Hebrews 2:8-10 Commentary


CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Hebrews - Charles Swindoll - Chart on right 

The Epistle
to the Hebrews

INSTRUCTION
Hebrews 1-10:18
EXHORTATION
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Superior Person
of Christ
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Superior Priest
in Christ
Hebrews 4:14-10:18
Superior Life
In Christ
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
BETTER
PERSON
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
BETTER
PRIESTHOOD
Heb 4:14-7:28
BETTER
COVENANT
Heb 8:1-13
BETTER
SACRIFICE
Heb 9:1-10:18
BETTER
LIFE
MAJESTY
OF
CHRIST
MINISTRY
OF
CHRIST
MINISTERS
FOR
CHRIST

DOCTRINE

DUTY

DATE WRITTEN:
ca. 64-68 AD

Hebrews 2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: panta hupetaxas (2SAAI) hupokato ton podon autou. en to gar hupotaxai (AAN) [auto] ta panta ouden apheken (3SAAI) auto anupotakton. nun de oupo oromen (5719) auto ta panta hupotetagmena; (RPPNPA)

Amplified: For You have put everything in subjection under his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to man, He left nothing outside [of man's] control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him [man]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: The fact that all things have been subjected to him means that nothing has been left unsubjected to him. But as things are, we see that all things are not in a state of subjection to him.  (Westminster Press)

BBE: You put all things under his feet. For in making man the ruler over all things, God did not put anything outside his authority; though we do not see everything under him now.

NET  You put all things under his control." For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control,

BBE   You put all things under his feet. For in making man the ruler over all things, God did not put anything outside his authority; though we do not see everything under him now.

CSB  and subjected everything under his feet. For in subjecting everything to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him.

ERV   Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he subjected all things unto him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him.

ESV   putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

GWN  You put everything under his control." When God put everything under his Son's control, nothing was left out. However, at the present time we still don't see everything under his Son's control.

NLT: You gave him authority over all things." Now when it says "all things," it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all of this happen. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Notice that the writer puts "all things" under the sovereignty of man: he left nothing outside his control. But we do not yet see "all things" under his control. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: All things thou didst put in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.  (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission

Young's Literal: all things Thou didst put in subjection under his feet,' for in the subjecting to him the all things, nothing did He leave to him unsubjected, and now not yet do we see the all things subjected to him

The writer of Hebrews quotes verbatim from the OT Greek rather than the Hebrew.

Septuagint (LXX) of Psalm 8:6: kai katestesas auton epi ta erga ton cheiron sou panta hupetaxas hupokato ton podon autou (Emboldened text from the Greek translation of the OT is used here in Hebrews 2:7)

YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET: panta hupetaxas (2SAAI) hupokato ton podon autou:

Related Passages:

Psalm 8:6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

MAN TO RULE 
THE EARTH

YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION (hupotassoUNDER (hupokatoHIS FEET." - Note the NAS has this in all caps To rule the earth was God's original intent for mankind - to have dominion over the earth to be good stewards of His creation. Sin came and Adam's (man's) dominion was lost to the usurper Satan (1Jn 5:19+) but the land will be redeemed by our Kinsman-Redeemer Who paid the price with His blood to receive back the "title deed" (see explanation) to the earth (Rev 5:9+). And when Jesus returns, He also returns as Our Blood Avenger

Ryrie - This refers to man (not Christ) who was given dominion over the creation (Gen. 1:28+) but who lost it when he sinned (Ro. 8:20+) and who will regain it in the future millennial kingdom because of Christ's death for sin (v. 10). (Borrow the Ryrie Study Bible

William Barclay comments that "This is by no means an easy passage of which to grasp the meaning; but when we do, it is a tremendous thing. The writer begins with a quotation from Ps 8:4-6. If we are ever to understand this passage correctly we must understand one thing—the whole reference of Ps 8:1-9 is to man. It sings of the glory that God gave to man. There is no reference to the Messiah. There is a phrase in the psalm which makes it difficult for us to grasp that. This is the son of man. We are so used to hearing that phrase applied to Jesus that we tend always to take it to refer to him. But in Hebrew a son of man always means simply a man. We find, for instance, that in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, more than eighty times God addresses Ezekiel as son of man. "Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem" (Ezekiel 21:2). "Son of man, prophesy and say." (Ezekiel 30:2).In the psalm quoted here the two parallel phrases: "What is man that you remember him?" and "Or the son of man that you visit him?" are different ways of saying exactly the same thing. The psalm is a great lyric cry of the glory of man as God meant it to be. It is in fact an expansion of the great promise of God at creation in Gen 1:28+." (Hebrews 2 Commentary)

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. This passage is the NT echo from Genesis 1:26-28+ 

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule (FIVE COMMANDS TO ADAM AND EVE) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

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+, cf "second Man" 1Co 15:47+), redeems and regains for man this forfeited dominion. 

Barclay - 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! When Adam sinned, he in effect forfeited his rule over creation. "G. K. Chesterton said, whatever else is or is not true, this one thing is certain—man is not what he was meant to be." (Hebrews 2 Commentary)

MacArthur on 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. (See context Hebrews MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Click for comments by F B Meyer on Hebrews 2:8 (from The Way into the Holiest)


Subjection (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!

NET NOTE - The expression all things under his control occurs three times in Heb 2:8. The latter two occurrences are not exactly identical to the Greek text of Ps 8:6 quoted at the beginning of the verse, but have been adapted by the writer of Hebrews to fit his argument. 

As an aside, in the NT in other passages the idea of submission focuses not on personality but position. We need to see the authority over us not acting to fulfill their own will per se, but as instruments in the hand of God to fulfill His will on earth as it is in heaven. If we look at people as acting on their own will, we will likely become bitter, but if we can see them as acting as God sovereignly, providentially allows, we will be far more likely to become holy. A beautiful example of this is found in the life of Joseph. His brothers consistently mistreated him and it would have been very easy for him to become bitter. And yet he maintained a divine perspective on the problems with the result that his school of adversity helped him graduate as a holy man of God, of whom Scripture records not a single rebuke or misstep.

Hupotasso - 38x in 31v - put in subjection(5), subject(16), subjected(7), subjecting(1), subjection(4), submissive(3), submit(2). Luke 2:51; 10:17, 20; Rom 8:7, 20; 10:3; 13:1, 5; 1 Cor 14:32, 34; 15:27f; 16:16; Eph 1:22; 5:21, 24; Phil 3:21; Col 3:18; Titus 2:5, 9; 3:1; Heb 2:5, 8; 12:9; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 2:13, 18; 3:1, 5, 22; 5:5.

Under (5270) (hupokato from hupó = under, + káto = down) means down under, beneath, Underneath, spoken of place, with the gen. (Mark 6:11; 7:28; Luke 8:16; John 1:50; Rev. 5:3, 13; 6:9; 12:1). Adverb; underneath, below. Although it is an adverb in the NT it is used only as an improper preposition with the genitive  = under, below, beneath (Mk 7.28); at the foot of, down before (the altar) (Rev 6.9); idiomatically literally under the feet, i.e. under the complete control of (Mt 22.44, Heb 2:8) The use of hupokatō in John 1:50 is interesting because in Jn 1:48 the word for “under” is hupo but in Jn 1:50 it is hupokatō. The use of hupokatō strengthens the meaning of hupo in Jn 1:48. Figuratively to put under the feet meaning to subjugate (Heb. 2:8; Sept.: 1 Kings 6:6; Ezek. 24:5).

Hupokato - 11x/11v -  beneath(2), soles(1), under(7), underneath(1).Matt. 22:44; Mk. 6:11; Mk. 7:28; Mk. 12:36; Lk. 8:16; Jn. 1:50; Heb. 2:8; Rev. 5:3; Rev. 5:13; Rev. 6:9; Rev. 12:1

Hupokato in Septuagint - Gen. 1:7; Gen. 1:9; Gen. 6:17; Gen. 7:19; Gen. 21:15; Exod. 20:4; Lev. 15:10; Num. 16:31; Num. 22:27; Deut. 2:25; Deut. 4:18; Deut. 4:19; Deut. 5:8; Deut. 12:2; Deut. 28:13; Deut. 28:23; Jos. 7:21; Jos. 7:22; Jdg. 1:7; Jdg. 7:8; 1 Sam. 7:11; 2 Sam. 2:23; 2 Sam. 18:9; 2 Sam. 22:10; 2 Sam. 22:37; 2 Sam. 22:40; 2 Sam. 22:48; 1 Ki. 4:12; 1 Ki. 6:6; 1 Ki. 7:25; 1 Ki. 7:30; 1 Ki. 7:44; 1 Ki. 14:23; 2 Ki. 9:13; 2 Ki. 16:4; 2 Ki. 16:17; 2 Ki. 17:10; 1 Chr. 17:1; 2 Chr. 4:15; 2 Chr. 5:7; 2 Chr. 28:4; Neh. 2:14; Job 26:8; Job 28:5; Job 36:16; Job 37:3; Ps. 8:6; Ps. 18:36; Ps. 18:39; Ps. 45:5; Isa. 14:11; Jer. 2:20; Jer. 3:6; Jer. 3:13; Jer. 38:12; Jer. 52:20; Lam. 3:66; Ezek. 1:23; Ezek. 6:13; Ezek. 10:2; Ezek. 10:20; Ezek. 10:22; Ezek. 17:6; Ezek. 17:23; Ezek. 24:5; Ezek. 31:6; Ezek. 40:18; Ezek. 46:23; Dan. 4:11; Dan. 4:12; Hos. 4:13; Amos 2:13; Obad. 1:7; Jon. 4:5; Mic. 4:4; Zech. 3:10; Mal. 4:3;

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:

NO EXCEPTIONS TO
MAN'S DOMINION

For (gar) term of explanation. What is he explaining? Is he not emphasizing how total man's dominion was over the creation? In Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 man was the "king" of the earth (under God's sovereign rule of course). With Genesis 3 and the disruption by sin, the creation was no longer subject to man (cf Ge 3:17-19+)

In subjecting (hupotassoall things to him, He left nothing that is not subject (anupotaktos) to him - Adam had it all (no exceptions) or as an old saying phrases it he "had the world on a string." Subjecting (hupotasso) means all creation was brought under Adam's firm control, made subordinate to him. Left (aphiemi) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation. It means that which is sent away or let go of. In other words absolutely nothing (oudeis - ou = not + = but + heis = one -- means not even one (thing) was not under the administration of Adam. Notice the emphasis "all," "left nothing," and "not subject" this triad of descriptors emphasizing the "totalitarian" (benign) control of man and woman. 

Robertson - Man's sovereignty was meant to be all-inclusive including the administration of “the world to come.”

MacArthur adds that hupotasso is "primarily a term that referred to arranging soldiers in order under a commander. It also came to be used for any system of administration. God will not turn over the administration of the world to come to angels. This will be the great and glorious world, the world of perfection. Whoever reigns in that world will be glorious indeed. But it will not be angels. Their present superiority over men is temporary.' (See context Hebrews MacArthur New Testament Commentary)


Not subject (506) anupotaktos from a = without, + hupotasso = to subject, sit under in an orderly manner) means Independent, disobedient, rebellious, not subject to rule, unruly. It means not subject (Heb. 2:8); disobedient to authority, disorderly (1 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:6, 10).

BUT NOW WE DO NOT YET SEE ALL THINGS SUBJECTED TO HIM: nun de houpo oromen (1PPAI) auto ta panta hupotetagmena (RPPNPA):

Related Passage:

Genesis 3:19+ By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” 

Isaiah 59:2  But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. 

Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. 

A CATASTROPHIC
CONTRAST! 

But now we do not yet see all things subjected (hupotassoto him - But now - a very sad note! Bad news! Man is a far cry from what God had intended him to be on this earth (See THOUGHT)! He is fallen and now instead of controlling the world, the world controls him! He is enslaved by the evil of his own heart (unless he is redeemed by Christ) and the fear (and certainty) of death (Heb 2:15). This fallen state began in Genesis 3 (cf Ge 3:17-19) and will come to an end in the Revelation. Today his control over the world is not seen, at least not yet!  Not yet - a very hopeful note! Good news! In Revelation 19 the Kinsman-Redeemer returns and restores man's dignity and destiny as over the creation. 

Cole - The fall looms behind the words, “But we do not yet see all things subjected to him.” The author, then, is saying that Psalm 8 had reference to the first Adam, created in God’s image to have dominion over His creation. Everything without exception was to be subject to man. That was God’s original intent, but that is not what we now see. Man fell through sin, thus thwarting the fulfillment of everything in creation being subject to him. As a result of the fall, God ordained that the earth would be cursed, so that man would have to till it by the sweat of his brow (Gen. 3:17-19). Adam and Eve were put out of the garden, losing their place of dominion. The human race became subject to sickness, injury, and death. The effects of sin infected the entire race, so that Adam and Eve’s first son murdered his brother. Man became subject to what we call “natural disasters,” such as earth quakes, volcanoes, floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, and extremes of heat and cold.

Brian Bell - We don’t see all things put under him yet do we…Hardly. At home I can’t even get ants under my subjection/dominion.

