Amplified: For both He Who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father]. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren; (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: For he who sanctifies and they who are sanctified must come of one stock. It is for this reason that he does not hesitate to call them brothers, (Westminster Press)
NLT: So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For the one who makes men holy and the men who are made holy share a common humanity. So that he is not ashamed to call them his brothers, (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For both He who sanctifies, and those who are sanctified, are all out of one source, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for both he who is sanctifying and those sanctified [are] all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren
FOR BOTH HE WHO SANCTIFIES AND THOSE WHO ARE SANCTIFIED ARE ALL FROM ONE FATHER: te gar hagiazon (PAPMSN) kai oi hagiazomenoi (PPPMPN) ex henos pantes: (He 10:10,14; 13:12; John 17:19) (Those who are sanctified - He 2:14; John 17:21; Acts 17:26; Galatians 4:4)
For - term of explanation
He Who sanctifies - Referring to Jesus, who goes on to emphasis the unity or oneness He has with those who are His by grace through faith in the New Covenant (see study on The Oneness of Covenant and Oneness Notes - note - this is NOT in any way associated with the cultic teaching of so-called Oneness Pentecostal theology or "Jesus only" teaching!)
Spurgeon- What is meant by the expression, being sanctified? The essential part of sanctification means being set apart for holy uses. That which was meant to be used for God alone was sanctified, set apart, regarded as holy. The vessels of the sanctuary were sanctified when they were used only by the priests in the service of God. Of course; there arose out of this fact, which is the essence of sanctification, the further quality of purity, for that which is dedicated to God must be pure, that which is reserved for his service must not be defiled, it must be clean. We cannot imagine the holy God using unholy vessels in his sanctuary; so that sanctification comes to mean purification, the making of that to be holy which was first of all set apart for holy uses. Holiness of character follows upon holiness of design. First are we set apart for God’s use, and then afterwards we are made pure that we may be fit for God’s use. No man is truly sanctified unless he is sanctified by Christ. The Holy Spirit is made the Agent of our purification, but it is in Christ that we are first of all set apart unto God, and it is by His most precious blood, applied to us by the Spirit of God, that we are made clean and pure so as to be used in the divine service. Believers are the sanctified, and Jesus Christ is the Sanctifier.
The sanctification made possible by the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) is emphasized in the epistle to the Hebrews (undoubtedly because of their Jewish background, familiarity with and reliance upon ritual of animal sacrifices, etc)...
In His great prayer in John 17 just preceding His arrest, trial and crucifixion, our Lord prayed...
MacDonald - The next three verses emphasize the perfection of Jesus’ humanity. If He is going to regain the dominion which Adam lost, then it must be demonstrated that He is true Man. (Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Spurgeon - He who sets them apart and they who are set apart “are all of one.” They are of one nature, and they have one destiny before them. Does not this bring very sweetly before you the close relationship of Christ to His people? He has espoused their nature, and He owns it by calling them brethren. One family; one by nature with Christ our glorious Head. Oh, this blessed condescension of Christ! We are often ashamed of ourselves; alas! we are sometimes so base as to be ashamed of Him; but He is never ashamed to call us brethren.
Sanctifies (37) (hagiazo form hagios = set apart ones in turn from a = privative + ge = the earth ~ because everything offered or consecrated to God was separated from all earthly use) means to set apart, to make holy, to consecrate (as of things set apart for sacred purposes).
A sanctified person or thing is one set apart from ordinary uses to be for God’s own possession, use, and enjoyment. The opposite of sanctification is profanation. Without going into detail, it should be noted that there are four types of sanctification in the Bible: pre-conversion sanctification, positional sanctification (our initial salvation experience when we were justified by faith in Christ, representing a one time setting apart), practical sanctification (where believers live day by day, thus representing an ongoing event until the next stage of our salvation), and perfect sanctification (or glorification, when we see Jesus we will be like Him, 1John 3:2, 3). (See also related topic Three Tenses of Salvation). As you read Hebrews sanctification is used several times and the context should help determine which meaning is in view but sometimes only knowing the verb tense will aid this distinction.
Hagiazo means to render or acknowledge to be venerable or to hallow. It means to separate from things profane and dedicate to God, to consecrate and so render them inviolable. It means to purify or cleanse, either externally as in the Levitical system or to purify by expiation so that one is free from the guilt of sin. n general, Christians are called "holy ones" indicating that they are those who are freed from the impurity of wickedness, having been brought near to God by their faith and sanctity. This latter meaning is seen in Acts were Luke records Jesus' charge to Paul to go to the Gentiles...
Objectively, hagiazo speaks of setting apart of Christ and His church acknowledged as being God's own possession which is set apart for a holy purpose. For example Paul writes that...
Subjectively, hagiazo speaks of spiritual and moral preparation, of making one holy or purifying them as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians...
