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Hebrews Overview

Hebrews, which is written as a letter (also known as an epistle), is unique among the other letters in the New Testament. There are some things we know and don’t know about the book of Hebrews. For example, we aren’t quite sure who wrote it. Different scholars have different theories as to who wrote it, but regardless who penned this book, we know that the author was inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

The audience isn’t as specific as some other letters either (for example, the book of Philippians was written specifically to the church at Philippi). It is addressed to both Gentile and Jewish Christians, but it’s loaded with references the Jewish Christians would resonate with (hence the name Hebrews). Throughout the book there are quotations from and references to the Old Testament, specifically Genesis and Exodus. Based on what the author says about Timothy’s release from prison, Hebrews was likely written around 67 AD. 

The entire book centers around Jesus. This Hebrew audience had a high view of the priests, specifically Moses. Over these 13 chapters, the author wants to drive home the idea that Jesus is supreme. He’s greater than angels. He’s greater than Moses. He offered a greater sacrifice. Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), is the ultimate example for us to follow and this is the whole point of the letter. 

Over the next two weeks, we’ll learn so much more about the nature of Jesus and what it looks like to be a Christ follower. We’re excited to see how God uses these 13 chapters to change our lives and deepen our understanding of who Jesus really is.

Read Hebrews 1

God’s Final Word: His Son

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

The Son Superior to Angels

For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father”?

Or again,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son”?

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels spirits,
    and his servants flames of fire.”

But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”

13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet”?

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Go Deeper

After our recent study of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, we now begin the New Testament book of Hebrews. Both books were divinely inspired by God to reveal his love and care for his people. At this time in history, Hebrew Christians had just come to faith. Those who had only known the law and the prophets, were now challenged with the new revelation that Christ was indeed the fulfillment of the law. No longer were rituals and ceremonies required to reconcile with holy God, as Christ had shattered the barriers providing salvation and eternal life for all people. These new believers were steeped in centuries-old traditions, and letting go of them would push them out of their comfort zone. They risked persecution from fellow unbelieving Jews as they stepped into their new faith. As baby Christians, they cautiously approached this new revelation, and returning to their old, traditional ways was a fierce temptation. Was Jesus really the Messiah their people had sought for centuries? 

The writer/writers of Hebrews present a claim of the sufficiency and superiority of Christ, and then masterfully backs it up. The opening verses reveal that the old and the new covenant are both revealed by God. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (v. 1-2). Seven distinct descriptors of Christ are presented:

  1. He is the heir of all things. 
  2. He made the universe.
  3. He is the brightness of his Father’s glory.
  4. He exactly represents God to us.
  5. His word can uphold all things.
  6. He purged our sins.
  7. He is seated at the right hand of God.

Any single trait would be convincing enough, but tying all seven together compellingly defined the superior Savior. 

All people were created to  worship the Creator, but some Jewish Christians had an imbalanced belief in angels and their God-given role. After all, angels appeared in the Old Testament when something dramatic or meaningful was about to happen. Instead of viewing them as special messengers with God given authority sent to serve and carry out his commands, they tended to revere and worship angels. Hebrews details that Jesus was not an angel but the Savior of the world who deserved our worship. The Hebrew writer then compares Christ’s greatness to the angels:

  1. His name is above all names (v. 4).
  2. Jesus is God’s honored first born son (v. 5). 
  3. God calls his angels to worship his Son (v. 6). 
  4. His righteous throne endures forever and ever (v. 8). 
  5. Christ is anointed over anyone or anything else and his kingdom is forever (v. 9). 
  6. Jesus has authority over all creation (v. 10). 
  7. All things will fade, pass away or perish, yet Christ remains the same and is changeless (v. 11). 
  8. He is honored and seated at the right hand of God (v. 13). 

The book of Hebrews builds a solid case for all who are struggling to understand biblical truth and believe that Christ is both sufficient and superior. Whether you are new to faith in Christ or a seasoned believer, it is an exhortation to all believers to continue strong in the faith, being careful not to drift away. Let’s be challenged to see things from God’s perspective as this book weaves the old way with a new and better way, through the ultimate fulfillment of the law in Christ.


  1. Who/what do you tend to worship instead of God? Write it down and confess it to someone to build accountability into your life.
  2. If you truly believed Christ to be superior, how would it change your mindset and behavior?
  3. What habits are you currently choosing that will grow your understanding of biblical truth?

Watch This

The Bible Project gives a compelling overview of the book of Hebrews. Click this link to check it out!

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3 thoughts on “Hebrews 1”

  1. How our lives would radically change if we truly believed, not just with our heads, but wholly with our hearts that Christ is sufficient and superior! What if we fought for our faith in Christ’s supremacy to inform our behavior as we navigated the bumps in the road? A friend in our life group recently said, Christ did all the work on the cross, now it’s time for us to put in the work of receiving and believing. There is no alternative or substitute for our all sufficient Savior.

  2. What a great breakdown of this passage!

    V3 “… After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
    I think back to Jesus on the cross and him saying, “It is finished.” To enter into Paradise, and finally sitting down next to His Father at rest…at peace…IT was truly finished!!! “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.” All the time, the thief on the cross next to him got to witness it all! (Luke 23:43) 🙌🏻
    I’m also reading in John 13 where Jesus is humbly washing the disciples feet. Removing the dirt/sin from their lives in role-play of what’s to come. John 13:7 “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (The writer of Hebrews understands this now, too.)
    As mentioned in the commentary, “ that Christ is both sufficient and superior.” That Christ is both a servant and a shepherd. That Christ is both man and God. The I Am. Praise to God! 🙌🏻

  3. There is a big difference in listening and hearing. What a concept of these guys having always been under mosaic law and now they do not have to do all the ritualistic things. They were tempted to fall back into what they had always done/known. If you are not moving forward then you are moving backward, there is no standstill. We must keep our ears to hearing so that we will and can obey. God has each of us held in His hand. He will never leave nor forsake us, but we have a part to play in all this by obeying Him and His word.

    God I am so grateful, thankful and blessed to be Your daughter. I know that is through Your Son and not anything of myself. God thank You for letting me lean in on You, guide me, speak through me, give me good words, let Your light shine through me. Thank You for me truly hearing Your voice with the follow through of obeying what it is You say. God I stand amazed at the way You continue to work and be in my life. Give me love goggles for me to see others as You see them in Jesus name amen.

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