Wednesday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-14 (NKJV)
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” 10 And: “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.” 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
[v.3:] “because He is the brightness of glory…”
In His divinity, He is called “the Son” as a person different from the Father. God is the glory, His Son is the brightness of His glory; in fact, He is the glory of the glory of the Father, like the Father in all things, not of a different substance but of both the same substance and of the same name, and something which is added, “the expressed image,” not of the face, but of the substance of the Father. Christ therefore is the omnipotence of the Father, the wisdom of the Father, the righteousness of the Father, etc. He was indeed begotten of the Father but only the natural God as Father and, thus, one God with the Father.
That which follows [in v.3]: “He controls,” or rather, “He upholds all things with the word of His power,” that is, by Himself who is the Word and by whom all things are made and preserved and arranged, as he says [John 5:12]: “My Father is now working, and I am working.” What advantage would it be that He created all things, unless He also preserved and controlled all things? Therefore, in Christ is the whole of divinity, and all the glory of God is His.
In Christ we acknowledge our Father, because He is the brightness, glory, and image of the substance of the Father. We acknowledge Him through His word, provided His Spirit will have taught us. In the face of Christ, we now see the glory of God, but we do not see it in the face of Moses, as we read in 2 Cor. 3:13: “Through himself, etc.” This is the great esteem of such great majesty (which we have already described) in that He emptied Himself and served us in our sins so that He washed them away and became obedient to the Father, etc. (Phil. 2:8).
Johannes Bugenhagen, Annotations on Paul’s Epistles (1525)