air. Our conscience curses us, and we die, i.e. we cease to correspond to our proper environments, which are God, purity, and obedience. Eve ought to have dropped that apple like a burning coal, and hurried from the spot; but, no; she lingered, ate, and gave to "her husband; so sin entered into the world; and sin opened the door to pain, travail, sorrow, the loss of purity, the loss of God's holy fellowship in the cool of the day, the fad-hag of the garden, and the reign of death and the grave.
The Temptation of our Lord.
1. It came after the descent of the Spirit as a dove. We may always expect deep experience of the tempter to follow close on the highest moments of spiritual exaltation. Where you have mountains you must look for valleys!
2. He was led of the Spirit to be tempted; clearly, then, temptation is not sin. A holy nature might go through hell itself, assailed by clouds of demons, and come out on the farther side untainted. So long as the waves of evil break on the outward bulwarks of the spirit they are innocuous. Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.
3. The sword of the Spirit and the shield, against which the darts of evil fall blunted to the ground, are the words of the ever-blessed God, and the upward glances of a steadfast faith. Remember how Jesus said, "it is written "; "it is written again." He is also the Pioneer and Perfection of faith!
4. Each temptation which He overcame seemed to give Him power in the very sphere in which it had sought His overthrow.
He was tempted to use His power to satisfy His own hunger; but, having refused to use it selfishly, He was able to feed five thousand; and four thousand men, besides women and children.
He was tempted to cast Himself from the wing of the temple to the dizzy depth below, in order to attract attention to Himself; but having refused, He was able to descend into Hades, and then ascend to the Father's throne; to lay down His life and take it again for a world of sinners.
He was tempted to adopt Satan's method of gaining adherents by pandering to their passions; but He refused, and adopted the opposite policy of falling into the ground to die, of treading the winepress alone, of insisting that it is not by yielding to passion, but by self-denial, self-sacrifice, and the Cross that salvation is alone to be obtained. Therefore, a great multitude, which no man can number, have washed their robes and made them white in His blood, and stand before the throne.
Having, therefore, met temptation in the arena, and mastered it in its threefold spheres--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--Jesus is able to succor them that are being tempted; and if they should fail He is able to understand, because He has gone every step of the way Himself, and is well acquainted with its perils. He can easily trace the lost sheep on the mountains, because He has The Fiery Ordeal of Temptation marked every pitfall and the lair of every enemy. He has looked over the cliff-brink to the bottom, where those who have missed the track "in the cloudy and dark day" may be lying; and when He has found them He brings them home on His shoulder rejoicing.
Our Own Temptations. We all have to pass through the wilderness of temptation, the stones of which blister our feet, and the air is like a sirocco breath in our faces.
1. All God's sons are tempted. As we have seen, we only know light by darkness, sweet by bitter, health by disease, good by evil resisted and overcome.
"Oh, where is the sea?" the fishes said,
As they swam through the crystal waters blue! ""
They had never been out of it, and .so were in ignorance of that which had always been their element.
2. The pressure of temptation is strictly limited. When Satan approached God with regard to Job, he was on two occasions restricted to a fixed barrier, beyond which he might not go. In the case of Peter also, when he obtained permission to approach him, he could only go so far as to sift him as wheat; he might rid him of chaff, but not hurt anything essential. Remember also that glorious announcement "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).
3. As you live near God the temptation gets deeper down in your nature. You are aware of it in subtler forms and disguises. It attacks motives rather than the outward habits and actions.
One summer afternoon, when I came down to the Auditorium at Northfield, Massachusetts, I found Mr. Moody and his brother on the platform, and between them a young apple tree, just digged up and brought from the neighboring orchard. There were about a thousand people in the audience. When I reached the platform the following dialogue took place:
Mr. Moody to his brother: "What have you here?" "An apple tree," was the reply. "Was it always an apple tree?"
"Oh no, it was a forest sapling, but we have inserted an apple graft."
Mr. Moody to me: "What does that make you think of?"
"You and I were forest saplings," said I, "with no hope of bearing fruit, but the Jesus-nature has been grafted into us by the Holy Spirit."
To his brother: "Does the forest sapling give you trouble?"
"Why, yes," said the gardener. "It is always sending out shoots under the graft, which drain off the sap."