Wuest adds 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" (Commentary)

Hughes - The only way today we can achieve dominion over the animal world is by intimidation, “Obey me or I’ll eat you or wear you!”

Genesis explains why we do not see all things subjected to man as it describes the loss of man's dominion over the earth...

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. (Ge 3:22-23+)

Kenneth Wuest explains it this way - "Adam through his fall into sin, lost the dominion he had before enjoyed (ED: E.G., SIN NOW HAD DOMINION OVER HIM!). 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 excellent)

Steven Cole - In the original creation, God created man in His image to subdue the earth and rule over it (Gen. 1:26-28). Man lost that dominion to Satan in the fall, so that he is now “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; also, 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:12; 1 John 5:19). At the cross, Jesus overcame Satan’s power (John 12:31; 16:11). Christ’s victory will be finalized in His second coming and kingdom rule. At the end of that 1,000-year kingdom, Satan will be loosed briefly for one final assault on Christ’s kingdom, only to be defeated and judged forever (Rev. 20:7-10). (Our Glorious Destiny in Christ)

MacArthur - The earth originally was subject to man, and it supplied all his needs without his having to do anything. He had only to accept and enjoy the earth as it provided for him. Then, tempted by Satan, man sinned, and his tempter usurped the crown. There you see the change in the chain of command. Man fell to the bottom, and the earth, under the evil one, now rules man (1Jn 5:19, Acts 26:18, etc). If you pay much attention to ecology, you know that we do not rule this world; it rules us. With all our modern technology, we must constantly fight against the earth for our survival. (See context in Hebrews MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Gilbrant - Man's situation is tragic. He does not have dominion over the earth. His efforts to master the earth are cursed by sweat and drudgery. He is subject to the destructive powers of natural disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. He is ravaged by disease and grows old. In the end he is conquered by death. What a tragedy!....He is staring down the barrel of nuclear destruction and radiation sickness. Millions starve to death. Everywhere man is confronted by wretchedness, depravity, misery, despair, and sinfulness. (Complete Biblical Library)

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.

Even the earth in some way knows the not yet will cease and a new creations will come, Paul writing Romans 8:19-22 "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (HOPE SURE)  21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now."

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 (EVEN) of himself. He had become a fallen creature, with a totally depraved nature. He was a slave to sin (Jn 8:34). The animal kingdom was subservient to him not now through affection but fear (Ge 9:2). The ground, instead of yielding only good things, now produced also thorns, weeds, and other harmful things (Ge 3:18-19+). 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. (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary


LOOK UP - The disasters, heartbreaks, and injustices all around us prove the truth of Hebrews 2:8. We live in an imperfect world in which many things are beyond our control. A thirty-year-old farmer, unable to make his mortgage payments, wishes something could be done to prevent drought. A young mother of three children, widowed by the crash of a commercial airplane, can't understand why modern tech­nology can't prevent such tragedies. A well-educated, successful pro­fessional man, convinced that we are headed for a nuclear holocaust, talks about suicide.

It is obvious that we humans are not properly exercising dominion over the earth, as we were created to do. But knowing this does not fill Christians with dismay and hopelessness. We look up and "see" Jesus at God's right hand. We know that He possesses "all authority" in heaven and on earth because of what He did almost 2,000 years ago. He lived here as a man, overcame sin, paid the price for our transgres­sions on the cross, and broke death's power. He is in ultimate control of everything—even now. Someday He will return to earth and make everything right. Now, however, we see Him through the eye of faith, and we experience inner joy and peace no matter what happens.—H. V. Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When we can't see out, we can still look up.

Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: ton de brachu ti par' aggelous elattomenon (RPPMSA) blepomen (1PPAI) Iesoun dia to pathema tou thanatou doce kai time estephanomenon, (RPPMSA) hopos chariti theou huper pantos geusetai (3SAMS) thanatou.

BGT   ὅ τε γὰρ ἁγιάζων καὶ οἱ ἁγιαζόμενοι ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντες· δι᾽ ἣν αἰτίαν οὐκ ἐπαισχύνεται ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοὺς καλεῖν

Amplified: But we are able to see Jesus, Who was ranked lower than the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of His having suffered death, in order that by the grace (unmerited favor) of God [to us sinners] He might experience death for every individual person. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: But we do see him who was for a little while made lower than the angels, Jesus himself, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of his death, a suffering which came to him in order that, by the grace of God, he might drain the cup of death for every man. (Westminster Press)

NET   For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, and so he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,

BBE  For he who makes holy and those who are made holy are all of one family; and for this reason it is no shame for him to give them the name of brothers,

CSB  For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers,

ERV   For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

ESV  For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,

NLT: What we do see is Jesus, who "for a little while was made lower than the angels" and now is "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death for us. Yes, by God's grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone in all the world. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: What we actually see is Jesus, after being made temporarily inferior to the angels (and so subject to pain and death), in order that he should, in God's grace, taste death for every man, now crowned with glory and honour. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: But Jesus, made for a little time lower than the angels with the design that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man, we see crowned as victor with glory and honor because of the suffering of death.  (Eerdmans Publishing - used by permission

Young's Literal: 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.

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 :

Related Passages:

1 Corinthians 15:45+  So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:47+  The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

Isaiah 45:22 “Turn (KJV = LOOK) to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. 

SEEING THE LAST ADAM 
THE FIRST ADAM'S ONLY HOPE!

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.

Man’s revealed destiny, restricted by sin, has been recovered by Christ.
-- John MacArthur 

But we do see (blepo - present tense - continually see) Him Who was made for a little while lower (elattoo) than the angels (aggelos), namely, Jesus (Iesous) - But (term of contrast) begs the question "What is the writer contrasting?" What has he just stated about the dominion of the first Adam? He lost dominion over the creation. Now he contrasts the last Adam, Jesus (1Cor 15:45+, cf "second Man" 1Co 15:47+). So while we do not yet see everything under man's control in this age, we see Jesus Who is the key to restoring man's dominion over the earth.  Also imagine yourself as a Jewish hearer of this message and here the first time you are hearing the name Jesus (this is the writer's first use in this letter). Note the plural "we" which can only refer to true believers for they are the only ones who can see Christ for Who He really is through eyes of faith .  Faith is the key that opens the spiritual kingdom to true believers. (cf Heb 2:8 = "now we do not yet see all things" with "we do see Him") Made for a little while is a description of His incarnation, which was only for a short time, about 33 years. Before this time He was the Creator of the angels and they were subject to Him. After His ascension they are again subject to Jesus. 

Hughes points out "Significantly, this is the first use of the name "Jesus" in the Book of Hebrews, and it is emphatic, stressing his humanity and his work of salvation. It is the name given to him by Gabriel at his birth (Matthew 1:21), and it means, "the Lord is salvation." (Hebrews)

He paid the debt He did not owe
For those who owed but could not pay

J Vernon McGee - But we see Jesus." Because of what the Lord Jesus has done, we behold Him. We see Jesus. This word see does not mean a casual look (ED: and note present tense - continually see). The word means that we look upon Him with understanding. We recognize that in Him is something that our little minds do not grasp. We look upon Him in faith, in trust, in wonder, in awe, and in worship. All of this is wrapped up in the phrase, “We see Jesus.” Do you “see” Him today? Has the Spirit of God taken the veil from your eyes so that you can see Him? “We see Jesus.” Notice that Jesus is His human name. At His conception the angel announced, “… thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). (See context in Thru the Bible)

Brian Bell - Psalm 8 has its ultimate fulfillment in Christ – from the generic son of man (man), to The Son of man (Jesus) at Christ’s advent. Jesus was made for a little while lower (while in His humanity) a) Now crowned in glory & honor. Oh I can’t see little ol’ Brian with all things put under my feet & crowned w/glory & honor – but for now, I see Jesus!

Ray Stedman says: “But, the writer of Hebrews says, we see Jesus! This is man's one hope. With the eye of faith we see Jesus already crowned and reigning over the universe, the man Jesus fulfilling man's lost destiny. In the last book of the Bible there is a scene (in Revelation 5:1-14) where John beholds the One seated upon the throne of the universe while ten thousand times ten thousands and thousands of angels are crying out in unending, undying worship before the throne. The call goes out to find one who is able to open the little book with seven seals which is the title deed to earth, (see explanation by Renald Showers) the right to run the earth.” A search is made through the length and breadth of human history for someone wise enough, strong enough, and compassionate enough to open the seals, but no one can be found. John says, I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll (Rev. 5:4). But the elder said, Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah...has conquered, so that he can open the scroll (Rev. 5:5). And when John turned to see the Lion, to his amazement he saw a Lamb, a Lamb with blood staining its neck, a Lamb that had been slain. As he watched, the Lamb stepped up to the throne and took the little book and all heaven broke into acclaim. Here at last was found One wise enough, strong enough and compassionate enough to solve the problems of man and to own the title deed of earth. (Hebrews 2:5-9 Jesus' Glory As Risen and Enthroned Man)

Jack Arnold - Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s purpose for man to rule and to reign.  Jesus Christ is man’s only hope.  With the eye of faith, God’s elect see Jesus already crowned with glory and honor and ruling over this world.  Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, has come to recapture man’s lost destiny.  What man lost in the Fall, Christ has regained through His death and resurrection.

Jesus in Hebrews - Heb. 2:9; Heb. 3:1; Heb. 4:14; Heb. 6:20; Heb. 7:22; Heb. 7:24; Heb. 10:10; Heb. 10:19; Heb. 12:2; Heb. 12:24; Heb. 13:8; Heb. 13:12; Heb. 13:20; Heb. 13:21

THOUGHT - Have you seen Jesus? Every fallen son of Adam is enslaved by his own lusts unless and until he looks to Jesus. C H Spurgeon was saved when he saw Jesus. He heard the words in KJV of Isaiah 45:22 (Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.) and he looked and was saved from the guttermost to the uttermost! And the same can happen in your life if you have not yet seen Jesus! Read C H Spurgeon's Testimony 

Why was Jesus made lower than the angels? Man was made ‘lower than the angels’ (Heb 2:7). For Jesus to take our humanity and be one of us, by necessity He was made ‘lower than the angels’. Since men are lower than angels, Jesus becoming a man made Him lower as well! 

Notice that angels is a key word in Hebrews 2 - there are 12 uses in Hebrews with 5 in chapter 2 - Heb. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; Heb. 1:6; Heb. 1:7; Heb. 1:13; Heb. 2:2; Heb. 2:5; Heb. 2:7; Heb. 2:9; Heb. 2:16; Heb. 12:22; Heb. 13:2

We do not see man triumphant, but we do see Jesus. How? By faith for as he writes later "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.(Heb 11:1+) Thus we see Moses seeing the unseen - "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing (horao) Him who is unseen." (Heb 11:27+) Seeing with eyes of faith (2Cor 5:7+). Looking at the things not seen (2Cor 4:18+). Fixing our eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2+). Of course where is the best place to see Him today? In his Word, for He is the Word (Jn 1:1+) and will return as the Word of God (Rev 19:13+). 

Jack Arnold - In taking on a human nature, Christ, for a little while (from His birth to His exaltation) was made a little lower than the angels.  As God, Christ always ruled angels, but in his humanity, as the Mediator, He was made lower than the angels.  What wonderment!  Christ, the Creator and Lord of angels, who had been worshipped by them before His incarnation, should be made lower than they.  And all for one purpose, that He might redeem men from sin.

Vincent  says "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 Heb 3:1+; Heb 6:20+; Heb 12:2+)

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)

Spurgeon in his sermon The Best Of All Sights explains that "The text begins with “but,” because it refers to some things which we do not yet see, which are the objects of strong desire. “We do not yet see all things subjected to him.” We do not as yet see Jesus acknowledged as King of kings by all mankind, and this causes us great sorrow, for we would gladly see Him crowned with glory and honor in every corner of the earth by everyone of woman born. He is to many quite unknown, by multitudes rejected and despised, and by comparatively few is He regarded with reverence and love. Sights surround us which might well make us cry with Jeremiah, “Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears” (Jer 9:1), for blasphemy and rebuke, idolatry, superstition, and unbelief prevail on every side. “But,” says the apostle, “we see Jesus.” We see not yet man the master of everything, not even Christ, the model man, the Head of all men. While He was here below, He was not a ruling Lord, but a suffering Servant. He said to His disciples, “I am among you as He that serveth.” Yet it is in Him that the dominion once given to man is to be seen most clearly displayed. Man does not yet rule the world. Wild beasts defy him. Storms vanquish him. There are a thousand things not at present submissive to his control. Here is the representative Man who is supreme over all: “We see Jesus,” We see that by faith. We see Jesus, not merely as God, but as the God-man exalted “far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion.” 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 froze which the first Adam fell, but He has made us stand so securely there that we shall not again descend around the ruins of the Fall! Glory be to His holy Name! (The Best Of All Sights)

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. (See full sermon Seeing Jesus)

Click for comments by F B Meyer on Hebrews 2:9 (from The Way into the Holiest)


Dwight Pentecost lists several reasons for the incarnation of Christ in Hebrews 2:5-18. The following list is extracted from his commentary Faith That Endures: A Practical Commentary on the Book of Hebrews

(1) To fulfill God’s purpose for man Hebrews 2:5-9 - The first reason for the Incarnation is so that God’s purpose for man might be finally realized by the One who would take the title, “The Son of Man.”

