International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday October 2, 2016
Purpose: To discern how God speaks to us through Jesus Christ
Bible Lesson: Hebrews 1:1-9
Background Scripture: Hebrews 1
Key Verse: The Son is the light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being. He maintains everything with his powerful message. (Hebrews 1:3)
Hebrews 1:1-9 (CEB)
(1) In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. (2) In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son. God made his Son the heir of everything and created the world through him. (3) The Son is the light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being. He maintains everything with his powerful message. After he carried out the cleansing of people from their sins, he sat down at the right side of the highest majesty. (4) And the Son became so much greater than the other messengers, such as angels, that he received a more important title than theirs. (5) After all, when did God ever say to any of the angels: You are my Son. Today I have become your Father? Or, even, I will be his Father, and he will be my Son? (6) But then, when he brought his firstborn into the world, he said, All of God’s angels must worship him. (7) He talks about the angels: He’s the one who uses the spirits for his messengers and who uses flames of fire as ministers. (8) But he says to his Son, God, your throne is forever and your kingdom’s scepter is a rod of justice. (9) You loved righteousness and hated lawless behavior. That is why God, your God, has anointed you with oil instead of your companions.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This week we begin a new unit titled “The Sovereignty of Jesus,” based on passages from the Letter to the Hebrews. This book is one of the lesser-known books in the New Testament, although it contains well-known passages such as the definition of faith in 11:1 and the “roll call of the faithful” that follows in the rest of Chapter 11.
The Letter to the Hebrews is not a letter in the same sense as other New Testament letters. Rather, it is a sermon based primarily on Psalm 110, which lifts up the eternal priesthood of Melchizedek (mel-KIZ-a-deck). The reason it was originally called a letter is that Paul was thought to be its author by some early Christians. However, early church leaders such as Clement, Tertullian, and Origin noted the difference in style, vocabulary, and theology when compared to Paul’s letters. While there is scholarly speculation about the identity of the author, there is no consensus.
We can assume that it was in fact written as dictated by the Holy Spirit. Most scholars think it was probably written to a church that was made up of both Jewish and Gentile Christians. David Jeremiah, famous bible scholar, thinks it was likely written to the Church in Rome that was considering giving up their Christian faith due to extensive persecution. The Book of Hebrews certainly makes Christ the cornerstone of God’s redemptive plan. The book offers the best examples of how to bridge the gap between the Jewish beliefs of the Old Testament and Christianity.
The first few verses are similar to the first few verses in John’s Gospel, in that it places Jesus at the forefront, both in the past and in this time we are in. Jesus, The Messiah, is the final word from God.
While in the past God had used angels and prophets, now He has sent His Son, who is an exact replica of God, he is the perfect imprint of God. Angels and prophets were messengers of God. Jesus was not a messenger, He was God. Angels and prophets were limited, Jesus was not limited, His power was without end and limit.
Jesus is both the climax and the final word. For four weeks we have talked about God’s sovereignty, now we are looking at the sovereignty of Jesus. Jesus is greater than any that preceded Him, whether Prophet, Priest or King.
My hymn for this week is an old traditional hymn, “Rejoice The Lord Is King.”