Those who are sanctified - "Those who are continuously being sanctified" describes an ongoing process - practical sanctification = progressive sanctification = present tense salvation (see notes on the Three Tenses of Salvation)
And so both occurrences of hagiazo in this verse are in the present tense indicates continuous activity. The first use is in the active voice indicating it is the Lord Jesus' continual work in our life. The second use is in the indicating that believers are continually being acted upon by an external agent to bring about the experience of holiness. Holiness is not just our "position" in Christ, but must be become our experiential possession through Christ. We must seek and strive for this to be our life-style, and such a supernatural state is only made possible by the indwelling Spirit working in the heart of the surrendered saint. Try to be holy on your own and you will fail miserably. Oh, to be sure, you might possibly impress men but you will not be pleasing your Father in heaven Who sees the motives of your heart! Seek not the praises of men but of God Alone! (See also Holiness Quotes; Pursuit of holiness; Jehovah Mekeddeshem - the LORD Who Sanctifies)
Jesus is our Sanctifier...
In sum, sanctification is a process in this verse, just as in He 10:14 (note), and is not a single act. In He 10:10 (note) the perfect tense defines a completed state of being set apart or sanctified and thus believers are "positionally" in Christ are complete in Him (Col 2:10-note) but experientially as we as believers grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18-note) we are being continuously being set apart from the world and to God (practical or progressive sanctification). For this reason Paul prays for the continual setting apart of believers in Thessalonica (1Th 5:23-note). This process of daily being set apart more and more from the profanity of the world and unto God is analogous to Joshua getting ready to enter the Promised Land, God declaring to His choice servant...
In that passage although all the land was Israel's by God's promise, Joshua nevertheless had to lay hold of this possession by faith (obediently going into the land in God's power cp Zech 4:6). For example, the circling of Jericho (Joshua 6:2ff) shows Who has the power to conquer "walled" cities. It is the same in our life -- we are positionally sanctified at the moment of our new birth and are complete in Christ (Col 2:10-note). We have been filled with the fruit of righteousness (Php 1:11-note) at the moment of salvation. But now we must be continuously set apart by God, and as we are we lay hold progressively of our "Promised Land" so to speak. On one side our responsibility, like Joshua, is to work out our salvation by walking out in faith (faith equating with obeying) His Word (His Word equating with His will). Balancing our responsibility on the other side is the sovereign hand of God Who is in us both to work and to will to His good pleasure (Php 2:12, 13-see notes Php 2:12; 13). And this entire process is bathed in prayer that God would sanctify us entirely (cp 1Th 5:23-note). This is quite a mystery and difficult to fully comprehend but it is the Truth of God's Word. Let us walk in it, not be conformed to this world but being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Ro 12:2-note) that ultimately the Father would be glorified (Mt 5:16-note) in our lives. (cp Paul's desire, delightful duty and dependence - Col 1:28, 29-noes Col 1:28; 1:29)
From one Father - Note that Father is in italics in the NAS, which indicates that the translators have chosen (appropriately) to add the word Father (Greek - pater) even though that word is not present in the original Greek text.
Jamieson adds that God is Father but...
Spurgeon - Consider the remarkable unity between Christ and His people. They are “all from one.” They are, first, “all from one” in the divine design. In the great mind of God, it is not Christ alone, and His people alone, but Christ and His Church who are regarded as “all from one.” They are fitted, constituted, designed for each other; they are the complement of each other. Then, next, they who are sanctified and the Sanctifier Himself are “all from one” in the eternal covenant. When the Lord Jesus Christ became the Surety of the covenant, the Head and Representative of His people, He struck hands with His great Father in a solemn league and covenant. He did that, not for Himself alone, but for us also. That covenant was made for us in Christ with Christ, as He is one with us. And now today the provisions of the covenant are as much for me as for Christ, and as much for Christ as for the very least of His people. But there is something better than this, if there can be anything better, for they are “all from one” as to nature. Do not let us ever permit our hearts to lose the sweetness of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly one with us as to nature. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and yet, notwithstanding that, He is man of the substance of His mother. “Therefore, since the children share in blood and flesh, he also in like manner shared in these same things” (Heb 2:14). It is easy to say, but it is hard to realize that Jesus Christ is as truly man as any of us can be. Yet further than that, they who are sanctified and their Sanctifier are “all from one” because of His representative character. Whatever Jesus did in the past, He did for us, for we are “all from one.” He was circumcised, and we are circumcised in Him with the true circumcision not made by hands. When He kept the law, we kept the law in Him, for He stood as our Representative. If He died, we reckon that we died in Him. And henceforth, we recognize that we live because He lives. Now that He has gone into the heavenlies, it is as our Forerunner, and He has raised us up together with Him, and made us sit together with Him in the heavenlies, and in all the glory that is yet to come we shall be partakers. Hence follows this further oneness. So are we “all from one” that, henceforth, we are united in our interests. His concerns and our concerns are one. We have not to speak of what is Christ’s and what is His people’s, but all that is Christ’s belongs to His people, and all that belongs to His people belongs to Him.
