Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31 - Hebrews 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Hebrews 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The book of Hebrews is written to a Jewish audience who had come to believe in Jesus but were now tempted to go back on their commitment, or to feel like Jesus wasn't sufficient on his own so they needed to add something to him. The book of Hebrews is basically an explanation that Jesus, alone, is enough, and a warning to not leave the faith.
  • There are many quotes in this first chapter, and throughout Hebrews, from the Old Testament. This is because the Jewish audience Hebrews was originally written for would have been very familiar with these verses.
  • One of the temptations the people who received this letter were dealing with was to think that angels were equal to Jesus, or necessary in addition to Jesus. This chapter shows that angels may be great, but are nothing compared to Jesus.
  • Jesus “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (verse 3). Jesus IS God and reveals to us exactly what God is like.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Jesus is God. So if you want to know God, know Jesus.
  • There are all kinds of good things, but Jesus is superior. Nothing else you look to, in this world, or spiritually, will ever compare to him, or be able to do for you what only he can do for you.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • It may seem difficult to get to know God, but God sent Jesus so you can know him. Read about Jesus in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and you will see exactly what God is like. As you read about Jesus, it takes any mystery away of what God is like. What have you learned about God from reading about Jesus?
  • Like the people who originally received this letter, we're all tempted to look to something instead of Jesus as being what we really need, or what's really essential? What are you tempted to look to instead of Jesus, or consider as important to you as Jesus? Take some time with God to repent of that. To repent means to turn around. To turn from one thing to another. Turn from the thing you've been making the god of your life, and turn to Jesus, who is actually God.