(2) To taste death for all Hebrews 2:9 The second reason for the Incarnation is given in the latter part of verse 9. Jesus Christ became incarnate that He “might taste death for everyone.”

(3) To bring many sons to glory Hebrews 2:10-13 The third reason for the Incarnation is stated in verses 10–13. He came that He might bring many sons to glory.

(4) To destroy the devil Hebrews 2:14 The fourth reason for the Incarnation is given in verse 14. Jesus Christ partook of flesh and blood; that is, He took to Himself a true and complete humanity so that on man’s behalf “He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

(5)  To deliver those in bondage Hebrews 2:15 The fifth reason for the Incarnation is found in verse 15. Through the Incarnation, which included the death of Christ, people could be delivered from bondage to the fear of death.

(6) To become a priest for men Hebrews 2:16-17a - The sixth reason for the Incarnation is found in verses 16–17a, namely, that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest on man’s behalf.

(7) To make propitiation for sins Hebrews 2:17b The seventh reason for the Incarnation is stated at the end of verse 17. The Son became man “to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

(8)  To provide help for those tested Hebrews 2:18 The eighth reason for the Incarnation is given in verse 18. Since God Himself cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13), nor can He be put to a test (Deut. 6:16; Matt. 4:7), it was necessary for Jesus Christ by incarnation to identify Himself with people to faithfully represent those who are tempted and tested.


Steven Cole on seeing Jesus -  by faith we should see Jesus and marvel at what He did for us and that we are now in Him (Heb 2:9). He left the splendor of heaven and not only took on human flesh, but also went to the cross on our behalf! “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” (Charles Wesley). That is why our Lord ordained Communion, so that we would remember Him and what He did on the cross for us. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal 2:20+). Paul daily saw Jesus, who endured the cross on his behalf. And, he saw him-self in Christ, so that all the benefits of Christ’s death applied to him. That is how we should live each day.

If you feel weak, despised, or insignificant in this evil world, take courage! In Christ, we are more than conquerors. Although it is difficult to fathom, in the ages to come we will reign with Christ in His kingdom. It doesn’t really matter what the world thinks of you. What matters is what God thinks of you. If you have trusted Christ as the One who bore your sins on the cross, then God has imputed His righteousness to you. You are purified from your sins. You can know that although you are just a speck on planet earth, which is just a speck in this gigantic universe, God cares for you and has a purpose for your life. That purpose transcends the short life we have in this body, and extends through eternity in our glorified bodies that we will receive when Christ returns. (Hebrews 2:5-9 Our Glorious Destiny in Christ)


M. R. DeHaan points out: How can any believer stand at the manger in Bethlehem and realize that there God emptied himself to save us, and not be deeply moved? How can we behold him, covered with blood and spittle in Pilate's hall and realize it was in our place, and not be willing to say, "Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee." How can a truly born-again believer stand at Calvary in the awful stifling darkness, and hear the cry of the Son of God that shook the foundations of heaven, "My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" and not fall down before him and cry:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.


See (991) (blepo) means to see frequently in the sense of becoming aware of or taking notice of something. Blepo denotes voluntary observation. In the present context clearly it has to be seeing with the eyes of faith. The writer uses it in the sense of urging his readers to "take care" (see to it) later in the letter writing…

Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12+)

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…

own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25+)

Comment: What day do they "see" drawing nigh? The return of Christ, at which time we will also "see" Him Who tasted death for all).

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…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (blepo)( see note Hebrews 1:1)

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, (blepo) in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (see note Hebrews 11:7)

Made lower (1642) (elattoo from from elattôn = less) means to lessen, to decrease in status or rank, to make less. There are only three NT uses, the present verse and the following two verses…

He must (dei = an obligation, not an option = it is necessary; present tense - = continually!!!) increase, but I must (added by translators) decrease (elattoo in the present tense = continually) (John 3:30)

Comment: John the Baptist gives us the "secret" to a powerful, purposeful life. Observe the order - Jesus first and foremost. Why? When we see Him in this manner, we have but one choice if we are rightly related to Him - to bow, to fall on our face, to submit to His will rather than our own. If we "invert" the order and it's us "decreasing", the trap is that "we" become the focus rather than Jesus. And we can begin to "try to decrease" by setting up rules, etc (and fall into the subtle trap of legalism). The verb decreased here is in the middle voice, indicates the special interest {reflexive = "I myself decreased"} John had in his own decrease, e.g., in authority and popularity.

But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower (elattoo) than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (See note Hebrews 2:7)

Angels (32) (aggelos/angelos) means a messenger… who speaks and acts in place of one who has sent him. Angels have considerable authority in this present world (Da 10:13; Mt 18:10), and our present inhabited earth, is ruled by a fallen angel Satan (see notes on the prince of the power of the air in Ep 2:2+).

Jesus (2424Iesous is transliteration of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew name Jehoshua (Yehoshua) or Jeshua (Yeshua) which mean Jehovah is help or Jehovah is salvation. Stated another way the Greek Iesous corresponds to the OT Jehoshua (Yehoshua) which is contracted as Jeshua (Yeshua). In the Gospels the single Name Jesus (Iesous) is used as His personal Name and is found 538 times. In the Epistles Jesus is usually (but not always - e.g., Ro 3:26; 4:24; 1Cor 12:3; 2Cor 11:4; Phil 2:10; 1Th 4:14; Heb 7:22; 10:19, etc) used in combination with Christ or Lord (see next paragraph). Jesus is known by Christ alone some 44 times in the Gospels.

Looking at the entire NT we find Jesus in several combinations…

  • Jesus Christ (137x in 134v)
  • Christ Jesus (91x in 86v) All except one use (Acts 24:24) are by Paul.
  • Lord Jesus Christ (63x in 63v).
  • Lord Jesus (without Christ) (38x in 38v)
  • Jesus the Christ occurs in Acts 3:20.
  • Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:22, cp Acts 17:3).
  • Jesus was the Christ (Acts 18:5, 28).
  • Jesus Christ the Nazarene (Acts 4:10).
  • Jesus Christ our Lord (Ro 1:4)

After Paul was saved "immediately he began to proclaim Jesus (Textus Receptus - KJV has "preached Christ" in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20)

One of my favorite (older) choruses is Jesus, Name Above All Names

Jesus, Name above all names,
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emanuel, God is with us,
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word.


James Smith -  BUT WE SEE JESUS Hebrews 2:9

(1) See Him as God’s equal (John 1:3; Heb. 1:3).

(2) See Him in great poverty (2 Cor. 8:9).

(3) See Him in deep sorrow (Isa. 53).

(4) See Him in self-sacrificing love (Matt. 20:28).

(5) See Him in His unfailing obedience (John 6:38).

(6) See Him in His mighty power (Eph. 1:20, 21; Phil. 2:9, 10).

(7) See Him in His infinite compassion (Heb. 4:15).

(8) See Him in great glory (1 John 3:2).


Robert Hawker -  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour.—Hebrews 2:9.

Mark, my soul, the very sweet and peculiar manner in which God the Holy Ghost here speaks of Jesus. He was “made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Yes! A body, such as our’s, was given him, for the express purpose of suffering. Our nature, by reason of sin, required a sacrifice for sin. It behoved him, therefore, to be in all things like unto his brethren. But when he had made his soul an offering for sin, he for ever sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. To none of the angels was it ever said, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Now ponder these blessed things, and then say, whether thou hast so seen Jesus? If so, thou hast seen thy nature in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, not only exalted above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, but thou hast seen him “crowned with glory and honour,” as the head of his body the Church. I charge it upon thee, my soul, that in all thy views of the Lord Jesus, as a risen and exalted Saviour, thou for ever connect with it, and never lose sight of it, that it is Jesus, as Jesus in his human nature, that is so exalted, so honoured and glorified. It would be no honour, but rather a degradation of the Son of God, as God, to say such things of him, as being made or receiving a throne, or having glory given to him. All power, sovereignty, and might, are his before. But when we behold Jesus as “made a little lower than the angels,” and becoming Mediator, he stands forth the servant of Jehovah, redeeming his Church and people, and, as such, “for the suffering of death, is crowned with glory and honour.” And oh! how blessed the view! For if he was thus crowned in our nature, then surely he will have respect to our nature in all the wants of his people. If he be exalted in our nature, surely he is exalted in that nature “as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.” And if it be the same Lord Jesus, whose head is now crowned with glory, that was once crowned with thorns, oh! with what humble confidence may a poor sinner, such as I am, look up and tell him of the glories of his cross, now shining with tenfold lustre in the glories of his crown! Shall I not hope, dear Lord! by the sweet influences of thy blessed Spirit, to make every day a coronation day, when by faith I crown thee my true and lawful Sovereign, desiring to bring every thought and affection of my poor heart into obedience to thee, to bow the knee of my heart before thee, and with holy joy “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father?” Amen.


Warren Wiersbe on seeing Jesus - Ponder these verses: “We wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21), “We see Jesus” (Heb. 2:9), and “We shall see Him [Jesus]” (1 John 3:2+). The first is the plea of the sinner; the second is the privilege of the saint; the third is the promise of the Scripture. (See context in With the Word: The Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Handbook

BECAUSE OF THE SUFFERING OF DEATH CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOR: dia to pathema tou thanatou doxa kai time estephanomenon (RPPMSA):

Related Passages

Philippians 2:8-10 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Isaiah 53:4-6  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 

THE CROSS 
BEFORE THE CROWN

Because of - term of explanation

The suffering (pathemaof death (thanatos) crowned (stephanoowith glory (doxa) and honor (time) - Suffering of death describes the cross (Jesus' humiliation), the most excruciating way to die in the ancient world.  Jesus was crowned with glory and honour (Jesus' exaltation) because of the suffering of death. Christ’s exaltation and preeminence over the angels was paradoxically achieved through His humiliation and death. It is fitting that crowned is in the perfect tense signifying the permanence of this crown. He will forever be King of kings! 

J Vernon McGee on suffering of death -  Christ alone could redeem man, and He could do it only by dying upon the Cross. It was the only way. “Crowned with glory and honor” He wasn’t crowned with glory and honour by His death but because He came to this earth and died on the Cross for you and for me. Let me emphasize again and again that there is a Man in the glory. He wasn’t there some twenty-five hundred years ago. Instead He was the second Person of the Godhead—let’s call Him Jehovah, for Jesus is Jehovah. And He was and is God, very God of very God. But today He is also very man of very man. He took upon Himself humanity, and because He did this, He was given glory and honor in heaven that wasn’t there before. “Should taste death for every man” means that He not only experienced the pangs of death, but He had the experience of what death really is—the very fullest depth of it. He drank the cup of death. That bitter cup was pressed to His lips, and He drank every bit of it. He did this for you and me. “By the grace of God.” He did this by the grace of God—that God could be gracious to you and to me today and save us.  (See context Thru the Bible)

Wuest - The words “for the suffering of death” are in the Greek text associated with the words, “crowned with glory and honor.” It was through our Lord’s sufferings and because of them that He was crowned with glory and honor. Our Lord’s exaltation and preeminence over the angels was obtained through His humiliation. God manifested His grace toward man in that He set forth His Son as the propitiation that would pay for sin. As in Heb 2:7, the distinctive word for “crowned” is stephanoo, the act of placing a victor’s crown upon the head. Here the Last Adam gained the victory through the Blood of His Cross over the Serpent under whose attack the First Adam had gone down in defeat, dragging down with him, the entire human race of which he was the federal head. But the Last Adam, raising Himself out from under that awful thing called death, brings with Him from that sphere into which He vicariously descended, the saints of all ages, to some day share His glory and honor on His throne. (Commentary)

Vincent writes that "Exaltation was the logical result of Christ’s humiliation (cp. Php 2:9+), not simply its recompense (cp. Mt. 23:12; Lk 14:11; 18:14). He was glorified in humiliation. “The humiliation is only the glory not yet begun.”

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…

this Man, (Jesus) delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge (prognosis) of God (God's sovereignty), you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death (Men's responsibility). (Acts 2:23+)

But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled. (Acts 3:18+)

For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined (proorizo) to occur. (Acts 4:27-28+)

In the KJV of the Revelation John writes that Jesus was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:8+)


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).

Pathema is used 3x in Hebrews - Heb 2:9, Heb 2:10, Heb 10:32.

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 "He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus the Son) Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor 5:21) 

Thanatos us used 8x in Hebrews - Heb. 2:9; Heb. 2:14; Heb. 2:15; Heb. 5:7; Heb. 7:23; Heb. 9:15; Heb. 9:16; Heb. 11:5. 

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. Used only 3x in the NT - 2Ti 2:5; Heb. 2:7 = of man = " YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR"; Heb. 2:9. 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.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:8-11+)

It follows that Christ is our example to follow "in His steps" that we receive a stephanos! Peter expands this idea writing…

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, (1Pe 2:21+)

Comment: Peter is speaking in context to slaves and so illustrates his words by citing Christ's example of suffering unjustly. By way of application all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. The "cross" always precedes the "crown" in God's economy!