Spurgeon - "The Christ and the Christian are one,—the Man Christ Jesus and the men whom he redefined are one. He has so become partaker of our nature that now we are one family, and he is not ashamed to call us brothers. Am I addressing any who are ashamed of Christ, or who are ashamed of God's poor people, and who would not like to be known to be members of a poor church? Ah! how you ought to despise yourselves for having any such pride in your hearts, for Christ is not ashamed to call his people brethren! Oh, what wondrous condescension! He has done this many times in the Psalms, where he speaks of his brethren
FOR WHICH REASON HE IS NOT ASHAMED TO CALL THEM BRETHREN: di he aitian ouk epaischunetai (3SPAI) adelphous autous kalein (PAN): (He 11:16; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26) (Call - Matthew 12:48, 49, 50; 25:40; 28:10; John 20:17; Ro 8:29)
JESUS CALLS US
In a parallel passage in Hebrews 11, the writer testifies concerning those who have fallen asleep in faith declaring that...
Who will the Lord Jesus be ashamed of? In the gospels Jesus declares that...
Not ashamed - He uses the negative particle ou/ouk which signifies absolute negation. This is amazing grace - the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah Himself, is absolutely not ashamed to claim us as His brothers! Surely this should be cause for a pause that offers a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving (and even that made possible by the very One Who forever calls us "brethren"! (cp Heb 13:15-note, cp Ro 11:32-note, Ro 11:33, 34, 35, 36-notes)
Spurgeon - They are poor, they are despised, they are persecuted; what is worse, they are imperfect and faulty, often sorrowful, cast down, condemning themselves, groaning at the mercy-seat; yet “he is not ashamed to call them brothers.” There is such a unity between the believer, be he in what sorrow he may, and the Christ, be he in what glory he may, that he is never ashamed to own the close relationship between them.
Ashamed (1870) (epaischunomai from epi = upon + aischuno = to put to shame) is a consciousness of guilt or of its exposure. It is that which causes (or should cause) one to blush. It represents a fear of embarrassment that one's expectations may prove false, something that Christ does not exhibit because He knows His own sheep and His sheep know Him (cp Jn 10:14). Jesus will not blush when He calls you brother or sister. Hallelujah, for the outpouring of God's boundless mercy and amazing grace!
The amazing statement that the Son of glory is not reluctant or ashamed to call the redeemed his "brethren (and "sistern")"! We as the set apart ones, the saints of God and spiritual brothers and sisters of the the Lord Jesus Christ have the same God as Father. This is an indescribable condescension on the part of our glorious Lord! Notwithstanding His superior and exalted dignity, He is not ashamed to call us His brethren!
A. B. Bruce comments on not ashamed noting that "On the contrary, He calls them brothers with all His heart, with the fervour of love, with the eloquence of earnest conviction. (Epistle to the Hebrews. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, 1988)
Brethren (80) (adelphos from a = denoting unity + delphús = womb) is literally those born from the same womb and describes those males having the same father and mother. Figuratively adelphos defines a close associate of a group of persons having well-defined membership and as used here and other places in the New Testament speaks of fellow believers in Christ Who as set them apart to be His possession and Who continues to set them apart from the profane world. Adelphós generally denotes a fellowship of life based on identity of origin, e.g., members of the same family.
Believers are united in Christ as brothers in the family of God. Having been "born again" spiritually, "children of God" (Jn 3:3; 1:12), we are brothers in Christ.
Wuest sums up this supernatural relationship writing that the "one source is God the Father. The Son in His deity proceeds by eternal generation from God the Father. In His humanity, He finds His source in God. The saints find the source of their sonship in God the Father.
Hughes looks at this passage in the cultural light (context) of the first century Hebrew readers commenting...
Dearly beloved of God, are you continually fearful of not being accepted (or of being rejected by others)? Contemplate (Meditate on) your Lord's acceptance (the consummate "acceptance") and let this truth of your begin to renew your mind and thereby (with your mind renewed, cp notes Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:8; 4:9) allay your fears concerning the present.
THE WORD translated in this passage "Author" or "Captain" might be rendered File-leader. It was thus used by Peter when he said, "Ye killed the Prince, i.e. the File-leader of life." Our Lord is beheld stepping up from the grave in Joseph's garden, to which, apparently, the hatred of His foes had brought Him; and as He passes forth, He is discovered to be the First, or Leader, of an endless procession, which, in single file, is ever ascending from the grave to stand with Him, and to follow Him through all the subsequent ages.
In the earlier part of that great procession, we can see the glorious company of the Apostles, behind them the goodly fellowship of prophets and the noble army of martyrs. Polycarp and Ignatius are there, Chrysostom and Augustine, Luther and Calvin, Wesley and Spurgeon. Our ancestors follow, and our parents. We are there, and our children will follow. We follow Christ our Captain through Gethsemane to Calvary, through death to life, through the grave to the Ascension mount.
