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A Journey through the book of Genesiswith Willow Creek Community Church

Week 1 Day 1 // God Has Spoken

Read Hebrews

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Week 1 Day 1 // God Has Spoken

Willow Creek Community Church

 

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made
the universe.

~ HEBREWS 1:1-2

 

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Commentary

Have you ever wanted to hear God speak? Have you wondered what He would say or what His voice would sound like? In our culture, many people doubt that God exists, much less speaks, but in the first century Jewish context in which the book of Hebrews was written, the predominant belief was that God did speak.

The belief was that He had spoken many times through prophetic speeches and poems, through dreams and visions, through big manifestations of His presence, and in still small whispers. Moreover, the leading belief was that many of God’s speeches could be found in one central treasury, the Hebrew (Old Testament) Scriptures. For the original readers of Hebrews, the Old Testament Scriptures were the very words of God. If they wanted to hear God speak or learn what He was like, they turned to the Old Testament Scriptures as their primary source.

The writer of the book of Hebrews was well-versed in the Old Testament and affirmed this belief. The Hebrew Scriptures really do contain the words of God! However, here in the introduction to the book of Hebrews, the writer wanted to make sure that readers, who were leaning in to hear God speak, didn’t miss the significance of Jesus. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days

he has spoken to us by his Son.” In other words, through Jesus is another way that God speaks, but He is not just any speech. Jesus is the clearest, most articulate expression of God’s Word because Jesus is God Himself.

This was important for the original readers of Hebrews to hear. The God of the Scriptures that they revered so dearly was definitively revealed through Jesus, so Jesus was worthy of their trust. This is important for us today as well. The Jesus of the New Testament is no different than the God of the Old Testament. So, if the writer is to be believed, that God has really spoken, then there is no better way to hear what He has to say or to learn about who He is, than by looking and listening to Jesus.


Scripture

HEBREWS 1:1–4

GOD’S FINAL WORD: HIS SON

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance

of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his pow- erful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.


Reflection

1. One focus in Hebrews is to present the superiority of Christ. After reading today’s passage, what do you think the author is trying to tell us about who Jesus is?

2. First century Jews were fascinated with angels and held them in high esteem. Many even thought that God could only be approached through angels. What do you think the author of Hebrews wants to accomplish by comparing the Son to the angels?

3. Today’s passage teaches us that not only is Jesus the exact representation of God, but that He is God Himself. Read Hebrews 1:3. Underline the words “radiates”, “expresses”, and “sustains.” In your own words, describe how you see Jesus representing God’s glory in Scripture.