Glory (1391) doxa from dokeo = to think) in simple terms means to give a proper opinion or estimate of something. Glory is something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration. It describes renown, a thing that is beautiful, impressive, or worthy of praise. It follows that the glory of God expresses all that He is in His Being and in His nature, character, power and acts. He is glorified when He is allowed to be seen as He really is. To be where God is will be glory. To be what God intended will be glory. To do what God purposed will be glory.

Honor (5092time basically is the worth ascribed to a person or the value ascribed to a thing. Nuances include (1) The amount at which something is valued, the price, value Mt 27:6, 9; Ac 5:2f; 7:16; 19:19. times -  for a price 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23. (2) manifestation of esteem, honor, reverence, respect Jn 4:44; Ac 28:10; Ro 2:7,10; 12:10; 13:7; 1 Ti 6:1; 2 Ti 2:20f; 1 Pe 3:7; Rev 4:9; 5:13; 21:26. A right that is specially conferred, a privilege 1Pe 2:7. Respectability 1 Th 4:4. Place of honor, office Heb 5:4.  The honor conferred through compensation = Honorarium, compensation may be the sense in 1 Ti 5:17, though honor and respect are also possible.—The expression ouk en time tini Col 2:23 is probably they are of no value in

SO THAT BY THE GRACE OF GOD HE MIGHT TASTE DEATH FOR EVERYONE: hopos chariti theou huper pantos geusetai (3SAMS) thanatou:

A DESCRIPTION OF
AMAZING GRACE!

So that by the grace (charis) of God He might taste (geuomaideath (thanatosfor everyone - So that (hopos) means in order that (see term of purpose or result) and introduces a purpose clause which is pregnant with meaning. By (dia) defines the instrumentality or channel. It was all by God's grace! All unmerited favor to sinful men that the Son would become sin as our substitute. To taste death means essentially to experience or partake of death. Christ did not just take a little sip, but drank the full dregs of death for us! He experienced it to the full! God's grace sent Christ into the world to experience death so that men (who believe in Him) might live and regain the paradise Adam lost.  Death defeated the first Adam, but the second Adam conquered death. 

MacArthur explains by the grace of God by asking "What moved Jesus Christ to suffer for us? It was grace—free, loving kindness. What we did not deserve (salvation) we received, and what we deserved (death) we did not receive. That is grace. And what prompts grace? Love. Love—unbounded love—prompted Christ's gracious work on our behalf. Solely on the basis of His own love Jesus died. Not primarily by the hands of men or by the work of Satan, but by the determined plan and foreknowledge of God He died for our sins. "No one has taken [My life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative" (John 10:18). The Son's love was one with the Father's love. "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10)." (See MacArthur Commentary)

God's grace to us led Christ to His death.

The author says Christ's death was for (huper) or in behalf of everyone. It was instead of everyone's own death, for we were guilty of sin and condemned to die eternally. For (huper) means "for the benefit of" another person and in this context describes the doctrine of substitution. This single word (huper in this context) describes Christ's substitutionary death on behalf of or in place of sinners (cf huper in Titus 2:14+ "Who gave Himself for [huper] us to redeem us from every lawless deed." or 1Co 11:24+ "The is my body which is for [huper] you." See similar uses of huper in Ro 5:6 - "for the ungodly," 2Co 5:15 - "He died for all", 2Co 5:21 "to be sin on our behalf," Gal 3:13 - "having become a curse for us") Christ's death was in behalf of everyone (not everything as the early Greek theologians took it).

ILLUSTRATION - On one occasion, President Harry Truman was asked to speak at a fund-raising project to help the children of a White House guard who was slain in the line of duty. With great feeling he said, "You can't image how a man feels when someone else dies for him."

On the other hand, the writer of Hebrews is not teaching  universalism (that everyone will be saved) as is taught by some cults and some liberal pulpits! What He might taste death for everyone teaches is that 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).

"The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God."
-- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

On the phrase by the grace of God, Octavius Winslow's words are 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!"

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.

Great God of wonders!
All Thy ways
Are matchless,
Godlike, and divine;
But the fair glories of Thy grace,
More Godlike and unrivalled shine.
Samuel Davies

The verb made lower is in the perfect tense which emphasizes the completed state or condition and also indicates that the human nature  of Christ as a Man continues. Indeed this observation would fit with John's description of Jesus in Revelation 5 where 3 times he describes Him as if slain (Rev 5:6, 9, 12+). The description of as if slain in Rev 5:6+ is in the perfect tense, indicating that Jesus was slain in the past at a point in time (the Cross) and the effects of that crucifixion endure. In other words John's description of Jesus' scars in Heaven will attest throughout eternity that He paid the price of redemption once for all time with the efficacy of that redemption enduring eternally.  Christ tasting death has made it possible for fallen men to be restored to their destined glory and dominion.

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!

English asks the question "What does it mean, "He tasted death"? The expression tells us that He partook of it. He tasted it to its fullest depth. We cannot comprehend all it meant to the eternal and sinless Son to be made sin for us, but we do know that the separation from the Father thus required magnified death for sin to the greatest possible degree."

Lenski says "To taste death"=to undergo all its dread bitterness; it is not a softening but rather a strengthening of the simple verb "to die." Jesus tasted death, not by merely sipping, but by fully draining the cup. The emphasis is on huperpantos, masculine: "for the benefit of everyone." The fact that this includes universality as well as substitution is rather plain although neither idea is in the foreground, this being the idea of benefiting everyone by opening up to him the avenue to eternal glory and honor.

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)

John Owen on taste death - Christ by tasting of death had experience, knew what was in death, as threatened unto sinners. He found out and understood what bitterness was in that cup wherein it was given Him.

W E Vine says "The tasting is to be distinguished from the idea of having a taste of death; it describes what is slow and painful."

Moffatt observed that this taste was "a bitter experience, not a rapid sip."

Was it for crimes that I had done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
--Isaac Watts
(Play Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed?)

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.

Don't miss what the writer is saying here -- it is of profound theological (and practical) importance in this life and the life to come. He is describing Jesus' death in our place. We have all been born with Adam's "sin gene" and thus we deserve to die eternally (Ro 5:12+). Jesus, as the last (second) Adam (1Cor 15:45+, cf "second Man" 1Co 15:47+), was sent by His Father to die in our place (cf Jn 3:16+), which is in its very essence the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. All the OT animal sacrifices had as one of their major purposes to show sinful men that they needed a substitute to die in their place for their sins. Every OT sacrifice pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God at Calvary (Jn 1:29+). When Jesus tasted death, it was not without purpose. He tasted death so that those who believe in His sacrificial death, His death in their place as their Substitute, will not have to taste eternal death! Yes, it says "for everyone" which might suggest universalism to some, but the Bible is abundantly clear that no one is born again and enters into the Kingdom of God or heaven without believing in Jesus (cf John 3:7-8+, Acts 16:30-31+, Ro 10:9-10+). Jesus Christ's once and for all time payment (Heb 10:12,14+) has been made (See Paid in Full) and is offered as a gift of grace (cf Ro 3:24+) to all who would receive it, also by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9+). Have you received His incredible gift of eternal life? He died for you, but you must place your faith in Him to have His perfect righteousness imputed or reckoned to your "spiritual bank account" (so to speak). When that "wire transfer" (so to speak) is made, the Father looks at you, and He is satisfied that the price has been Paid in Full, because He sees that you are in covenant with His Son. You are in Christ, safe and secure eternally. Once (truly) saved, always saved! To use an OT analogy, you are "safe in the Ark" (of Christ), so that when the flood waters of God's final wrath come, you will be rescued from eternal punishment. "O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps 34:8), because He tasted death for you and for me!

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.

For everyone - Note the truth that Jesus tasted of death for every man would support the universality of His atonement. But many respected teachers like John MacArthur favor limited atonement (see resources below).

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,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by his precious blood.
--Cecil Frances Alexander

Paul wrote that Messiah "gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time."(1Ti 6:2)

In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight (Eph 1:7-8+)

and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2Cor 5:15+)

Jesus Himself testified that "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:32)

John spoke of the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice writing…

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1John 2:2)


Grace (5485) (charis) refers to God's unmerited favor (Acrostic = God's Riches At Christ's Expense). Grace is costly for it cost Christ His life on the cross 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!

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.

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.


Related Resources:


"HE DIED FOR ME!" In sixteenth century England, Oliver Cromwell ordered that a soldier be shot for his crimes at the ringing of the evening bell. But that night at the fateful hour, no sound came from the belfry. The girl who was to be married to the condemned man had climbed up into the tower and had clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. Brought before Cromwell to give an account of her actions, she only wept and showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell was greatly impressed, and he said, "Your lover is alive because of your sacrifice. He will not be shot!"


Stephen Charnock -- The more a man pays for a thing, the more usually we say he deserves to have it, he hath paid enough for it. It was indeed price enough, and too much for such vile creatures as we are.


"STANDING IN HIS SHOES" Some years ago a poor, elderly woman was approached by a skeptic. The man said sarcastically, "Well, Betty, you claim you're one of the saints. Tell me what you mean by that. Are you trying to say you're well versed in religion?" "No, sir, I'm not a scholar nor a theologian," replied the Christian, "but I'm positive about one thing--I'm saved by grace. That's enough to make me happy in this life and bring me safely to Heaven." "Is that all you know about it? Can't you at least explain a little more what being saved by grace means?" the man insisted. Betty thought for a few moments and then answered, "Why, it means that because the Lord stood in my shoes at Calvary, I'm now standing in His!" Though that happy believer had no special Bible training, she had expressed the great theological doctrine of substitutionary atonement in simple, accurate, everyday language. The conviction and c


Octavius Winslow's Devotional…

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; - Hebrews 2:9

There was an honoring, but not a glorifying of our humanity, when the Son of God assumed it. Its union with the Deity-its fullness of the Spirit-its spotless holiness-its deep knowledge of, and intimate fellowship with, God-conspired to invest it with a dignity and honor such as no creature had ever before, or ever shall again attain. But not until its ascension into heaven was it glorified. Oh, through what humiliation did it pass, what indignity did it endure, when below! What sinless weaknesses, imperfections, and frailties clung to it! It hungered, it thirsted, it labored, it sorrowed, it wept, it suffered, it bled, it died! "The poor man's scorn, the rich man's ridicule," what indignities did it endure! It was scourged, it was bruised, it was mocked, it was smitten, it was spit upon, it was nailed to the tree, it was pierced, it was slain! Oh, what eye, but that of faith, can, through all this degradation, behold the person of the incarnate God?

But now "we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." Even after His resurrection, it must be acknowledged that a change, approximating to that state of glory, had already passed over Him. So spiritualized was He, that even His disciples, when they saw Him, knew Him not. What, then, must be the glory that encircles Him now that He has passed within His kingdom, and is exalted at the right hand of God, "far above all heavens, that He might fill all things"! John, during his banishment at Patmos, was favored with a view of His glorified humanity, and thus describes its dazzling appearance-"I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shines in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Sublime description of the "glory and honor" which now crown the exalted humanity of our adorable Redeemer! Did the awe-stricken and prostrate evangelist entertain any doubt of the glorious person who thus appeared to him? That doubt must all have vanished the moment he felt the "right hand" of Jesus laid upon Him, and heard His own familiar voice saying unto him, "Fear not." Oh, what a tangible evidence and what a near view did he now have of the exalted and glorified humanity of his Lord! At that instant he saw Him to be divine, and he felt Him to be human!

Yes! The very tabernacle of flesh in which He dwelt, the identical robe of humanity that He wore, He carried up with Him into heaven, and sat down with it upon the throne. There it is, highly exalted. There it is, above angels, and higher than saints, in close affinity and eternal union with the Godhead. There it is, bathing itself in the "fullness of joy," and drinking deeply of the satisfying "pleasures" which are at God's "right hand for evermore." Oh, what must be the holy delight which the human soul of Jesus now experiences! Sin presses upon it no more; sorrow beclouds it no more; the hidings of God's face distress it no more; infirmity clings to it no more: it exults in the beams of God's unveiled glory, and it swims in the ocean of His ineffable love. If the vision upon Mount Tabor was so glorious-if the splendors there encircling that form which yet had not passed through the scenes of the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension, were so overpowering-if the attractions of that spot were so great, and the ecstasy of that moment was so ravishing-what, oh, what must be the glory, the joy, the bliss of heaven, where we shall no longer see Him "through a glass darkly," but "as He is," and "face to face"!


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!

"Fight the good fight with all thy might,
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally."