When Isaiah anticipated Christ's advent, he said that God had given Him to be a Leader and Commander to the people (Isa. 55:4). He has the pre-eminence, not only because of His original glory, as Son of God, but since He has won it in His obedience as Man. Never has the will of God been wrought out so perfectly as by our Lord; and in this we are called upon to obey and follow Him. He was made perfect through sufferings, so shall we be; and as He is now crowned with glory and honour, so shall we be.
The only way in which Christ could bring us to share in His glory was to submit to suffering and death. In no other way could He act as the Mediator of the Divine life to us who are His brethren. Similarly, if we would become the mediators of help and blessing to others, we also must be prepared to suffer. We must learn to do despite to our own will and way. The way of the Cross is the only path to the Throne. We can only reach our highest by the constant saying No to self-life. This will involve suffering and pain; but only so can we follow our Captain.
PRAYER - Teach us, O Lord, not only to bear, but to love Thy Cross. As we take and carry it, may we find that it is carrying us. AMEN.
SAYING "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR (THY) NAME TO MY BRETHREN": legon (PAPMSN) apaggelo (1SFAI) to onoma sou tois adelphois mou : (Psalms 22:22,25 )
Hughes observes that the writer now adds " three quotations from famous Messianic passages in the Greek Old Testament. These passages form a subtly nuanced testimony to the profoundly deep identification of Christ with His suffering people. Significantly, all the passages feature persecution as their backdrop. They are Psalm 22:22 and Isaiah 8:17 and 8:18 respectively. These passages were, of course, far more readily understood by their hearers because they knew their Old Testaments — which is certainly not the case with modern-day congregations! Therefore, we must follow closely if we wish to catch the richness of meaning here. (Ibid)
I will proclaim Your name - Jameison comments that "Messiah declares the name of the Father, not known fully as Christ's Father, and therefore their Father, till after His crucifixion (John 20:17), among His brethren ("the Church," that is, the congregation), that they in turn may praise Him (Ps 22:23). At Ps 22:22, which begins with Christ's cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and details minutely His sorrows, passes from Christ's sufferings to His triumph, prefigured by the same in the experience of David.
Regarding the first Messianic quotation from Psalm 22, F F Bruce (The Epistle of the Hebrews. Eerdmans. 1964) has noted that virtually this entire psalm was used in the early church as a description of Christ's crucifixion.
Spurgeon - The apostle was writing to Hebrews, and therefore he quoted from the books with which they were familiar. He here quotes the 22nd Psalm as the words of the Messiah. The words in these quotations in our English version may not seem to be exactly the same as in the passages referred to. But we must remember, of course, that we are dealing with translations, and not with the original writings. This is a part of that marvelous psalm which was unquestionably the soliloquy of Christ upon the cross.
The writer has just stated the fact that the Lord Jesus is not ashamed to call believers brethren and to prove his point the writer quotes Ps 22:22 when the Messiah is presented as speaking...
John MacArthur makes an interesting observation that "The Lord Jesus never called His people brothers on the other side of the cross. Before Calvary He called them disciples or friends or sheep, but never brothers. Why? Because they could not truly be brothers until after the cross, when their sin was paid for and His righteousness was imputed to them. Only then did they become spiritual brothers of the Lord. As soon as Jesus was risen from the dead, He said to Mary, "Go to My brethren." For the first time He called His disciples brothers. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR (THY) PRAISE: en meso ekklesias humneso (1SFAI) se: (Psalms 40:10; 111:1; John 18:20)
I will sing Thy praise - This portion of Hebrews 2:12 is from the the latter part of Psalm 22:22 where the Lamb of God, in His dying agony, looked forward to the day when He would lead the ransomed throng in praise to God the Father of glory! What a glorious day that will be beloved of the Lord!
Are you eagerly anticipating that glorious day? Are you living like you are eagerly anticipating it? Don't be sluggish but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb 6:12-note). Redeem the precious time of eternity present for eternity future will soon be here.
Spurgeon - In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Not in a little household gathering merely does our Lord resolve to proclaim His Father's love, but in the great assemblies of His saints, and in the general assembly and church of the firstborn. This the Lord Jesus is always doing by His representatives, who are the heralds of salvation, and labour to praise God. In the great universal church Jesus is the One authoritative Teacher, and all others, so far as they are worthy to be called teachers, are nothing but echoes of His voice. Jesus, in this second sentence, reveals His object in declaring the divine Name, it is that God may be praised; the church continually magnifies Jehovah for manifesting Himself in the Person of Jesus, and Jesus Himself leads the song, and is both Precentor (Ed: a leader of the singing of a choir or congregation) and Preacher in His church. Delightful are the seasons when Jesus communes with our hearts concerning divine truth. Joyful praise is the sure result.
John Calvin adds that "This teaching is the very strongest encouragement to us to bring yet more fervent zeal to the praise of God, when we hear that Christ leads our praise and is the Chief Conductor of our hymns.
Pastor Steven Cole's sermon...
