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Hebrews 2J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The angels had authority in past ages: today the Son is the authority

1-4 We ought, therefore, to pay the greatest attention to the truth that we have heard and not allow ourselves to drift away from it. For if the message given through angels proved authentic, so that defiance of it and disobedience to it received appropriate retribution, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to the salvation that is offered us today? For this salvation came first through the words of the Lord himself: it was confirmed for our hearing by men who had heard him speak, and God moreover has plainly endorsed their witness by signs and miracles, by all kinds of spiritual power, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, all working to the divine plan.

For though in past ages God did grant authority to angels, yet he did not put the future world of men under their control, and it is this world that we are now talking about.

6-7 But someone has said: ‘What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honour, and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet’.

Notice that the writer puts “all things” under the sovereignty of man: he left nothing outside his control. But we do not yet see “all things” under his control.

Christ became man, not angel, to save mankind

9-12 What we actually see is Jesus, after being made temporarily inferior to the angels (and so subject to pain and death), in order that he should, in God’s grace, taste death for every man, now crowned with glory and honour. It was right and proper that in bringing many sons to glory, God (from whom and by whom everything exists) should make the leader of their salvation a perfect leader through the fact that he suffered. For the one who makes men holy and the men who are made holy share a common humanity. So that he is not ashamed to call them his brothers, for he says: ‘I will declare your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to you’.

13 And again, speaking as a man, he says: ‘I will put my trust in him’. And, one more instance, in these words: ‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me’.

14-18 Since, then, “the children” have a common physical nature as human beings, he also became a human being, so that by going through death as a man he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might also set free those who lived their whole lives a prey to the fear of death. It is plain that for this purpose he did not become an angel; he became a man, in actual fact a descendant of Abraham. It was imperative that he should be made like his brothers in nature, if he were to become a High Priest both compassionate and faithful in the things of God, and at the same time able to make atonement for the sins of the people. For by virtue of his own suffering under temptation he is able to help those who are exposed to temptation.

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.


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