From - The Call and Challenge of the Unseen


J C Philpot has the following devotional thoughts on Hebrews 2:9

How wondrous that he who, as the Son of God, made the angels, should be made inferior to them, and even need and receive their ministering aid and support. O the depths of humiliation to which the blessed Redeemer stooped, carrying down into their lowest point that pure, spotless, holy humanity which he had assumed into union with his divine Person as the Son of God! And let us ever bear carefully in mind that humiliation is not degradation. Our blessed Lord "humbled himself" by a voluntary act of surpassing grace; and it was no more in the power of men or circumstances to debase him of his glory than of lying witnesses to strip him of his innocency. The spotless purity of his sacred humanity, as in union with his divine nature, and as filled with and upheld by the Holy Spirit, preserved it from degradation in its lowest humiliation. The crown of thorns and the purple robe, the mocking knee of the Roman soldier and the taunting scoff of the Jewish priest, though they called forth the grace, did not tarnish the glory of our suffering Lord. His holy obedience to his Father's will in drinking the bitter cup, his meek dignity amid the worst of insults, and his calm resignation to all the weight of suffering which God or man laid upon him, all shone forth the more conspicuously under every attempt to dishonor him.

It is most sweet and blessed to look down, as it were, into some of those depths of humiliation into which the Redeemer sank, and to see that in the lowest depths of his soul travail, when he was poured out like water, and his heart, broken with grief and sorrow, was melted within him like wax, he was, in the midst of all, the glorious Son of God, though then the suffering Son of man; and that he was the same Jesus yesterday when hanging on the cross, as he is today at the right hand of his Father, and will be forever in the realms of heavenly bliss. (J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers)

Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation through sufferings. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Eprepen (3SIAI) gar auto, di' on ta panta kai di' ou ta panta, pollous huious eis doxan agagonta (AAPMSA) ton archegon tes soterias auton dia pathematon teleiosai. (AAN)

BGT  ἔπρεπεν γὰρ αὐτῷ, δι᾽ ὃν τὰ πάντα καὶ δι᾽ οὗ τὰ πάντα, πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν διὰ παθημάτων τελειῶσαι.

KJV   For 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.

NET  For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

BBE  Because it was right for him, for whom and through whom all things have being, in guiding his sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation complete through pain.

CSB   For in bringing many sons to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God-- all things exist for Him and through Him-- should make the source of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

ERV   For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

ESV   For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Amplified: For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: For, in his work of bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that he for whom everything exist and through whom everything exist, should make the pioneer of salvation fully adequate for his destined work through suffering. (Westminster Press)

NLT: And it was only right that God--who made everything and for whom everything was made--should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: It was right and proper that in bringing many sons to glory, God (from whom and by whom everything exists) should make the leader of their salvation a perfect leader through the fact that he suffered (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: For it was fitting for Him, for whose sake all things exist, and through whose agency all things came into existence, when bringing many sons into glory, to make complete (as to His Saviour-hood) the file-leader of their salvation through sufferings. 

Young's Literal: For it was becoming to Him, because of whom are the all things, and through whom are the all things, many sons to glory bringing, the author of their salvation through sufferings to make perfect,

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:

THE GREAT HEART
OF THE FATHER

For (gar) (term of explanation) - gives the reason why "the grace of God" required that Jesus "should taste death." In the context of this letter, the writer is explaining in essence why there first had to be a suffering Messiah, a concept which was foreign to most Jewish thinking and in fact even a stumbling block to many Jews. Recall Peter's reaction in Mt 16:22 when informed that Jesus must die even rebuked Jesus declaring "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” And so the writer proceeds to explain that the suffering and death of the Messiah was in perfect keeping with the character and nature of God. A B Bruce said "The intention is to ascribe to God, in connection with the sufferings of Christ, an end indisputably worthy of Him who is the final end of all things." 

TECHNICAL NOTE - Robertson on For Whom (di’ hon). Referring to autōi (God) as the reason (cause) for the universe (ta panta). Through Whom (di’ hou). With the genitive dia expresses the agent by whom the universe came into existence, a direct repudiation of the Gnostic view of intermediate agencies (aeons) between God and the creation of the universe.  The universe comes out of God, by means of God, for God. This writer has already said that God used his Son as the Agent (di’ hou) in creation (Hebrews 1:2), a doctrine in harmony with Col. 1:15-16 (en autōi, di’ autou eis auton) and John 1:3.(Word Pictures)

Steven Cole adds "This verse must have jarred his Jewish Christian readers! They were struggling with the offense of the Cross. Although they had believed in Jesus, they were being tempted by unbelieving Jews who said, “How could Jesus be the Messiah if He died? Our Messiah will conquer all our enemies, not die. Your Messiah didn’t die a heroic death or even a normal death. Rather, He died as a common criminal, in the most shameful death imaginable, on a Roman cross! You want us to believe that this Man is our Savior? You’ve got to be kidding!” So the author is showing why Jesus’ death did not disqualify Him as Messiah and Savior. It did not mean that He was inferior to the angels, who do not die. In fact, Jesus’ death was God’s very means not only to glorify Jesus, but also to bring many sons to glory. It was part of God’s eternal plan. So the author wants to remove the offense of the cross for his readers so that they will not be ashamed to proclaim it as the very power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24) and to rejoice in it. (Why Jesus' Death Was Fitting

MacArthur adds that "The cross was a serious stumbling block to them. Jewish converts even had difficulty with this issue. How could Jesus be greater than angels if angels never die? How could He be a Savior if He Himself were killed? These were lingering questions.

It was fitting (prepofor Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things - As alluded to above, it was fitting means it was entirely appropriate and it is in complete accord with God's nature. "What God did through Jesus Christ was consistent with His character." (MacArthur - see full explanation) (see also Wuest's explanation of it was fitting). It was fitting for the Father to bring men to glory through the sufferings of Jesus. Him refers to God the Father, referring to the sovereign God. For Him, for Whom...through Whom is a doxology (like Ro 11:36, 1Cor 8:6) and emphasizes that the Father is the cause of all things. This doxology-like description of God indicates that the sufferings and death of Jesus are not accidental but are part of the eternal purpose of God and Who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11+)

Leon Morris explains the description of God this way - “The words show that the sufferings of Jesus did not take place by chance. They have their place in God’s great eternal purpose” (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Adam Clarke on it was fitting - It was suitable to the Divine wisdom, the requisitions of justice, and the economy of grace, to offer Jesus as a sacrifice, in order to bring many sons and daughters to glory. For whom—and by whom—God is the cause of all things, and he is the object or end of them.

John MacArthur adds "What God did through the humiliation of Jesus Christ was perfectly consistent with His sovereign righteousness and holiness (ED: SEE WUEST BELOW). Without Christ's humiliation and suffering, there could be no redemption. Without redemption, there could be no glorification (cf. Ro 8:18, 29, 30)." (See context in Hebrews)

Wuest explains it is fitting this way - It was not a logical necessity (dei "ought") as in verse 1. It was not an obligation growing out of circumstances (opheilen) as in 2:17 (behooved). It was an inner fitness in God's dealings. 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. (for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things) 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. (Hebrews)

R Kent Hughes on it is fitting - Do you want to see the character and power of God? Look at the cosmos. Turn your face like an astronomer to the Milky Way, and as your visage is illumined, let your mind go 600 trillion miles to the edge of our galaxy and visit our neighboring galaxy, the first of some hundred thousand million more "neighbors." Then you will see something of him "for whom and through whom everything exists." Do you want to see even more of God's character and power? Then look to his final word, Christ, for in him you have an even greater display of his power and moral character. What God did through his suffering Son fits with his eternal power. (See context in Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul)

Spurgeon writes that "Here you have God set forth as being both the beginning and the end of everything. All things are for him,— to do His bidding, to accomplish His purpose, to act forth His glory; and this because all things are by Him,— in their first creation, in their subsequent preservation, and in all that is yet to come of them. Of Whom speaks the apostle this but of the Triune God, to Whom be glory for ever and ever? Of whom speaks he this — if we would be still more exact,— but of the Father Who has made His Son perfect in bringing many sons unto glory? It is the Father “for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.”…Now, in the matter of our salvation, we need One, “by Whom are all things,” for none but the Creator can create us anew in Christ Jesus. No one who has less power than the Divine Preserver of men can keep us from falling; and none but the Divine Being, Who encompasses all things within the range of His infinite mind, can guard us against the many terrible perils on the way to heaven. If ever we are to be brought to glory, it must be by the God “by Whom are all things;” and certainly, if we are brought there, as I pray that we all may be,— it will be by Him “for Whom are all things,” and we shall forever adore the mystery of His grace which landed us safely on the heavenly shore.  Every part of the great plan of salvation sets forth the splendor of the grace of the Most High God. What do we see in our election but his grace? What do we see in our redemption but his grace? What do we see in our conversion but his grace? What do we see in our justification, sanctification, adoption, and anal preservation, but his grace? By him, in grace as well as in nature, are all things; and for him, in grace as well as in nature, are all things; unto him belong both the power and the glory, the two must ever go together. He works all our works in us, and unto him be all the praise, world without end! We start, then, with this as a sort of key-note,— that the great Father, who has purposed our salvation, is able to fully carry out what he has planned, for by him are all things; and he also has an admirable reason for accomplishing it, because it will bring to him glory, and for him are all things. If our salvation would degrade his name in any sense or respect, if the salvation of sinners would even obscure the severity of his justice, it might be a question whether it would ever be accomplished; but, since there is nothing about this work but what will bring to him honor and glory, we rest assured that, having put his hand to it, he will not withdraw his arm until he has fully accomplished his eternal purpose to the praise of the glory of his grace. (The Captain of Our Salvation)


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.

IN BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY TO PERFECT THE AUTHOR OF THEIR SALVATION: ta panta pollous huious eis doxan agagonta (AAPMSA) ton archegon tes soterias auton dia pathematon teleiosai (AAN)

Related Passages:

Romans 8:18+ For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Corinthians 4:17+ For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

Acts 3:15+  but put to death the Prince (archegos) of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

Acts 5:31+  “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince (archegos) and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 12:2+  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author (archegos) 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. 

John 1:12+ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

Galatians 4:6-7+ Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. 

OUR CAPTAIN LEADS
US TO GLORY

in bringing many sons to glory - Bringing (ago) (ago) means leading along, bringing, carrying. The picture is of the Conquering, Victorious Son preceding the saved saints on the road to heaven, clearly declaring to all who have ears to hear "I am the way (the specific and only road), and the truth (the specific and only truth), and the life (the specific and only eternal life); no one (absolutely no one) comes to the Father, but through (the channel through which we enter eternal life - this speaks of Christ's role as our Mediator and Great High Priest) Me. (John 14:6) Sons in context refers to all who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord and speaks of an intimate family relationship in the family of God. Glory is their future destiny, for when they see Christ at the Rapture or at death, they will be like Him, glorified! (1Jn 3:2). So even has He has been crowned with glory and honor (Heb 2:9), believers will forever share His glory! Amazing grace indeed! 

The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.

The writer of Hebrews in a parallel passage states that the blood of Jesus has open our way into the Holy of holies "by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh. (Heb 10:20+

Warren Wiersbe - Christ gave up His glory to become man. He regained His glory when He arose and ascended to heaven. Now He shares that glory with all who trust Him for salvation (John 17:22–24). He is bringing many sons and daughters to glory! (See context in Be Confident - Hebrews)

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 sons, the believer's new sonship in the family of God, Paul writes that "all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Ro 8:13-18+)

Phillips says: His sufferings were fruitful, for as a result of them He brings "many sons unto glory" (2:10b). Believers have an astounding place in the family: they are sons! They have an equally astounding place in the future: they will be in glory. Heaven, after all, is a prepared place for a prepared people. The Lord's finished work on Golgotha prepared the people; in glory today He is preparing the place.

In Ephesians Paul explained that God's sons (and daughters) were in His heart and mind before the foundation of the world, Paul recording "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined (cf "before the foundation of the world") us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Eph 1:4-6+)

To perfect (teleioothe Author (archegosof their salvation (soteria) through sufferings (pathema) - Jesus was sinless, perfectly sinless, but as a Man He had to experience the sufferings and temptations (Heb 2:18) of men to fully identify with us.  To make Jesus fully qualified as the "Pioneer of their salvation" the training required involved passing "thru suffering". Why then should we expect any less? (Ro 5:3-5+).We shall never be fit for the Heavenly Promised Land, unless we first pass through the wilderness. There are certain things about us which require this, so thus it must be. (cf "if necessary" = "since necessary" in 1Pe 1:6-7+) 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.

DeHaan adds "This is indeed a strange statement, that Christ was made "perfect through sufferings." Was not He perfect God and perfect Man? Certainly, but here we are dealing with Christ as the Redeemer. Without the suffering of death He could not "perfect" our salvation. If Jesus had been unable or unwilling to die in our place, He would be an imperfect Saviour, even though perfect God and Man. But He is perfect in all His attributes and so He proved Himself perfect in His love for us in redeeming us.

Author (archegos) describes the one leading off or blazing the trail as a pioneer. Jesus has led the way to the Father and to eternal life. Real life begins with death of our old man on the Cross, rendering his power inactive in our lives (cf Ro 6:1-6+, Gal 2:20+). Archegos is variously translated as “Author” (NASB, NIV) “Captain” (KJV), “Pioneer” (NRSV), “Leader” (cf. TEV) or “Champion.” MacArthur adds "In Acts 3:15 and Acts 5:31 the term archegos, used both times of Christ, is translated "Prince." It 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 archēgos never stood at the rear giving orders. He was always out front, leading and setting the example. As the supreme Archēgos, Christ does not stand at the rear giving orders. He is always before us, as perfect Leader and perfect Example." We see the similar picture of Jesus leading the way in Hebrews 6:20+ "where (in heaven) Jesus has entered as a Forerunner (prodromos not archegos) for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." 