Many years ago, I came to the realization that ideas drive the world. Karl Marx had some ideas about politics and the economy, called Communism, that held millions under its sway for the better part of the 20th century. Over a billion Chinese are still under that ideology. Quite often, the man in the street is unaware of the philosophic underpinnings for his behavior, but he is still very much influenced by certain prevailing philosophies and ideas.
For example, the teenager who dresses in black, mutilates his body, and listens constantly to rock music that exalts death, probably has not read any books on the philosophy of nihilism, but it controls his thought patterns and behavior. Millions of Americans could not articulate the philosophy of post-modernism, but it governs their daily lives. Wrong ideas can have devastating effects.
That is why I am committed to sound doctrine. Our ideas about God, man, sin, and salvation greatly affect the way we think, feel, act, and relate to one another. Sound doctrine produces healthy minds, hearts, and relationships. False doctrine results in wounded minds, hearts, and relationships.
Several years ago, I read a book titled The Cruelty of Heresy [Morehouse Publishing, 1993], by C. Fitzsimons Allison, an Episcopalian bishop. In trying to communicate to his students the importance of the early church councils and creeds, Allison began asking the question, “What happens to someone who follows heretical teachings?” He says (p. 17), “It became quickly and readily apparent how cruel heretical teachings are and how prevalent the heresies are in contemporary times.” Then he makes this astute observation:
We are susceptible to heretical teachings because, in one form or another, they nurture and reflect the way we would have it be rather than the way God has provided, which is infinitely better for us. As they lead us into the blind alleys of self-indulgence and escape from life, heresies pander to the most unworthy tendencies of the human heart. It is astonishing how little attention has been give to these two aspects of heresy: its cruelty and its pandering to sin (ibid., italics his).
The Letter to the Hebrews begins by spelling out the vital doctrine of the person of Jesus Christ. In chapter one, the author makes it clear that the Son of God is distinguished from the Father, and yet is fully God. “He is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (He 1:3). He goes on to show that the Son of God is higher than the angels, whom He created and who worship and serve Him (He 1:4-14).
In chapter 2, after a brief exhortation, the author sets forth the truth that Jesus is also fully human. As the Cappadocians, a group of early church fathers, affirmed, “What he (Christ) did not assume he could not redeem” (Allison, p. 107, citing Gregory of Nyssa, Against the Eunomians, 2.10). To redeem people, Jesus had to assume human nature in its entirety, yet without sin.
In the early centuries of the church, there were several heresies regarding the person of Christ. All heresies contain some truth, but they emphasize those truths to the neglect of other biblical truths. The Docetic (from the Greek, dokeo, “to seem”) heresy affirmed Jesus’ deity, but denied His true humanity. They could not accept that, as God, Jesus really suffered. So they taught that He only appeared to suffer. A modern version of this heresy is Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science cult, which teaches that suffering and even death are illusory and only exist because we lack faith (Allison, p. 30).
The Arian heresy denied Jesus’ true deity, and declared that He was an intermediate deity, neither fully God nor fully man. Arius affirmed that Jesus was God’s agent in creation, but he taught that Jesus was the first created being and was therefore subordinate to the Father. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are modern Arians.
Apollinarius joined with Athanasius in fighting the Arians, but he went too far by asserting the unity of Christ’s person as God, but at the expense of His true humanity. He did not go as far as the Docetists, in denying Jesus’ physical existence or His suffering. But he limited Jesus’ humanity to the physical, and taught that His soul and mind were divine only. Jesus had a human body, but His nature was not human, but divine. This is also called the Monophysite (= “one nature”) heresy (Allison, pp. 107).
All of these imbalances were worked out at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which affirmed that Christ is one person with two natures, the divine and the human, in unchangeable union. It maintained the unity of Christ’s person, while distinguishing between His two natures, which are not confused or abolished be-cause of the union (J. H. Hall, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. by Walter Elwell [Baker], p. 204).
All of this is background to our text, which affirms the humanity of Jesus. The author is showing that …
As the Captain of our salvation, Jesus became man in order to bring us to God.
The Puritans used to structure their sermons as “Doctrine” and “Use,” which meant, “application.” I think that their approach is helpful with this text, and so I follow it here:
The doctrine: Jesus became man to save us.
There are three points here:
1. As a man, Jesus’ death secured our salvation (He 2:11a).
The word “for” directs us back to 2:10, where he said that God saw fit “to perfect the author of [our] salvation through sufferings.” To save humans, Jesus had to assume full humanity. But, for His suffering and death to have merit before God, Jesus had to be fully God. In the incarnation, He did not lay aside His divinity, although He set aside His glory and He temporarily gave up the use of some of His divine attributes (omniscience, for example, John 11:34; Matt. 24:36). But He did fully assume our human nature.
