My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hebrews 2

Democratic truth

Summary:
If we ignore this salvation, we simply have no chance. It has been proven by signs and miracles. We don't see the full glory, but we do see Jesus. It makes sense that perfection came through such suffering, so that we can all be siblings.

He became like us to defeat Satan and death which torment us. By being like us he could be our priest; giving us atonement.

Key verse:
17. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

My thoughts:
I imagine that this passage would hold some authority in the future debates of the church regarding the humanity and divinity of Jesus. This passage certainly seems to emphasise his humanity. I think modern scholars would be more interested in arguing against Jesus' divinity, but there were plently of people around during these debates, especially in the gnostic corner, who would utterly play down Jesus' physical humanity.

But here Mr. Hebrews (I would say Mr/Ms, but in all likelihood it was Mr...) is making the clear statement that Jesus' real and actual humanity is an essential part of his saving work. He could only be our priest (the one who mediates for our sin) because he was one of us. Elsewise, he couldn't have bridged that gap! In reality, this is all based on some logic that doesn't need to exist inherently, that sin needs a mediator for forgiveness and the mediator needs to identify with both sides. But it does have a sort of truthiness* about it.

If it wasn't before, elsewise is now officially a word!

The line "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor" might disturb some of our non-JW readers, but I think if you recognise that the word 'made' doesn't necessarily mean created, but could mean something more like 'became', making this simply aligned with kenotic theology. Because the Bible, of course, was written as is in English.

*'Truthiness' is a registered trademark of Comedy Central and The Colbert Report.

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