Barclay says: An archegos is someone who begins something in order that others may enter into it. He begins a family that some day others may be born into the family; he founds a city in order that others may some day dwell in the city; he founds a philosophic school that others may follow him into the truth and the peace that he himself has discovered; he is the author of blessings, or of penalties, into which others will also enter. An archegos is one who blazes the trail for others to follow. Someone has used this analogy. Suppose a ship was on the rocks, and suppose the only way to rescue was for someone to swim ashore with a line, in order that, once the line was secured, others might follow. The one who was first to swim ashore would be the archegos of the safety of the others. That is what the writer to the Hebrews means when he says that Jesus is the archegos of our salvation. Jesus was the pioneer who blazed the trail to God for us to follow (Hebrews 2 Commentary)

Hughes says: "Pioneer is the best translation, for Christ our Savior blazed the trail of salvation that we can now follow. God has given us Jesus as the divine hero/pioneer of our salvation! This is a title and a person to cherish. Significantly, the name bears a remarkable correspondence to the second of the four Messianic names prophesied of Christ in Isaiah 9:6 --"Mighty God"--El Gibbor, which literally means "mighty hero God." As the courageous pioneer of our salvation, Christ certainly was that!" (See context in Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul)

Delitzsch in his commentary says "as Luther beautifully renders it),--as One who, being placed Himself in the forefront of humanity, leads on His followers to the appointed goal."

'Calvary is God's great proof that suffering in the will of God always leads to glory."
-- Warren Wiersbe

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.)

Henry 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.

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.

Henry 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."

Marvin 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. (Hebrews 2 Word Studies

Vincent feels that rendering of as Author "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." (Hebrews 2 Word Studies

Through sufferings (pathema) - Through (dia) which is instrumental. That is the perfection was through the "instrument" of His sufferings. Vine adds "The sufferings were all that He endured by reason of His identifying Himself with them as Son of man, sufferings reaching their consummation in His expiatory sacrifice under divine judgment."

Adam Clarke explains made perfect through sufferings - "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." (Hebrews 2 Commentary)

Alexander Maclaren -  Creation was done with a word and voila, there it was & is, but His speech wasn’t enough to effect salvation. It took not a word but The Word. His Son incarnate who was humiliated, who suffered, died, resurrected, ascended & is interceding at the right hand of God

Ray Stedman puts it all together by saying: The earthly life of Jesus is referred to in one phrase, made perfect through suffering. Was He not perfect when He came? When Jesus was a babe in Bethlehem's manger, was He not perfect even then? When he was tempted in the desert and Satan tried to turn Him from the cross, was He not already perfect? When He was feeding the five thousand, in compassionate ministry to the hungry multitudes, was He not perfect? Why then does it say He must be perfected by suffering? There are, of course, two perfections involved. He was perfect in His person all along. The Scriptures make this abundantly clear. But He was not yet perfect in His work. Some of you young people may be perfect in health, perfect in body, perfect in strength, perfect in the soundness of your humanity, but you are not yet perfect in the work you are called to do. Suppose Jesus Christ had come full-grown into the world a week before He died. Suppose He had never been born as a baby, had never grown up into adult life, but had stepped into the earth full-grown as a man. Suppose He had uttered in one week's time the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet discourse, the Upper Room discourse and all the teachings that we have from His lips recorded in Scripture. Imagine that He came on Monday and on Friday they took Him out and crucified Him, hanging Him on the cross, and that He died, just as it is recorded in the Scriptures, bearing the sins of the world. Would He still have been a perfect Saviour? Certainly He would have been perfect as far as bearing our guilt is concerned: that only required a sinless Saviour. But He would not have been perfect as far as bearing our infirmities, our weaknesses, is concerned. He would have been able to fit us for heaven some day, but never able to make us ready for earth right now. In such a case we could always say (as too often we do say, anyway), "How can God expect me to live a perfect life in my situation? After all, I'm only human. Christ has never been where I am. What does He know of my pressures, what does He know of what I'm up against?" But He was made perfect through His suffering. He does know, He does know (Hebrews 2:5-18 The True Man)


Andrew Murray points out: The work of a leader supposes three things: 1.He must himself lead the way, passing through all its difficulties and dangers, knowing and showing it to those who follow. 2.Those who follow must yield themselves wholly to his guidance, walking even as he walked. 3.He must take charge of his follows, seeing that all hindrances are removed and providing for all their needs. Let us see how blessedly this is fulfilled in Jesus and what a comfort it brings us to know that Jesus bears this name too, the leader of our salvation.


The Humanity Of Jesus

We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses. — Hebrews 4:15

Today's Scripture: Hebrews 2:9-18

I once overheard this comment about a person who was always critical: “The trouble with him is that he’s forgotten what it’s like to be human!” How easily we forget our past struggles and become unsympathetic toward those who are struggling today. But there’s one who hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be human—Jesus.

In Hebrews 2:9-18, we “see” Jesus’ humanity more fully. As a man, He was able by God’s grace to experience death in our place. And during His earthly life Jesus was made perfect through His sufferings (v.10). But there’s more. “Both [Jesus] who sanctifies and [we] who are being sanctified are all of one.” Because of this oneness, Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters (v.11).

In a body like ours, Jesus lived, worked, and overcame every obstacle, so He knows what it’s like to be one of us. Having passed through all these experiences without sinning, He then went to heaven and is now our approachable High Priest at the throne of grace (vv.17-18; 4:14-16).

We all need someone who knows what it’s like to be human yet has limitless power to help us overcome our human weaknesses. Jesus is that one. He longs to hear us speak His name and ask for His help. By:  Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

God lived as man, as one of us,
And understands our need for grace;
He is not distant nor detached
From all the trials that we face.
—Sper

No one understands like Jesus.


ILLUSTRATION OF ARCHEGOS - I remember Randy Harvey sharing w/me (If you didn’t get to meet Randy he was a Missionary to Kosovo & b4 that a Marine for 21 years) He said, “You never put your leader up front…the lead man is most vulnerable!” (a) I.e. the 1st man through the door, whether SWAT or military personnel clearing houses, the doorway is known as the fatal funnel. 1st guy through the door is obviously the most dangerous. (2) But that’s the point here, Jesus did exactly that, He knowingly & willingly became the lead man, & took the bullet that we might be spared. (From Brian Bell)


R C Sproul -  The Founder of Salvation HEBREWS 2:10

“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10).

One theme we see over and over again in the Bible is the idea that suffering brings honor and glory. Joseph, for example, suffered through many years of dishonor and imprisonment before rising to a place of honor in the court of Pharaoh. Likewise, Daniel faced scorn and a death sentence for refusing to bow to the pagan customs of the Persian Empire but later achieved honor as a prophet in the history of redemption. This should not be surprising because, as we have seen in the book of Hebrews, much of Jesus’ own glory has come as a result of His suffering.

But the author of Hebrews does not merely observe that the suffering of Jesus brings Him glory and honor (2:9), He also makes the judgment that this sequence of events is right and proper. It is fitting that God, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering (v. 10).

This verse is both wonderful and troublesome. It is wonderful because we are told that God is going to bring many sons to glory. This is a marvelous hope. God is not only going to absolve us for our sins and grant us eternal life, He is also going to bring us to glory. We are going to become radiant reflections of God Himself. We are going to be glorified.

This verse is troublesome, at least initially, because it says that Jesus, the founder of our salvation, is made perfect through suffering. Jesus will be “made perfect”? What can this possibly mean? Does it mean that Christ possesses some lack or sin? The answer is no. The Bible is clear that Jesus does not possess any kind of blemish or sinful defect (1 Peter 2:21–22). What then is the author telling us when he writes this verse? The word translated “perfect” in many of our English translations can also mean “set apart for an office,” and this is what it means here. It is fitting that Christ, in bringing many sons to glory, be set apart for an office by His suffering.

But which office is Christ made perfect, or set apart, for? Hebrews 5:9–10 makes it clear that Christ’s suffering sets Him apart for His office as High Priest. This flows from the fact that the suffering of Christ is the sacrifice for our sins. Here in chapter 2 our author hints at Jesus’s role as our Great High Priest.

CORAM DEO
The Bible teaches us that Jesus is our Prophet, Priest, and King. Sadly, many do not confess Christ because they do not understand that a suffering priest is required for their redemption. Reflect on Jesus’ priestly suffering and ask the Holy Spirit to make you continually aware of your need for this work.


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, to carry to consummation, to 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.

Vine notes that "The verb teleioō, to make perfect, is here in Heb 2:10, not of moral perfection (Christ ever was possessed of that), but of official perfection, that by which He can fulfill, in His High-Priestly power and glory, all that is necessary for the sons of God."

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) - Teleios the adjective, and teleioo the verb. The adjective is used in the papyri, of heirs being of age, of women who have attained maturity, of full-grown cocks, of acacia trees in good condition, of a complete lampstand, of something in good working order or condition. To summarize; the meaning of the adjective includes the ideas of full-growth, maturity, workability, soundness, and completeness. The verb refers to the act of bringing the person or thing to any one of the aforementioned conditions. When applied to a Christian, the word refers to one that is spiritually mature, complete, well-rounded in his Christian character. (Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3 - used by permission)

Barclay says: The basic meaning of teleios in the New Testament is always that the thing or person so described fully carries out the purpose or the plan for which he or it was purposed and designed. In the New Testament sense a person is teleios when he fully carries out the purpose for which God designed him and sent him into the world. Therefore the verb teleioun will mean in English, not so much to make perfect, as to make fully adequate for, able for, the task for which the person is designed. So, then, what the writer to the Hebrews is saying is that through suffering Jesus was made fully able for the task of being the pioneer of our salvation. It was His suffering which made Him able to blaze the trail to salvation for others.

Richards commenting on the word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) writes that "These words emphasize wholeness and completeness. In the biological sense they mean "mature," or "full grown": the person, animal, or plant achieved the potential inherent in its nature. The perfect is the thing or person that is complete, in which nothing that belongs to its essence has been left out. It is perfect because every potential it possesses has been realized. (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words)

NIDNTT has an excellent discussion of the Greek background of this word group noting that…

(1a)The noun telos is derived from a root tel-, which means to turn round (telos = tax; Dem., Or. 20, 19). Originally it meant the turning point, hinge, the culminating point at which one stage ends and another begins; later the goal, the end. Marriage is in this sense a telos (Artemidorus, Onirocriticus 2, 49; the spouse is teleios, complete, Pausanias 8, 22, 2), as also is death (Xen., Institutio Cyri 8, 7, 6; Plato, Leg. 4, 717e). telos can mean the completion of intellectual development (Plato, Menexenus 249a) and physical (Plato, Leg. 8, 834c) development, as the use of the term teleios also makes clear (Hdt. 1,183,2). telos can have dynamic character, and is used, for example, of the ratification of a law (Aristot., Pol. 6, 8p, 1322b, 13; cf. teleo, to bring to a telos, to complete, e.g. to make his word come true [Hom. Il. 14, 44]).

This dynamic character is also clear in the religious sphere, where sacrifices and religious rites are called tele; their intention is to bring men nearer to God (Soph., Ant. 143). Also of significance is the religious description of God as the arche kai telos, the beginning and end of all things (cf. K. Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae, IV, 2836 f.). He alone embraces beginning and end (Scythinos; cf. Diels I, 189, 32 f.). The function of the formula is thus to make a statement which embraces totality.

(1b) Anything that has reached its telos is teleios, complete, perfect (e.g. unblemished sacrifical animals, Hom., Il. 1, 66). Both a doctor and a thief can be perfect (Aristot. Metaph. 4, 16p, 1021b, 15 ff.). One brings something to completion, to perfection (teleioo, e.g. Aristot., Eth. Nic. 3p, 1174a, 15 f.). The pass. of teleioo, to be made perfect, i.e. to reach perfection, is used equally of human adulthood (Plato, Symp. 192a) and of fully-grown plants (Aristot., Gen. An., 776a, 31). The noun teleiotes occurs only rarely. It denotes a state of completeness or perfection (e.g. Aristot., Phys., 8, 7p, 261a, 36). teleiosis is the carrying out of the teleioun, the realization, execution, conclusion (e.g. of some work [cf. W. Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum 3 II, 799, 1, 29]). A teleiotes is one who effects the teleioun, the perfecter. This word is hitherto only once attested in Christian literature (Heb. 12:2).

(2) In Greek. philosophy telos has the primary meaning of goal. For the pre-Socratics the goal of life was delight in the beautiful (Leucippus), contentment (euthymia, Democritus; cf. F. Copleston, A History of Philosophy, I, 1946, 125 f.), and contemplation (theoria, Anaxagoras, Frag. 29; cf. Diels II, 13,11). In Plato and Aristotle the telos to which one aspires is an ethical goal (Plato, Rep. 2 introduction; Aristot., Eth. Nic. introduction), and ultimately happiness and bliss (eudaimonia). In the realm of ethics, therefore, Plato can equate the concept of the perfect (teleios) with that of the good (agathos) (Phlb. 61a).