In He 2:11, Jesus is the one who sanctifies, which requires His being without sin. In Hebrews, the verb, “to sanctify,” refers to the whole of salvation, not just to the aspect of progressive holiness (see He 9:13; 10:10, 14, 29; 13:12). As Hebrews 10:10 puts it, “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” F. F. Bruce explains (Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], p. 45), “By His death they are consecrated to God for His worship and service and set apart for God as His holy people, destined to enter into His glory. For sanctification is glory begun, and glory is sanctification completed.” Philip Hughes explains (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], p. 103), “the ‘sanctification’ of which our author speaks is intimately connected with and flows from Christ’s priestly offering of himself on the cross. His consecration of himself is the source of our consecration (cf. Jn. 17:19).” The present tense participles in He 2:11 “mark the continuous, personal application of Christ’s work,” both “in the individual soul and in the whole body of the Church” (B. F. Westcott, The Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], p. 50).
The author says, “both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one” (“Father” has been added by the translators, but it is really an interpretation). Some (as the NASB) interpret this to refer to our common spiritual bond in God, but the context favors viewing it as a reference to our common human nature (see Hughes, pp. 104-105). The difference is that Jesus was holy and thus the sanctifier, whereas we are sinful and thus the object of His sanctification, which He accomplished on the cross. The main point is that Jesus had to assume our human nature fully in order to offer Himself as our substitute on the cross.
Before we leave this point, let me apply it briefly: There is no such thing as salvation apart from sanctification. It’s all one package. When we get saved, we are set apart unto God. The actual working out of that holiness takes a lifetime, which invariably includes set-backs when we yield to sin. But the point is, every true believer is involved in the process of growing in sanctification, or holiness. As we’re commanded in He 12:14, we are to pursue “the sanctification, without which no one will see the Lord.” It is not optional for believers to do battle against the flesh! Holiness is bound up with the very notion of salvation.
2. Jesus’ humanity is so complete that He is not ashamed to call us brethren (He 2:11, 12, 13).
Because Jesus took our humanity on Himself, He is not ashamed to call us brethren. In verse 14, it states that as God’s children, we share in blood and flesh (literal order in Greek; it probably has no special significance; see Hughes, p. 110, note 101).
But Jesus “partook” of the same. Here a different verb and verb tense are used; the meaning is that the children naturally share in humanity (blood and flesh), but Jesus, at a fixed point in time, chose to partake of humanity (Bruce, p. 41, note 55). He existed eternally as God, but in the incarnation, He added a human nature and body to His deity, in order to redeem us. If Jesus were only a man, and not God, neither verse 11 nor 14 would make sense. Why would a man be ashamed to call fellow men “brothers”? Why would a man need to partake of human nature? Jesus’ deity is assumed behind both verses.
The author goes on to support his point about Jesus’ oneness with our humanity by quoting three Old Testament texts (from the Septuagint, the Greek translation), each of which makes a slightly different point.
A. As our brother, Jesus proclaims God’s name to us (He 2:12).
He 2:12 quotes from Psalm 22:22. Psalm 22 is one of the most obviously messianic psalms in the Bible. It describes in detail a death by crucifixion centuries before that was known as a means of execution. Jesus cited Psalm 22:1 from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” The psalm goes on to describe the mocking of those who witnessed the crucifixion, the physical agony of the victim on the cross, and even the gambling for his clothes on the part of the soldiers. This section ends with the cry, “Save me from the lion’s mouth,” and the confident affirmation, “From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me” (Ps. 22:21).
Then, the next verse is the one quoted in our text: “I will pro-claim Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” There has been an obvious, radical change between verses 21 and 22, and we know that that change was the resurrection. God’s name refers to His character and attributes, and here, especially, to His grace and mercy as seen in the cross. The word “brethren” in the first line of this verse is parallel to “congregation” in the second line, which is the Greek ekklesia, usually translated “church” in the New Testament. Jesus’ brothers are the members of His church, those who are redeemed by His blood.
Two unrelated observations before we move on: First, the fact that Jesus calls us His brethren should cause us to marvel and draw near to Him as One who understands our humanity. But, we should refer to Jesus as our brother only in the most reverent and careful manner. While we should draw near in fellowship to Christ, we should never be too casual about our relationship with Him. Yes, we can marvel that He condescends to call us His brothers and sisters, but we must always remember that He is Lord. It would be as if you were a private in the army, and a general told you to call him by his first name. You may do that in certain situations, but on the base, around other soldiers, you should respect his office and always refer to him as the general. It would be arrogant for a private to be too chummy with the general. It would be a mark of humility for the general to call the private his brother.
Second, notice that Jesus sings! I don’t often think of Him in that way, but here He says, “In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” We know that after the Last Supper, Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn before they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matt. 26:30). If you want to know the words that they sang, you will find them in Psalms 115-118, the last part of the Hallel (they sang the first part, Psalms 113-114 before the Passover meal). We don’t know the tunes! But if Jesus sang God’s praise, and did it right before He went to the cross, as His people we, too, should sing God’s praises, even when we face trials.