"What do you do with them?"
"We pinch them off with our finger and thumb; but they are always coming out lower down the tree."
Then he turned to me and asked if there was anything like it in the spiritual life, to which I replied: "It is a parable of our experience. The old self-life is always sending out its shoots, and we can have no mercy on them; but if we deal with the more superficial sins on the surface of our life, as we get older we realize their deeper appeals, and to the end of life shall be more and more aware of their sinister power. The quick sensitiveness of age must not be ignored or overlooked. It may be as strong a shoot in the old forest sapling as the manifestations of passion in earlier life. Old men, for instance, may be jealous of young ones, and quick to take offence if there are symptoms of their being put aside."
4. Temptation is not in itself sin, but we cannot say, as our Saviour could, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." We cannot appropriate those last words. We know that all the inner gunpowder magazines are not emptied. Therefore it is just as well, after a severe time of testing, as the demons leave us, to ask ourselves if there has been some subtle response in the depths of our nature it may be forgiven. We must not risk the loss of ship or cargo because the combustion is so slow and so deep in the hold.
5. In the hour of temptation affirm your union with your all-victorious and exalted Saviour! Stand in His victory! You are part of" His mystical Body; take your rightful position! God has set Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies; be sure to come down on your foe from the heights of the throne. It is always easier to fight down from the mountain slope than up from the lowland valleys. You can be more than a conqueror through Him that loved you; but abide in Him.
6. Always ask the Saviour to hold the door on the inside. Satan will burst it open against your feeble strength; but when Jesus stands within all hell will be foiled. Though ten thousand demons are at you, in your patience possess your soul!
7. One other point is of immense importance. Be sure to claim the opposite grace from Christ. The fact that an attack is being made at a certain position in your fortifications proves that you are weakest there. When therefore the tempter advances to the attack, and you are aware of his strategy, take occasion to claim an accession of Christ's counterbalancing strength. When tempted to quick temper, "Thy patience, Lord!" To harsh judgment, "Thy gentleness, Lord!" To impurity, "Thy purity, Lord!"
"By all hells hosts withstood,
We all hews hosts o'erthrow;
And conquering ,till by Jesus" blood,
We on to victory go.'"
Sometimes temptation will come upon us in the hatred and opposition of man, and we shall be strongly tempted to use force against force, strength against strength, and to employ weapons of flesh and blood. This is not the best. The raging foe is best encountered by the quiet faith and courage which enable a man to go boldly forward, not yielding, not daunted, not striking back. Hand the conflict over to the Captain of your salvation. It is for you simply to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Love the truth more than all, and go on in the mighty power of God, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; in nothing daunted by your adversaries, but witnessing a good confession, whether man will bear or forbear. "Greater is he who is in you than he that is in the world."
It may be that this earth on which we find ourselves is the Marathon or the Waterloo of the universe. We are as villagers who were born on the site and are implicated in the issues of the war. We are not merely spectators but soldiers, and whether in single combat or in the advance of the whole line, it is for us to play a noble part. Full often in the history of war the achievements of a single soldier have changed the menace of defeat into the shout of victory. Think of David's conflict with Goliath; of the three that held the bridge in the brave days of old; and of the Guards at Waterloo! From their high seats the overcomers, who in their mortal life fought in the great conflict for the victory of righteousness and truth, are watching us. Are they disappointed at our handling of the matter? Are we worthy to call ourselves of their lineage, or to be named in the same category? Fight worthily of them, whether in private secret combat, or in the line of advance, that you may not be ashamed at the grand review!
Fight first against the wicked spirits that antagonize your own inner life. Repeat the exploits of David's mighties: of Benaiah, who slew a lion in a pit in time of snow; of the three who broke through the Philistines' lines and drew water from Bethlehem's well for their king; of Amasai and his host, the least of whom was equal to a hundred. Every lonely victory gained in your closet and in your most secret sacred hour is hastening the victory of the entire Church. Listen! Are not those the notes of the advancing conquering host? Are not the armies of heaven already thronging around the Victor on His white horse?