In gnosticism “perfection” is a technical term in the myth of the “redeemed Redeemer.” He is the “perfect man” (cf. Hippol., Haer. 5, 7, 37). Anyone who is saved by him through true knowledge is the “perfect” gnostic (cf. Hippol., Haer. 5, 8, 30). Whether teleios was a technical term for initiates in the Hellenistic mystery religions is disputed (cf. the literature referred to by Arndt, 817). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

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).

Hebrews 2:10 (note) For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (Comment: This does not imply any moral imperfection in the Lord Jesus, but speaks of the consummation of the human experience of suffering the death of the Cross, through which He must pass if He is to become the Author or Captain of our salvation.)

Hebrews 5:9 (note) And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

Hebrews 7:19 (note) (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Comment: This means to carry through completely, to make complete, to finish, bring to an end. The old covenant could bring nothing to conclusion. The Mosaic economy could reveal sin but it could never remove sin, and so it had to be removed. It gave no security. It gave no peace. A man never had a clean conscience.)

Hebrews 7:28 (note) For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Hebrews 9:9 (note) which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,

Hebrews 10:1 (note) For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. (Contrast with Jesus in Hebrews 5:9 above. The idea in Hebrews 10:1 is that the ceremonial law could not actually save the believer. Its work was always short of completeness.)

Hebrews 10:14 (note) For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Comment: Wuest writes "Here, the completeness of the state of salvation of the believer is in view. Everything essential to the salvation of the individual is included in the gift of salvation which the sinner receives by faith in Messiah’s sacrifice. The words “for ever” here are to be construed with “perfected.” It is a permanent state of completeness in salvation to which reference is made. The words “them that are sanctified” are descriptive of the believer. He is one set apart for God) (ibid)

Hebrews 11:40 (note) because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:23 (note) (But you have come… ) 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

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)

Luke 2:43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were unaware of it,

Luke 13:32 And He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.'

Comment: "Today and tomorrow and the third day" means that God's timetable is unfolding for Jesus, and no king like Herod could shorten the time. When His work is accomplished or has reached its intended goal, His death and resurrection will be its perfection.)

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.

Comment: Teleioo does mean just to bring to an end but to perfect it. The work He had been sent to do was finished on the Cross, and thus He cried "It is finished! [ = related verb teleo]" John 19:30. Note that Jesus is not saying that He refrained from eating food but that the great goal of His life was not to cater to His body but rather to the will of His Father! Which do you cater to? Are you accomplishing His work in and through you? see note Ephesians 2:10)

John 5:36 "But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

Comment: The Old Testament testifies to the mission and ministry of Jesus precisely what God said He would do in Scripture and what God told Jesus to do as He ministered.)

John 17:4 "I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.

Comment: Jesus had finished His work of teaching and witness, but His work of redemption had yet to be accomplished on the cross. He would then shout the great victory cry: "It is finished!" John 19:30) (J C Ryle explains how the Cross accomplished God's perfect will "The crucifixion brought glory to the Father. It glorified His wisdom, faithfulness, holiness, and love. It showed Him wise, in providing a plan whereby He could be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.—It showed Him faithful in keeping His promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.—It showed Him holy, in requiring His law’s demands to be satisfied by our great Substitute.—It showed Him loving, in providing such a Mediator, such a Redeemer, and such a Friend for sinful man as His co-eternal Son.")

John 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.

Comment: "In unity" is literally “unto oneness” and represents the goal of the perfecting action, that goal being believers might be in a state of having achieved the unity intended for them; one which reflects the unity between the Father and the Son)

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished (related verb teleo), in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled (teleioo), said, "I am thirsty."

Comment: Here Scripture "reaches it's goal" or is fulfilled in Jesus.)

Acts 20:24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course (dromos = race, the course of one's life), and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient (IS = It already is - we don't need to ask Him for more. We need to abide in the sufficiency of what He has already provided) for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Philippians 3:12 (note) Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect (perfect tense) (reached my goal, accomplished), but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Comment: He was not yet perfectly conformed to Christ. The process was still going on. Note that perfect tense speaks of an action that was completed in past time, having results that exist in present time. The past completed action of teleioo would refer to the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the saint to that place of spiritual maturity in which the sanctifying process would have done its work so well that nothing needed to be added. In other words, the saint would be brought to a place of absolute spiritual maturity beyond which there is no room for growth and the results of this work would be permanent, and there would be no possibility of slipping back into a state of spiritual immaturity again. Obviously this perfection will only be fully achieved when we are glorified).

James 2:22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;

1 John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

1 John 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Comment: Wuest writes that "If saints have this agape love habitually for one another, that shows that this love which God is in His nature, has accomplished its purpose in their lives. It has made us loving and self-sacrificial in our characters. This love has been brought to its human fulness in the lives of the saints. The verb “is perfected” is perfect in tense, speaking of a past completed act having present results.) (ibid)

1 John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Author (747) (archegos form arche = beginning/rule + ágo = lead) primarily means one who provides the first occasion of anything or takes a lead in anything and thus 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.

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 is used 4 times in the NT, here in Hebrews 2:10 and in the verses below, every use speaking of Jesus…

Acts 3:15+ (Peter speaking to the Jews declared that they) but put to death the Prince (archegos) of life (the originator or leader of life), the One Whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

Acts 5:31+ (Peter speaking boldly before the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin declared) "He (Jesus) is the one Whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince (archegos) and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

Hebrews 12:1+ Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Heb 12:2+ fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author (archegos) and Perfecter (teleiotes - compare with God perfecting Jesus in Heb 2:10) 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. 

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

"the act of preserving or the state of being preserved from harm… deliverance by redemption from the power of sin and from the penalties ensuing from it."!

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

"(Jehovah speaking) Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?… Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save… (Jeremiah speaking) 'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee" (Isa50:2… Isaiah 59:1… Jeremiah 32:17)

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 (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.

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).


Norman Geisler - See A Popular Survey of the New Testament 

HEBREWS 2:10—If Jesus was already perfect, how could He be made perfect through suffering?

PROBLEM: The Bible declares that Jesus was absolutely perfect and without sin, even in His human nature (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 3:18; 1 John 3:3). But according to this verse, Jesus was made “perfect through sufferings.” But to be made perfect implies that He was not perfect to begin with, which is a contradiction.

SOLUTION: Jesus was absolutely and unchangeably perfect in His divine nature. God is perfect (Matt. 5:48), and He cannot change (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 6:18). But Jesus was also human, and as such was subject to change, though without sin. For example, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52). If his knowledge as a man increased, then his experience also did. Thus, He “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). In this sense He was “made perfect” in that He experienced the perfecting work of suffering in His own sinless life (cf. Job 23:10; Heb. 12:11; James 1:2–4). That is, He gained all the experiential benefits of suffering without sinning (Heb. 4:15). In this way He can be of real comfort and encouragement to those who suffer.


Walter Kaiser - Hard Sayings of the Bible - go to page 635  Make the Author of Their Salvation Perfect?

If Jesus was the Son of God, how could he become perfect through experiences on earth? Was there some imperfection in him that had to be worked out through ordeal? Doesn’t this challenge an orthodox view of Christ?

The author of Hebrews implies that Jesus, as the preincarnate Son of God, was indeed perfect (Heb 1:2–3). He is greater than the prophets, heir of all things and maker of the universe. But in the passage under consideration he is not in that preincarnate role. His role here is that of “the author of [the Christians’] salvation.” The preincarnate Son of God was not yet perfect in relation to that role. In fact, he could not fulfill that role at all until he became incarnate and died for the sins of humanity.

Perfection is an important concept in Hebrews (Heb 5:9, 14; 6:1; 7:11, 19, 28; 9:9, 11; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:2, 23). The Greek term means “to bring to maturity, perfection or fulfillment.” The fulfillment aspect is the most important in Hebrews. The theme of the whole book is the fulfillment of the reality behind Mosaic ritual, but there is also a fulfillment coming to the lives of Christians as they go on to complete that to which they were called at their conversion. Even though Christ has done everything for them on the cross and they receive this upon committing themselves to him, there is a promise involved in this reception that is not fulfilled until they live out that to which they were called.

This same concept of fulfillment appears in Christ. At birth he is designated as Savior, but he has at that time done nothing to deserve such a title. It is a promise, a hope, but not yet a reality. He goes through life obeying the will of God and therefore experiencing suffering (Heb 2:18). The question remains: Will he keep on until the end? At Gethsemane, facing the time of fulfillment, he cries out, “Not my will but yours be done” (Heb 5:7 reflects this Gospel cry). He continues on his way to the cross and fulfills everything that is needed to be “founder” (the Greek term means “author,” “founder” or “leader” in most contexts) of salvation for his followers. Before that point he was not yet perfect, for death was a requirement to bring life to his people. After his death and resurrection he was the total fulfillment of all that was needed to bring salvation.

Therefore the perfection of Christ referred to here is a functional perfection, not a moral perfection, for he was never anything less than sinless. It is an earned perfection that will show up in its other aspects three more times in Hebrews (Heb 2:18; 4:15; 5:7–9), but at this point the function is salvation, earned only through death. Thus in talking about the perfecting of Christ the author underlines the fact that it was only through death that the world could gain a Savior.


BRINGING US TO GLORY - A W Tozer 

For it became him…bringing many sons unto glory. Hebrews 2:10

As Christian believers (I am assuming you are a believer), you and I know how we have been changed and regenerated and assured of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning death. On the other hand, where this good news of salvation by faith is not known, religion becomes an actual bondage. If Christianity is known only as a religious institution, it may well become merely a legalistic system of religion, and the hope of eternal life becomes a delusion.

I have said this much about reality and assurance to counter the shock you may feel when I add that God wants to fully prepare you in your daily Christian life so that you will be ready indeed for heaven! Many of us have been in God’s household for a long time. Remember that God has been trying to do something special within our beings day after day, year after year.

Why? Because His purpose is to bring many sons—and daughters too—unto glory!


James Smith- THE AUTHOR OF SALVATION HEBREWS 2:10–11 (R.V.)

1. The Purpose of God. “To bring many into glory.”
2. The Character of those He brings. “Sons.”
3. The Method. “Through One made perfect as a Saviour.”
4. How Christ was Perfected as a Saviour. “Through suffering.”
5. The God-becoming Act. “It became HIM.” It was just like Him.
6. The Blessed Result. “He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified all of ONE.” Oneness in nature and purpose.


Our Captain F B Meyer in Our Daily Walk

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.

Why Jesus’ Death Was Fitting
Hebrews 2:10

by Steven Cole

Although there are many that oppose capital punishment, when a notoriously evil person, such as a terrorist or mass murderer, dies, most of us would say, “It was fitting that he die.” After all, he was responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. Capital punishment serves justice and warns those who may consider committing a similar crime that they will be executed. And so we can rightly say, “It was fitting for that despicable man to die.”

But we would be shocked if someone whose father had died of natural causes said, “It was fitting for him to die.” Or, consider a good man who never did anything to hurt others. To the contrary, he did many good deeds to help those in need, even at great personal cost. He always took kind interest in those whom society rejected. He had a special love for children. He labored to the point of exhaustion in serving others. If this kind of man were executed, how could anyone say, “It was fitting that he die?”

But that is precisely what the author of Hebrews says about the death of Jesus Christ. He says that it was fitting for God to put His own Son to death (2:10). This verse must have jarred his Jewish Christian readers! They were struggling with the offense of the cross. Although they had believed in Jesus, they were being tempted by unbelieving Jews who said, “How could Jesus be the Messiah if He died? Our Messiah will conquer all our enemies, not die. Your Messiah didn’t die a heroic death or even a normal death. Rather, He died as a common criminal, in the most shameful death imaginable, on a Roman cross! You want us to believe that this Man is our Savior? You’ve got to be kidding!”

So the author is showing why Jesus’ death did not disqualify Him as Messiah and Savior. It did not mean that He was inferior to the angels, who do not die. In fact, Jesus’ death was God’s very means not only to glorify Jesus, but also to bring many sons to glory. It was part of God’s eternal plan. So the author wants to remove the offense of the cross for his readers so that they will not be ashamed to proclaim it as the very power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24) and to rejoice in it. Our text shows that…

It was fitting for Jesus to die in order to effect our salvation in line with God’s eternal plan and His perfect attributes.

Before I started studying this passage, I had planned to cover verses 10-18 in one message. After I dug into it, I shortened it to verses 10-13. But further study made me think, “There’s more than enough in verse 10 alone for one message!” The author gives us five reasons why it was fitting for Jesus to die. I hope to deepen our understanding of the glory of the cross of Christ.

1. Jesus’ death was fitting because it works for God’s glory in accord with His eternal purpose.

The author could have just referred to God as God. Why does he here add, “for whom are all things, and through whom are all things”? Leon Morris explains, “The words show that the sufferings of Jesus did not take place by chance. They have their place in God’s great eternal purpose” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. by Frank Gaebelein [Zondervan], 12:26). The cross did not thwart God’s plan; it fulfilled it.

