Message in the Hebrews (1)

Introduction.

The superiority of Jesus Christ is the central subject of Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews. Because the author of the Hebrews quotes from the Septuagint could indicate that the Epistle was sent to the Greek-speaking Jews in the diaspora. The message in the Hebrews, however, is valid for all Christians, regardless of the national origin. The Old Covenant messages concerning the coming of the Messiah were given through the Jewish prophets; nevertheless, it did not foreshadow the arrival of a Savior of the Jews only, but the Savior of the entire humankind. The Jewish authorities, concerning the Scriptures, misunderstood the message given in the Old Covenant Scriptures.

The Jews who accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah and joined the Way, could not entirely separate themselves from the traditions and teachings by the Old Covenant Temple priesthood, and its law. Accordingly, they had doubts about whether Jesus is the promised Messiah. The coming of Jesus, the Messiah, did not conform to the preferred interpretation of the Scriptures by the Jewish religious experts. Therefore, the author of the Hebrews reminds the readers of the Epistle that the Old Covenant messages were not complete, but were given in parts, and in “various ways”. Hebrews 1:1. The Old Covenant messages, the author of the Hebrews reminds Jewish readers, were only shadows that pointed to the reality but were not the reality in themselves. The Old Covenant messages were announcing to the people that time is coming when they will receive the full and final revelation of God to the humankind.

The Jewish experts in the Scriptures misinterpreted the message given through the prophet Isaiah. They thought that the messages applied to an actual Monarch who will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem. (Because the author of the Hebrews quoted the Septuagint, the quote here will be the same) “The Lord says this: ‘Blessed is he who has a seed in Zion and kindred in Jerusalem. For behold, a righteous King shall reign, and rulers will govern with judgment.'” Isaiah 32:1, the Septuagint. The author of the Hebrew reminds the readers that the “righteous King” is not a super-King, in the likeness of King David; but an awe-inspiring Savior superior to everyone else spoken of in the Old Covenant Scriptures. He is God with us.

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Dan Lazich

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