It is high time to awake out of sleep I The perfecting of God's purpose is at hand! The return of the Jews to Palestine; the budding of the fig tree; the bankruptcy of politicians and statesmen; the threatened overthrow of European civilization; the rise of Bolshevism; the new grouping of the nations for war, notwithstanding the appeals of the League of Nations; the awful havoc of Spiritism; the waning of love; all these are signs that we stand at the junction of two ages. The one is dying in the sky, tinting it with the sunset; the other is breaking in the East, and the cirrus cloudlets are beginning to burn. Let us then put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, that when He shall come in His glorious majesty to receive the kingdom of the world, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore!
J C Philpot has the following devotional thoughts on Hebrews 2:9…
FOR IT WAS FITTING FOR HIM FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS AND THROUGH WHOM ARE ALL THINGS: Eprepen (3SIAI) gar autôi di on ta panta kai di ou ta panta pollous: (Fitting: He 7:26 Ge 18:25 Lk 2:14 24:26,46 Ro 3:25,26 Eph 1:6, 7, 8 2:7 3:10 1Pe 1:12) (For Whom: Pr 16:4 Isa 43:21 Ro 11:36 1Co 8:6 2Co 5:18 Col 1:16,17 Rev 4:11)
For (gar) (term of explanation) - gives the reason why "the grace of God" required that Jesus "should taste death."
It was fitting (4241) (prepo) means to be fitting or right, suitable, appropriate proper. It was appropriate that action taken to help man should include suffering, since suffering is mankind's common lot. Prepo does not describe a logical necessity or an obligation growing out of circumstances but an inner fitness so to speak in God's dealings.
For Him - The Father not the Son. Here the writer refers to the sovereign God, even offering up a doxology of sorts.
For Whom - This indicates that God is the objective or goal of all creation. In other words all things were made for His glory and pleasure.
Spurgeon writes that…
Through Whom - God is also the Source or Originator of all creation and nothing was made apart from Him. It also indicates that the sufferings and death of Jesus are not accidental for they form part of the eternal world purpose of God and facilitates the great purpose of the God Who works all things after the counsel of His will (see note Ephesians 1:11)
Wuest explains it this way - The fact that God the Father decreed that it must be through the blood of Christ’s Cross that the Captain of our salvation would become the Saviour of sinners, did not find its origin in a divine fiat, but in the very constitution of the nature of God. A holy God cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance. A righteous God cannot but require that the demands of the violated law be satisfied. And a loving God cannot but provide the very payment of the penalty which His law demands. Thus, the writer shows the sweet reasonableness of the Cross. And because only God can satisfy the demands of God, so only the Messiah who is one of the Persons of the Godhead, could in the great plan of salvation, provide the sacrifice. God the Father provides the salvation, God the Son procures it, and God the Holy Spirit applies it.
IN BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY: ta panta pollous huious eis doxan agagonta (AAPMSA): (Many: Ho 8:10 Jn 11:52 Ro 8:14, 15, 16, 17, 18,29,30 9:25,26 2Co 6:18 Ga 3:26 Eph 1:5 1Jn 3:1,2 Rev 7:9) (glory: Ro 9:23 1Co 2:7 2Co 3:18 4:17 Col 3:4 2Ti 2:10 1Pe 5:1,10)
Bringing (71) (ago) means leading along, bringing, carrying. The Son precedes the saved on the road to heaven, clearly declaring to all who have ears to hear…
The writer of Hebrews in a parallel passage states that the blood of Jesus has open our way into the Holy of holies…
To glory - Understand what this means. We should stop and ponder what the writer has said in this short phrase. We should remember that we were sinners and spiritually helpless ones who were hostile and alienated to God and yet who have now been reconciled to God through the blood of His Son and are being prepared for the final redemption of our bodies in glory, bodies that are fully conformed to the image of His Son! The thought that the Almighty Who had everything and needed nothing even bothered with us should shock us out of our spiritual lethargy and laziness so that we are motivated to be diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing us as His own possession, His very sons who are His inheritance forever in glory. This calls not just for a "Praise the Lord" but for a veritable "Hallelujah Chorus"! Amen. The writer will now proceed to explain the cost of our glorification. God found a way of saving us that was worthy of Himself. He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place.
