The author of the book of Hebrews is not clearly identified but is thought to be either Barnabas or Apollos who were both early Jewish Christians with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, much of which is repeated within this book. It is thought to have been written before AD70 as reference to the Temple are made in the present tense, indicating that it was still in existence prior to it’s destruction in AD70.
Chapter one focuses on the superiority of Jesus above the angels and his position as heir to God’s throne as his son.
This superiority is shown by seven statements about him in verses 2 – 3 (GNB)
He is the one through whom God created the universe
The one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end
He reflects the brightness of God’s glory
Is the exact likeness of God’s own being
Sustaining the universe with his powerful word
Achieving forgiveness for human sins
Sat down in heaven at the right hand side of God, the Supreme Power.
He goes on to demonstrate though the ancient scriptures how Jesus is Gods son;
I will be his Father, and he will be my Son (v5, Psalm 2 v 7 & 2 Samuel 7 v 14)
He commanded the angels to worship him and made them his messengers;
All Gods angels must worship him (v6)
God makes his angels winds and his servants flames of fire(v7 and Psalm 104 v4)
But about his son he said in verses 8 & 9;
Your kingdom, O God will last for ever and ever!, You rule over your people with justice. You love what is right and hate what is wrong
That is why God, your God has chosen you and has given you the joy of an honour far greater than he gave to your companions (see also Psalm 45 v 6&7 GNB)
I was interested to note here the reference to “God, Your God”. Even though Jesus himself is God’s son, the writer highlights the Trinity and appears to show God himself calling Jesus God, and while on earth Jesus the Son honoured his Father as God but is also recognised in verses 10 to 11 as being the eternal creator as God himself;
You, Lord in the beginning created the earth, and with your own hands you made the heavens.
They will disappear, but you will remain (see also Psalm 102 v 25-26)
But you are always the same and your life never ends (v12 & Psalm 102 v 27)
We are reminded again in verse 13 that God never said anything like this to the angels – only his son.
Sit here on my right until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet (v13 and Psalm 110 v 1)
So… What are angels? The answer again is in verse 14
What are the angels then? They are spirits who serve God and are sent by him to help those who are to receive salvation.
The NIV version of the bible describes them as “Ministering Spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.
Christ reigns but the angels are sent to serve.
Quotes are from the Good News Bible