B. As our brother, Jesus shows us practically how to trust God in the midst of trials (He 2:13a).
The second quote probably comes from the LXX of Isaiah 8:17 (it could be from 2Sa 22:3), with the third coming from Isaiah 8:18. This is a messianic section of Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14 is the familiar prophecy of the virgin bringing forth a son whose name would be Immanuel. In Isa 8:14, it mentions that the Lord would be-come to Israel “stone to strike and a rock to stumble over” (see Rom. 9:33; 1Pet. 2:8). In Isa 9:6 is the well known prophecy, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
The point of this quote, where Messiah says that He puts His trust in God,” is that in His humanity, Jesus depended on the Father for all things (John 5:19; 14:10). We see this supremely in His prayer life, since prayer is an expression of our complete dependence on God. As a man, Jesus demonstrated for us how we are to live, taking everything to God in prayer, trusting God for His sustenance and strength in every situation.
C. As our brother, Jesus is the Son of God and we are the children of God (He 2:13b).
Even though the quotes come from successive verses in Isaiah, the author adds, “And again,” because he is making a different point. This quote may place Jesus in the role of Father (not brother), with the church as His children. Or, if Jesus is still viewed as our brother, then He is speaking as God’s Son, thanking the Father for the spiritual children that the Father has given to Him, who are thus His brothers and sisters. Jesus is uniquely God’s Son by eternal generation. We are God’s children by the new birth, which God bestows on us through Christ (John 1:12). Either way, the point of the quote is that Jesus is identified with those He came to save. In John 6:37, Jesus refers to those who come to Him as those whom the Father gave to Him. Here, He calls us His children, whom God has given Him (John 13:33; 21:5). We can be sure that Jesus will not lose any of the children that the Father gives to Him (John 6:39). We are more precious to Him than any earthly father’s children are to him, because Jesus gave His life so that we could join His family!
The first doctrinal point is that Jesus’ death secured our sanctification. Second, Jesus’ humanity is so complete that He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Finally,
3. Jesus’ humanity and victory over death frees us from the power and fear of death (He 2:14, 15).
This section goes to the end of the chapter, but for sake of time, we must close here. The fact of the incarnation is emphatically stated here, along with its purpose, “that through death, [Jesus] might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” The bodily resurrection of Jesus is implicit behind these verses. If He had remained in the grave, He could not have rendered the devil powerless, nor could He have freed us from the power and fear of death. Those statements assume His victory over death through His resurrection.
Satan is described as the one who had the power of death. This does not mean that he has the power to kill people at will. The risen Christ holds the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:17, 18). God determines the length of each person’s life (Ps. 139:16) and He alone has final authority in this matter (Job 2:6; Luke 12:5). But Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin, and through sin, death entered this world. Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). He delights in seeing people die outside of Christ, because they then join him in hell throughout eternity, which is the second death (Rev. 20:14, 15).
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty of spiritual death that we had incurred through sin. Thus He delivers us from Satan’s domain. Though believers still die physically, spiritually they are delivered from the second death. Thus Satan’s power is broken. In Christ, we do not need to fear death any longer. As Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25, 26).
Thus, the main doctrine of our text is that Jesus became man in order to save us. He took our humanity in order to bear the penalty for our sins. But this is only true for those who are His children through the new birth, to those who believe on His name (John 1:12, 13).
The application: The fact that Jesus became man to save us should cause us to draw near to Him in times of trial and to proclaim His name, even in the face of persecution.
Remember, the Book of Hebrews was written to a suffering church that was facing persecution. They were tempted to give up their profession of Christ and retreat to their old, more comfort-able ways. But the author is showing them the excellency and supremacy of Jesus Christ so as to say, “You can’t go back!” If Jesus is eternal God who took on human flesh to die for our salvation, you can’t turn back to any other system of belief. He is God’s final word to us (He 1:2). He entered glory only after suffering; you must be prepared to follow the same path.
The doctrines of Jesus’ deity and humanity are not just nice theological points for intellectual debate. They are precious truths to sustain our souls in the trials of life! Whenever we face trials or are fearful of death, we have a personal refuge in our Brother who is our Savior! Jesus suffered in the flesh and was triumphant through His trust in God. “Since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (He 2:18).
Also, since in spite of our many sins and shortcomings, Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren, we should not be ashamed to proclaim Him as Savior and Lord in this evil world, even if it results in persecution for us. Even if we die for our faith, we have a sure hope of being with Him throughout eternity.
Coming back to our starting point, I hope you see that sound doctrine matters greatly! As Baptists, I fear that we have gotten away from the great creeds, confessions, and catechisms that were learned verbatim by earlier generations of Christians. I close with the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism (1563):
Question 1: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and re-deemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto him (in The Creeds of Christendom, ed. by Philip Schaff [Baker], 3:307-308).
1. Some say that doctrine just leads to spiritual pride and division; thus it should not be emphasized. How would you reply?
2. Modern evangelicals are prone to believe in God as they want Him to be, not in God as revealed in His Word. What dangers does this expose us to? How can we avoid this propensity?
