Thursday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 2:5—3:6 (NKJV)
2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:
“What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
13 And again:
“I will put My trust in Him.”
“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
There is a three part hierarchy present in this text: God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things; angels, God’s blessed and mighty servants; and then man, fallen and sinful. In the Incarnation, the Son of God humbled Himself to be lower than the angels in order to raise up sinful man from sin and death.
We must not confuse the Incarnation of the Son of God with His humiliation. The Incarnation is that God became man in the person of the Christ. His humiliation is that the Christ, though God, willfully limited Himself and did not make full use of His divine power. Thus, in His humiliation He suffered pain, weariness, hunger, and death—the consequences of sin—in order to make payment for sin, but was not Himself sinful. When He had died and His humiliation was over, He remains incarnate even after His resurrection and, rather than leaving His human nature behind, He is glorified at the right Hand of the Father as both God and man.
Therefore, we who are baptized and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are called His brethren and His children, for He shared our suffering and still shares our nature. While on Earth, we remain sinners in need of His continual forgiveness, but when He returns on the Last Day, we who have believed in Him will also be glorified with Him.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy help, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.