Regarding the believer's new sonship in the family of God, Paul writes that…
In Ephesians Paul explained that we were in the heart and on the mind of God before the foundation of the world, Paul recording…
TO PERFECT THE AUTHOR OF THEIR SALVATION: ton archegon tes soterias auton dia pathematon teleiosai (AAN): (Perfect: He 5:8,9 Lk 13:32 24:26,46 Jn 19:30 )(Author: He 6:20 12:2 Jos 5:14,15 Isa 55:4 Mic 2:13 Ac 3:15 5:31)
Regarding the phrase to perfect the Author, E F Harrison emphasizes that "Since His sinlessness is an accepted fact, it is clear that the perfection is viewed as a fitness for the fulfilling of the office assigned to Him (The Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In Bibliotheca Sacra 121:484 October-December 1964:338.)
Spurgeon - Not that Christ needed to be made perfect in nature, but perfect in his capacity to be the Captain of our salvation, complete in all the offices which He sustains toward His redeemed people. He must be a Sufferer that He may be a Sympathizer; and hence His sufferings made Him perfect. Is it not wonderful that the Christ, Who is the Head over all things, could not be perfected for this work of ruling, or for the work of saving, except by sufferings? He stooped to conquer. Not because there was any sin in Him, but that He might be a sympathetic Ruler over His people, He must experience sufferings like those of His subjects; and that He might be a mighty Savior, He must be Himself compassed with infirmity, that He might “have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” Brothers and sisters, do you expect to be made perfect without sufferings? It will never be so with you.
We shall never be fit for the Heavenly Canaan unless we first pass through the wilderness. There are certain things about us which require this, so thus it must be. (Ed: See notes and quotes on suffering and trials - 1 Peter 1:6; 1:7)
To perfect (5048) (teleioo related to teleios from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal, consummate soundness, idea of being whole) means to accomplish or bring to an end or to the intended goal (telos). It means to be complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness or in good working order. It does not mean simply to terminate something but to carry it out to the full finish which is picked up in the translation "perfected".
Teleioo signifies the attainment of consummate soundness and includes the idea of being made whole. Interestingly the Gnostics used teleios of one fully initiated into their mysteries and that may have been why Paul used teleios in this epistle.
In Hebrews 12:2 (see note) Jesus is designated as "the author and perfecter of faith" where perfecter is teleiotes, the Completer, the One Who reached the goal so as to win the prize so to speak.
Wuest has this note on the NT word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes)…
Richards commenting on the word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) writes that
NIDNTT has an excellent discussion of the Greek background of this word group noting that…
Telioo is used 19 times of 24 total NT uses in Hebrews, often in the sense of to make perfect or fully cleanse from sin in contrast to ceremonial (Levitical) cleansing. The writer is emphasizing the importance of perfection… (which should cause any Jew who is contemplating the worth of Christ and the New Covenant to realize his utter hopelessness to every attain perfection under the Old Covenant).
In sum the fundamental idea of telioo is the bringing of a person or thing to the goal fixed by God.
It is interesting and doubtless no mere coincidence that in the Septuagint (LXX) teleioo is translated numerous times as consecrated or consecration, especially speaking of consecration of the priests (cf Jesus our "great High Priest") (Ex 29:9, 29, 33, 35 Lv 4:5; 8:33; 16:32; 21:10; Nu 3:3). The LXX translators gave the verb teleioo a special sense of consecration to priestly service and this official concept stands behind the writer's use in this passage in Hebrews 5:9 (note). It signifies that Jesus has been fully equipped to come before God in priestly action.
Study the other 15 NT uses of telioo (other than the 9 in Hebrews)
Morris writes that "To the question as to how the holy God could be "made perfect," the answer is that if He would also be perfect man, He must learn obedience to the will of the Father, and true obedience can only be tested if it involved suffering (Hebrews 5:8,9). (Defenders Study Bible)
Believer's Study Bible - To make Jesus "perfect through sufferings" does not mean that any imperfection, spiritual or moral, existed in Christ's nature. Rather, He fully experienced the suffering of humanity through complete identification with humanity. The word "perfect" has the idea of "completion." (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)
Vincent - To make perfect does not imply moral imperfection in Jesus, but only the consummation of that human experience of sorrow and pain through which he must pass in order to become the leader of his people's salvation.
The Author - The pioneer, pathfinder, founder, originator, captain of a company of followers, file leader.