Peter emphasized this same truth in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost: “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death” (Acts 2:23). God’s foreknowledge does not mean simply that God knew in advance what wicked men would do, and passively endorsed their behavior as His plan. Rather, in His eternal purpose God the Father determined to put His Son to death, and yet He is not responsible for the sin of those that did the horrible deed.

This truth is important enough that Luke saw fit to repeat it again in Acts 4:27-28, where in response to the threat of persecution, the early church prayed, “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” The cross did not catch God or Jesus off guard. To the contrary, it was the very reason that He came to earth. In John 12:27 He said, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

When I say that the cross works for God’s glory, I mean that it displays the splendor and majesty of God’s perfect attributes more than anything else in the universe. Glory is a somewhat elusive word to define. The Hebrew word has a root meaning of “heaviness,” and thus of inherent worth or excellence. In the Bible, God’s glory is often portrayed by a bright light, the Shekinah. Thus His glory is the outward, visible manifestation of His inward excellence and infinite worth.

Jonathan Edwards, in his treatise, “The End for Which God Created the World,” gives a four-fold definition of glory (in John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory [Crossway Books], pp. 231-239). First, it denotes a person’s internal excellence or greatness. Second, it refers to the exhibition of the internal glory, often seen as brightness in the case of God. Third, God’s glory is the honor that we, as creatures, accord Him because He has imparted a knowledge of His excellence to us. Fourth, God’s glory is the praise that we give Him. The third point emphasizes our perception of God’s excellence, whereas this point emphasizes our proclaiming it.

When the author says that all things are for God and through God, he means that God is the first and final cause of all that is (see Piper, p. 184). Colossians 1:16 proclaims of Christ, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” In Romans 11:36, Paul exults, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (See also, Proverbs 16:4.)

While we must never say that God is the author of evil (1 John 1:5; Hab. 1:13), we must not fall into the error of saying that evil is somehow not under God’s sovereign decree or that evil operates outside of God’s sovereign control. As we have already seen, the worst evil ever committed in the history of the world, the crucifixion of Jesus, was predetermined by God, and yet those who did it are fully responsible. While our finite brains cannot reconcile these things logically, we must accept them as God’s revealed truth.

Also, the phrases, “for whom are all things, and through whom are all things,” teach us that God actively governs His creation. Nothing can happen apart from His governance. He is working “all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). As the humbled King Nebuchadnezzar put it (Dan. 4:35), “He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”

A. W. Pink wrote, “To believe and affirm that ‘for Him are all things, and by Him are all things’ is simply owning that He is God—high above all, supreme over all, directing all. Anything short of this is, really, atheism” (An Exposition of Hebrews (electronic ed., 2000), Ephesians Four Group: Escondido, CA, p. 112).

And yet there are many Christians who deny that God is sovereign in salvation. They claim that to affirm this is to deny so-called “free will” and turn people into robots or puppets. Asahel Nettleton, a preacher whom God used in the Second Great Awakening to bring thousands to Christ, has a sermon on Psalm 97:1, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice” (Asahel Nettleton: Sermons from the Second Great Awakening [International Outreach], pp.371-376). He raised the objection against the doctrine of election, that it robs people of free will. Then he said,

We will drop the doctrine of decrees—How is it then? Does God operate on the hearts of men, or does he not? If not, then we must not pray that he would do it.

No person can pray for himself without admitting that God can operate on his heart, and yet he be free…. [He then cites several verses that ask God to change our hearts.] But persons ought not to have prayed in this manner, if God could not answer their prayers without destroying their free agency. Ought we to pray that God would destroy our freedom?—that he would make us machines? This no one will pretend. How then can we pray that God would work in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, if as the objection supposes, he cannot operate on our hearts without destroying our freedom? ...

It is a doctrine clearly taught in the scriptures, that a change of heart is absolutely necessary to prepare sinners for heaven. “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” We are also taught that God is the author of this change. “Born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” But if God cannot operate on the hearts of men without destroying their freedom, then we ought not to pray that God would renew the hearts of sinners. Surely we ought not to pray that God would convert men into machines. However wicked mankind may be, we cannot pray that God would stop them in their career of sin, because he cannot do it without destroying their freedom. When sinners have proud stubborn and rebellious hearts, we cannot pray that God would make them humble, submissive and obedient; because he cannot do it without converting them into machines.

He goes on to ask the question, “does God govern all his creatures and all their actions? Does he govern the actions of wicked men and devils?” He shows that God not only does this—without removing the freedom of sinners and without becoming the author of evil—but that this is a desirable thing, and a cause for rejoicing. Because if God does not govern all creatures, then we are in a desperate situation.

Thus it was fitting for God to put Jesus to death, because it works for His glory in accord with His eternal purpose.

2. Jesus’ death was fitting because it displays God’s perfect attributes.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Why can’t God just forgive sins without the cross? Why does He need to have blood shed in order to forgive? If someone wrongs me, I don’t demand blood to be shed in order to forgive. Why can’t God do that?”

The person saying that does not understand God’s attributes. If God forgave sins without the shedding of blood, it would compromise His perfect righteousness and justice. Justice demands that the penalty for sin must be paid. On a human level, if a man broke into your parents’ home and murdered your mother so that he could steal a few dollars for drug money, you would be outraged if the judge said, “We all make mistakes. Let’s just let it go.” That is not justice! So Jesus’ death was befitting to the character of God.

Consider this a bit further. It befit God’s righteousness and holiness to put His Son on the cross. God never winks at sin or lowers His standard of holiness. He hates sin so much that every wicked thought must be judged. All of the sins of God’s elect were put upon His Son, so that it could be said, “[God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). God’s forgiveness never means that He just shrugs it off. Forgiveness means that Jesus bore God’s awful wrath that I should have borne.

Also, the cross befit God’s power (1 Cor. 1:24). The wrath of God is described as the lake of fire burns forever and ever without exhausting His wrath (Rev. 20:10-15). Jesus bore that wrath not on behalf of just one person, or a small group, but on behalf of the many sons that He would lead to glory! All of the sins of all of God’s people for all time were piled on Jesus for those three hours of darkness on the cross, and yet, by God’s strength, He endured!

Also, it befit God’s wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24). How could God uphold His holiness and the just demands of the law, and yet be merciful to sinners? As Paul shows in Romans 3:21-26, the cross allows God to be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

But the cross also befit God’s love and grace. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). F. F. Bruce (Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], p. 43) wrote, “ It is in the passion of our Lord that we see the very heart of God laid bare; nowhere is God more fully or more worthily revealed as God than when we see Him ‘in Christ reconciling the world unto himself’ (2 Cor. 5:19).” “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Charles Wesley wrote, “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God shouldst die for me!”

Thus Jesus’ death was fitting because it works for God’s glory in accord with His eternal purpose, and because it upholds God’s perfect attributes.

3. Jesus’ death was fitting because it confirms His perfect humanity.

God perfected the author of our salvation through suffering. What does that mean? Wasn’t Jesus already perfect? Yes, He is perfect in His divine attributes and He is perfect in His moral obedience. But to be qualified as the Captain or Leader of our salvation, He had to experience the suffering that humans go through as a result of the fall. To be our perfect substitute, He had to be without sin Himself, but He had to experience life as a human in this fallen world. To be our perfect sympathetic high priest, He had to be tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin (4:15).

I will deal with this more when we get to 2:18 and 4:15, but when we talk about Jesus being tempted, we must be careful not to project the pattern of our temptations onto Jesus. When we are tempted we are carried away and enticed by our own lusts (James 1:14). But Jesus did not have a sin nature as we do. In His humanity, He was like Adam and Eve before the fall. The trials that Jesus endured were real temptations in the sense that He experienced enticement from Satan to disobey God (Matt. 4:1-11). (The question of whether or not Jesus could have sinned will have to wait until chapter 4. My brief answer is, No!) But, He experientially learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Heb. 5:8). His suffering and death confirmed His perfect humanity and qualified Him as the Captain of our salvation.

4. Jesus’ death was fitting because it confirms Him as the Captain of our salvation.

The word translated “author” (NASB) is used only four times in the New Testament, every time with regard to Jesus (Acts 3:15; 5:31; Heb. 12:2). It is one of more than 300 titles given to Jesus in Scripture (Pink, p. 112). It refers to one who “himself first takes part in that which he establishes” (B. F. Westcott, The Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], p. 49). Thus it can be translated “Captain,” “Leader,” or “Pioneer.” Jesus blazed the trail of salvation before us (Bruce, p. 43). As the captain, He did not stay in the rear of the battle, giving orders to His troops on the front lines. Rather, He led the troops out in front, giving us the example to follow. Like Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land, Jesus goes before His people, leading them to salvation.

John Owen (An Exposition of Hebrews [The National Foundation for Christian Education], 3:387-388) pointed out that Jesus went before us in three ways. He went before us in obedience, completely obeying and fulfilling God’s holy law. He went before us in suffering, leaving us an example to follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21). And, He went before us into glory. Through His resurrection He has shown us that death is a defeated foe. Because He went through suffering into glory, He will take His people through the same course. He is leading many sons to glory.

5. Jesus’ death was fitting because it results in God’s bringing many sons to glory.

“Many” emphasizes the great number of the redeemed. Critics of the doctrine of election falsely accuse those who hold to it of believing that only a “select few” will be saved. But the Bible says no such thing! Charles Spurgeon and B. B. Warfield, who both vigorously defended the doctrine of election, also believed that the number of the saved will be greater than the number of the damned (see C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography [Banner of Truth], 1:171; and B. B. Warfield, Biblical and Theological Studies [P & R], pp. 334-350). Jonathan Edwards wrote, “As much fruit is the glory of the seed, so is the multitude of redeemed ones, which should spring from his death, his glory” (in Piper, p. 236, italics in original).

Jesus prayed that we might be with Him to see His glory (John 17:24). Paul said, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). What does it mean to be brought to glory? No one can say, this side of heaven. It means, at the very least, that we will have glorious resurrection bodies, free from sin, sickness, infirmities, and death. It means that we will have a glorious purpose, to be with Christ and to praise and serve Him throughout eternity. “We will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:3).

We can be assured that the Father will succeed in bringing many sons to glory, because it is His work that gets us there. The word “bring” is used in Luke 10:34 of the Good Samaritan, who brought the wounded man to an inn and took care of him. The man was too weak and wounded to bring himself there. The Samaritan did for him what he could not do for himself. “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Since salvation is God’s work, secured for His people by the death and resurrection of His Son, He will succeed in spite of the onslaughts of the world, the flesh, and the devil against His sons and daughters.

Conclusion

I like the way John Calvin expressed it (The Institutes of the Christian Religion [Westminster], 2:1362):

This is the wonderful exchange which, out of his measureless benevolence, he has made with us; that, becoming Son of man with us, he has made us sons of God with him; that, by his descent to earth, he has prepared an ascent to heaven for us; that, by taking on our mortality, he has conferred his immortality upon us; that, accepting our weakness, he has strengthened us by his power; that, receiving our poverty unto himself, he has transferred his wealth to us; that, taking the weight of our iniquity upon himself (which oppressed us), he has clothed us with his righteousness.

Have you experienced this wonderful exchange personally? It is available to all who will come to the cross of Christ. Let go of the filthy rags of your own righteousness. Confess to God that you are a sinner deserving His wrath. Trust in the death of Jesus as the only acceptable payment for your sins. Then the cross will not be a stumbling block or foolishness to you, but rather the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24). You will boast only in the cross (Gal. 6:14).

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is the blood of Christ essential to our salvation? Why couldn’t God just forgive us apart from the cross?
  2. How would you respond to a critic who asked, “Does God govern a world that includes child molesters and evil murderers? If He does, He is not good”?
  3. In what sense was Jesus perfected through suffering? In what sense did He not need to be perfected?

PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS

From his book The Way Into the Holiest, F B Meyer's Chapter 6 

"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.

THERE is no book which can stand the test of sorrow and suffering as the Bible can. Other books may delight us in sunny hours, when the heart is gay; but in dark and overcast days we fling them aside, and eagerly betake ourselves to our Bibles. And the reason for this is in the fact that this Book was born in the fires. It is soaked with the tears, either of those who wrote or of those addressed. Take, for instance, this Epistle. It was intended to solace the bitter anguish of these Hebrew Christians, who were exposed to the double fury of the storm. In the first place, there was the inevitable opposition and persecution to be encountered by all followers of the Nazarene; not only from the Gentiles, but specially from their fellow-countrymen, who accounted them apostates. Next, there was the pain of excommunication from the splendid rites of the Temple, with its daily service, its solemn feasts, its magnificent ceremonial. Only those amongst our-selves who from childhood have been wont to worship in some splendid minster, with its pealing organ, full-voiced choir, and mystery of architecture, arresting and enchaining every sense of beauty, but who have felt constrained to join the worship of an obscure handful in some plain meetinghouse, can realize how painfully those who were addressed in these words missed the religious associations of their early days. And then this suffering, thorn-crowned, dying Messiah! It seemed almost impossible to realize that he was the Christ of national desire. The objections that baffled the faith of the two travelers to Emmaus arose in almost irresistible force: "The chief priests and our rulers have crucified him; but we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel" (Luke 24:20).

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,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown

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."

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