3. How can a believer who fears death overcome this fear?
4. Where is the proper balance between Jesus as our Brother and Jesus as the Lord to be feared?
Amplified: And again He says, My trust and assured reliance and confident hope shall be fixed in Him. And yet again, Here I am, I and the children whom God has given Me (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: And again: “I will put all my trust in him.” And again: “Behold me and the children whom God gave to me.” (Westminster Press)
NLT: He also said, "I will put my trust in him." And in the same context he said, "Here I am--together with the children God has given me." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: And again, speaking as a man, he says: 'I will put my trust in him'. And, one more instance, in these words: 'Here am I and the children whom God has given me'. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and again, 'Behold I and the children that God did give to me.'
AND AGAIN I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM: kai palin: ego esomai (1SFMI) pepoithos (RAPMSN) ep auto : (2Samuel 22:3; Psalms 16:1; 18:2; 36:7,8; 91:2; Isaiah 12:2; 50:7-9; Matthew 27:43)
This OT quote is from Isaiah 8:17b (not the Hebrew but the Greek translation, the Septuagint)
And I will wait for (Heb = chakah, Lxx = meno = abide, dwell, remain with) the LORD (Jehovah) Who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for (Heb = qavah = wait, Lxx = peitho [word study] = be confident in, trust in) Him.
Comment: Brenton's translation of the Septuagint of Isa 8:17b reads "and I will trust in him" just as quoted by the writer of Hebrews.
I will put My trust in Him (peitho [word study]) - This declaration by the Messiah demonstrates that even though He was experiencing persecution in the flesh, Jesus as fully God and fully Man, depended on His Father and placed His trust in Him! And so we get a glimpse into the mind of our Lord who although clothed in the frailty of human flesh, choose to exercise faith or trust in His Father! How can we as His followers not do likewise? Who are you trusting in today beloved of the Father?
The Son's trust reached a climax on the Cross, when in His final words of dependence He cried out "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
And so we see how Jesus is able to share with and understand the suffering of this little band of Jewish believers (and seekers) (see He 2:18-note). They had experienced and were (at the time of the writing) experiencing suffering for the sake of the Name of Yeshua their Messiah. Yes, these Hebrew believers were undergoing suffering, but the writer desires that they recall that so too did the Captain of their (our) salvation! (cp Ac 5:41, Lk 6:22, 23, 2Co 12:10, Php 1:29-note)
Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation - the Author and Perfecter of faith Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (He 12:2-note)
AND AGAIN BEHOLD I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME: kai palin: idou ego kai ta paidia a moi edoken (3SAAI) o theos: (Behold - Isaiah 8:18; 53:10) (Whom - Genesis 33:5; 48:9; Psalms 127:3; John 10:29; 17:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 1Corinthians 4:15)
The second of these OT quotes (remember in the NAS you can quickly identify an OT quote because they are in ALL CAPS in the NT) is from Isaiah 8:18, and this strongly suggests that the first quotation is from Isaiah 8:17, not Isaiah 12:2 or 2Samuel 22:3 (which is relevant because all three passages are identical in Septuagint - LXX).
Wuest remarks that "The context of the quotation from Isaiah concerns the prophet’s invective against trusting in any help but God’s during the Syro-Israelitish war under Ahaz. Isaiah declares his own trust in God, and that his children have been appointed as living symbols of the divine will. The meanings of the names of the prophet’s children are “a remnant shall return,” and “haste-spoil-hurry, prey.” These names will teach Israel that Assyria will spoil Damascus and Samaria, and that in the midst of a foreign invasion, God will still be with Judah. Both the prophet and the children are omens of the nation’s future. The children were babes at the time. Thus, the unity which existed between Isaiah and the children was that which exists between every father and his children. This unity the writer to the Hebrews uses as an illustration of the close unity between the Lord Jesus and believers, whom He calls brethren. (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)
The children - As F F Bruce has observed the writers description of believers as children or sons/daughters of Christ is peculiar to the book of Hebrews among all the other NT epistles. Bruce goes on to add that this truth - "It stresses intimacy and tenderness as well as solidarity."
Whom God has given me - the clear teaching of Scripture, albeit one that our pride struggles with, is that no one comes to God except those the Father gives to the Son. We don't like this teaching in our old nature do we? But the Apostle John records the clear words of Jesus...
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:39, 40)
Spurgeon comments that in this section our Lord is seen...
Thus entering into the very faith of His people.
All of which expressions denote nearness of relationship and likeness of nature, kindly recognised by the great head of the household of God.
There are some passages which we should never have thought related to the Messiah if the New Testament had not told us that they do. Hence I have no doubt that we much more often err in not seeing Christ in the Old Testament than in seeing him there, for there may be many other passages besides those which are supposed to speak of Christ which do speak of him.
This is our Lord Jesus Christ putting his trust in the Father, overcoming by faith, even as we do. Oh, what a marvellous oneness there is here between Christ and his people! Well might the apostle say that “both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.”