Author (747) (archegos form arche = beginning/rule + ágo = lead) can denote a leader, a ruler, or one who begins something as the first in a series. The term was used for both human and divine heroes, founders of schools or those who cut a path forward for their followers and whose exploits for humanity were rewarded by exaltation.
See the similar picture of Jesus as our Forerunner in (Hebrews 6:20)
In Greek writings archegos was used of a "hero" who founded a city, gave it a name, and became its guardian. It also denoted one who was "head" of a family or "founder" of a philosophic school. The term also had distinct military connotation referring to a commander of an army who went ahead of his men and blazed the trail for them!
Archegos always refers to someone who involves others in his endeavor. For example, it is used of a man who starts and heads a family, into which others are born or married. It is used of a man who founds a city, in which others come to live. It was commonly used of a pioneer who blazed a trail for others to follow. The archegos never stood at the rear giving orders. He was always out front, leading and setting the example. As the supreme Archegos, Christ does not stand at the rear giving orders. He is always before us, as perfect Leader and perfect Example.
Archegos is variously translated as “Author” (NASB, NIV) “Captain” (KJV), “Pioneer” (NRSV), “Leader” (cf. TEV) or “Champion.”
Archegos is used 4 times in the NT, here in Hebrews 2:10 and in the verses below, every use speaking of Jesus…
Archegos describes the one leading off or blazing the trail as a pioneer. Jesus has led the way to life. Real life begins with death of our old man on the Cross, rendering his power inactive in our lives.
Vincent feels that the rendering of archegos as "author, which misses the fact that the Son precedes the saved on the path to glory. The idea is rather leader, and is fairly expressed by captain."
Alford - He who has thus been shown to be the “Captain of salvation” (KJV) to the “many sons,” by trusting and suffering like them, must therefore become man like them, in order that His death may be efficacious for them.
Salvation (4991) (soteria from soter = Savior in turn from sozo = save, rescue, deliver) (Click here or here for in depth discussion of the related terms soter and sozo) describes the rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction and peril. "Salvation" is a broader term in Greek than we often think of in English. Other concepts that are inherent in soteria include restoration to a state of safety, soundness, health and well being as well as preservation from danger of destruction. It means to save a suffering one from perishing, to make them well or heal them and to restore them to health.
The idea of salvation is that the power of God rescues people from the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death which is followed by eternal separation from the presence of His Glory. Salvation delivers the believer from the power of sin (see discussion on Romans 6-8 beginning at Romans 6:1-3)
Salvation carried tremendous meaning in Paul’s day, the most basic being “deliverance,” and it was applied to personal and national deliverance. The emperor was looked on as a "savior" as was the physician who healed you of illness.
It is interesting that Collin's (secular) dictionary defines "salvation" as
In short, this "so great a salvation" is not just escape from the penalty of sin but includes the ideas of safety, deliverance from slavery and preservation from danger or destruction.
In addition, this "so great a salvation" includes the idea of what is often referred to as the Three Tenses of Salvation (justification = past tense salvation = deliverance from sin's penalty, sanctification = present tense salvation = deliverance from sin's power and glorification = future tense salvation = deliverance from sin's presence). It follows that the discerning student will check the context to determine which of the three "tenses" a given use of soteria is referring to.
Mankind has continually looked for salvation of one kind or another. Greek philosophy had turned inward and begun to focus on changing man’s inner life through moral reform and self-discipline. The Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus called his lecture room “the hospital for sick souls.” Epicurus called his teaching “the medicine of salvation.” Seneca taught that all men were looking ad salutem (“toward salvation”) and that men are overwhelmingly conscious of their weakness and insufficiency in necessary things and that we therefore need “a hand let down to lift us up”. Seneca was not far from the truth as Scripture testifies
Salvation through Christ is God’s powerful hand extended down to lost souls to lift them up.
In context of Hebrews 1, this great salvation has first of all such a great Savior, Who has completed the purification for our sins (which deserved death) & has furnished us with His ministering angels to help those who will inherit salvation. This salvation was first spoken thru the Lord Jesus (it not so clearly spoken in the OT)
THROUGH SUFFERINGS: dia pathematon:
Through (1223) (dia) speaks of the instrument by which salvation was made available. The way to the Crown is through the Cross. This basic principle is still true today for His followers, who are called to take up His cross in this life with the sure hope of glory in the next life. Why do we chaff at this clear (powerful) Biblical teaching in the modern evangelical church? You've heard it - God's desire is not our happiness but our holiness. It's not about our glory but His.
Puritan John Owen sounds the right chord in light of this profound truth "We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at his unspeakable love.
And as William Penn rightly reminds us "Though our Saviour's passion is over, His compassion is not.
Suffering (3804) (pathema from páscho = suffer. The suffix –ma = that which is suffered, experience a sensation/suffer pain) describes what happens to a person and must be endured (misfortune, calamity). It is almost always plural (sufferings).
If one recoils at the idea of God making Christ perfect, he should bear in mind that Hebrews 2 emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. The writer does not say that Jesus was sinful but simply that "by means of sufferings" God perfected His Son in His human life and death for his task as Redeemer and Saviour. One cannot know human life without living it. There was no moral imperfection in Jesus, but he lived His human life in order to be able to be a sympathizing and effective leader in the work of salvation.
Warren Wiersbe aptly observed that 'Calvary is God's great proof that suffering in the will of God always leads to glory."
Adam Clarke explains this passage as "Without suffering he could not have died, and without dying he could not have made an atonement for sin. The sacrifice must be consummated, in order that he might be qualified to be the Captain or Author of the salvation of men, and lead all those who become children of God, through faith in him, into eternal glory.
|In his book The Way Into the Holiest, F B Meyer entitles Chapter 6…
PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS
"It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10.
No attempt is made in these words to minimize the sufferings of Christ. That were impossible and superfluous. He is King in the realm of sorrow; peerless in his pain; supreme in his distress. Though earth be full of sufferers, none can vie with our Lord in his. Human nature is limited. The confines of its joys or sorrows are soon touched. The pendulum swings only hither and thither. But who shall estimate the capacity of Christ's nature? And because of it, he could taste the sweets of a joy beyond his fellows, and of sorrow so excessive as to warrant the challenge: "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger." If it be true, as Carlyle says, that our sorrow is the inverted image of our nobility, how deep must the sorrow have been of the noblest of our race! Well may the Greek liturgy, with infinite pathos, speak of his "unknown sorrows."
Shall the sufferings of Christ cause us to reject Christ? Ah, strange infatuation! As well reject the heaven because of its sun, or night because of the queenly moon; or a diadem because of its regal gem; or home because of mother. The sufferings of Christ are the proudest boast of the Gospel. He himself wears the insignia of them in heaven; as a general, on the day of triumph, chooses his choicest order to wear upon his breast. Yes, and it was the deliberate choice of him, "for whom are all things, and by whom are all things "-and who must, therefore, have had every expedient at his command-that the path of suffering should be his Son's way through our world. Every track through creation is as familiar to Omniscience as the tracks across the hills to the gray-haired, plaided shepherd. Had he wished, the Father might have conducted the Son to glory by another route than the thorny, flint-set path of suffering. But the reasons for this experience were so overwhelming that he could not evade them. Nothing else had been becoming. Those reasons may be stated almost in a sentence.
Our Father has on hand a work greater than his original creation. He is "bringing many sons unto glory." The way may be rugged and tedious; but its end is glory. And it is the way along which our Father is bringing us; for, since we believe on the Son, we have the right to call ourselves sons (John 1:12). And there are many of us. Many sons, though only one Son. We do not go solitarily along the narrow way. We are but part of a multitude which no man can number. The glory of which we have already spoken, and into which Jesus has entered, is not for him alone, but for us also. "Many sons" are to be his joint-heirs; reigning with him on his throne, sharing his unsearchable riches and his everlasting reign.
But all these sons must tread the path of suffering. Since the first sin brought suffering to our first parents, and bloodshed into the first home, there has been but one lot for those who will live Godly. Their road leads to glory; but every inch of it is stained with their blood and watered by their tears. It climbs to Hermon's summit; but it descends immediately into somber and devil-haunted plains. It conducts to the Mount of Olives, with its ascension light; but it first traverses the glades of Gethsemane, the wine-press of Golgotha, the solitude and darkness of the grave.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
What true soul has not its wilderness of temptation; its conflicts with Sadducees and Scribes; its hour of weariness and watching; its tears over cities full of rebellious men; its disappointments from friends; its persecutions from foes; rejection, agony, friendlessness, loneliness, denials, trial, treacheries, deaths, and burials? Such is the draught which the noblest and saintliest have drunk from the golden chalice of life.
Foreseeing our needs, our Father has provided for us a Leader. It is a great boon for a company of pilgrims to have a Great-heart; for an army to have a captain; for an exodus to have a Moses. Courageous, sagacious, and strong leaders are God's good gifts to men. And it is only what we might have expected that God has placed such a One as the efficient Leader at the head of the long line of pilgrims, whom he is engaged in bringing to glory. The toils seem lighter and the distance shorter; laggards quicken their pace; wandering ones are recalled from by-paths by the presence and voice of the Leader, who marches, efficient, royal, and divine, in the van. O heirs of glory, weary of the long and toilsome march, remember that ye are part of a great host: and that the Prince, at the head of the column, has long since entered the city; though he is back again, passing as an inspiration along the ranks as they are toiling on.
Our Leader is perfect. Of course this does not refer to his moral or spiritual attributes. In these he is possessed of the stature of the perfect Man, and has filled out, in every detail, God's ideal of manhood. But he might have been all this without being perfectly adapted to the work of leading many sons through suffering to glory. He might have been perfect in character, and desirous to help us; but, if he had never tasted death, how could he allay our fears as we tread the verge of Jordan? If he had never been tempted, how could he succor those who are tempted? If he had never wept, how could he stanch our tears? If he had never suffered, hungered, wearied on the hill of difficulty, or threaded his way through the quagmires of grief, how could he have been a merciful and faithful High-Priest, having compassion on the ignorant and wayward? But, thank God, our Leader is a perfect one. He is perfectly adapted to his task. His certificate, countersigned by the voice of inspiration, declares him fully qualified.
But this perfect efficiency, as we have seen, is the result of suffering. In no other conceivable way could he have been so effectively qualified to be our Leader as he has been by the ordeal of suffering. Every pang, every tear, every thrill, all were needed to complete his equipment to help us. And from this we may infer that suffering is sometimes permitted to befall us in order to qualify us to be, in our poor measure, the leaders and comforters of our brethren, who are faltering in the march. When next we suffer, let us believe that it is not the result of chance, or fate, or man's carelessness, or hell's malevolence; but that perhaps God is perfecting our adaptability to comfort and succor others. Are there not some in your circle to whom you naturally betake yourself in times of trial and sorrow? They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very counsel you are longing for; you do not realize, however, the cost which they had to pay ere they became so skillful in binding up gaping wounds and drying tears. But if you were to investigate their past history you would find that they have suffered more than most. They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung. They have seen the golden bowl of joy dashed to their feet, and its contents spilt. They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping gourds, and noon sunsets; but all this has been necessary to make them the nurses, the physicians, the priests of men. The boxes that come from foreign climes are clumsy enough; but they contain spices which scent the air with the fragrance of the Orient. So suffering is rough and hard to bear; but it hides beneath it discipline, education, possibilities, which not only leave us nobler, but perfect us to help others. Do not fret, or set your teeth, or wait doggedly for the suffering to pass; but get out of it all you can, both for yourself and for your service to your generation, according to the will of God. Suffering educates sympathy; it softens the spirit, lightens the touch, hushes the tread; it accustoms the spirit to read from afar the symptoms of an unspoken grief; it teaches the soul to tell the number of the promises, which, like the constellations of the arctic circle, shine most brilliantly through the wintry night; it gives to the spirit a depth, a delicacy, a wealth of which it cannot otherwise possess itself. Through suffering he has become perfected. His sufferings have purchased our pardon. He tasted death for every man. But his sufferings have done more in enabling him to understand experimentally, and to allay, with the tenderness of one who has suffered, all the griefs and sorrows that are experienced by the weakest and weariest of the great family of God. So far, then, from rejecting him because of his sorrows, this shall attract us the more quickly to his side. And, amid our glad songs, this note shall predominate: "It behooved Christ to suffer." "In the midst of the throne, a Lamb as it had been slain."
The Way Into the Holiest