Hebrews 2:10… For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
The epistle of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers in Christ. Many of them who had professed faith in Christ were starting to doubt their faith and their Messiah. They had relegated Jesus to an angelic being, and they were beginning to drift. They found great difficulty believing that Jesus was God given that he had died (1 Cor. 1:23) because God wasn’t supposed to die! As a result these Jewish “believers” were beginning to drift away from their profession of Christ and move back into the greater comfort of the Levitical sacrifices. The author sensed the drifting of these Jews because many of them could not conceive of a suffering Messiah, so he began in v. 13 with an explanation as to why it was so appropriate that the Messiah indeed suffer as Jesus did.
Verse 10 says that it was “fitting” for Christ to suffer. The term means “to be seemly, becoming.” It was simply an appropriate way for God to act on man’s behalf. God the Father simply decided that His Son would die on a wooden cross (cf. Gal. 3:13) to grant salvation to believers by taking man’s curse upon Himself. In doing so the Son would be the “author” of man’s salvation. Because the very constitution of the nature of God is holy and righteous, and because a holy God cannot look upon sin with any degree of tolerance, that same righteous God must require that the demands of the violated law be satisfied. And because that same God is a loving God, full well knowing that sinful man cannot save himself, He provided the very payment of the punishment which His holy law demands. So, in saying that it is “fitting” for the Christ to suffer, the writer shows the rationality of the bloody cross the Messiah died on. God alone must satisfy His own demands, and this is why it was Jesus (God the Son) who provided the sacrifice on the cross. No wonder the author told his audience how fitting Christ’s death was.
Verse 10 has two subordinate clauses that speak volumes of theology. The subject of the sentence is “Him” (God), and it is said that all things are for God, and all things come through God. In the context of the passage, it is an incredible thought that one of the “all things” that are unto God and from God is God Himself! After all, He brought “many sons to glory” for Himself by offering Himself as a blood atonement on the cross. He did not do this primarily for those who would inherit salvation (i.e., believers); He did it primarily for Himself because through Him are all things, and from Him come all things. He glorified Himself by providing salvation.
Jesus is called “the author of their salvation” in v. 10. The “their” is referring to v. 9 and speaks of the “everyone” Jesus died for. He was made “perfect” through sufferings. This term does not mean that Jesus was once imperfect; it simply means “to carry to the goal.” It speaks of the consummation of Christ’s human experience of suffering the death of the cross – a trial he had to endure in order to become the “author” of man’s salvation – the pioneer of deliverance.
Food for Thought
Christianity could never have been concocted by the human mind, especially in the plurality of Jewish minds. No Jewish person would have written an account of a Triune God sending the second member of the Godhead (Jesus the Son), who was made temporarily lower than the angels, who would die on a cross. It would be a preposterous story for any Jew to write. But the story has teeth, as it were, because the Jews witnessed Jesus’ life and saw their Messiah die on the cross and come back from the grave fully alive three days later. Yes, it was indeed “fitting” for God to do as He did in allowing the Christ to suffer. His suffering proved him in his humanity perfect, for it made him an understanding High Priest and an example for all believers.
Hebrews 2:11-13… For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren. In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.” 13 And again, “I will put My trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”
While on the cross Jesus not only suffered on man’s behalf in order to sympathize with him, v. 11 says that his death also sanctified. This word means “to set apart; to make holy.” The imagery of holiness for a Jew concerned their temple. In Judaism certain people, vessels, and appointed days were “set apart.” Jesus, the author of the Christian faith, by dying on the cross, prepared the believer’s way to glory by setting them apart. By becoming a human and suffering as humans suffer, yet being without sin, he became one with humanity. As a result, humans and Jesus are of the same family sharing the same Father because God ordained both the Sanctifier and the sanctified. It is clear that Christ came to sanctify believers (1:3), and in so doing he set them apart for God’s use. So believers are cleansed in order to serve the One who sanctified them. And it is for this reason that Jesus is not ashamed to call his sanctified subjects “brothers.”
It’s interesting that although Jesus said that those who do his Father’s will are his brothers, sisters, and mothers (Matt. 12:50; Luke 8:21), he never directly called anyone his “brother” until after his resurrection (Matt. 28:10; John 20:17). He had to pay the price for their salvation before he could be their brother. He had to suffer and taste death in his humanity before calling them “brethren.” Being called brother by Jesus himself indicates complete redemption.
In order to validate his point the writer, once again, quoted from Jewish Scripture, and he quoted both psalmist and prophet. Verse 12 quotes Psalm 22:22 which is a messianic psalm. Jesus himself quoted its opening words as he hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). In addition, Psalm 22:18 says, “They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” Of course this was fulfilled by Roman soldiers while Jesus hung on the cross (John 19:24). So when the author of Hebrews quoted Psalm 22:22 saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren. In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise,” he pictures Jesus placing his complete trust in God the Father during the most horrific moment of his life as a man – and the darkest moment in human history. In doing so he made brothers out of sinners, and he rejoiced! And it was in that dark hour that Jesus brought sinful humans to him as “sons” (2:10), as “brethren” (vv. 11-12), and as “children” (v. 13).
The author also quoted from Isaiah 8:17-18 in v. 13. Now the Isaiah 8 context is also one of great hope during a time of deep despair. For while God had his face turned away from Israel due to sin, Isaiah said, “I will hope in Him.” These quotes show that when believers rejoice in the midst of despair they reveal their oneness with Christ in his sufferings – sanctified by Him.
Food for Thought
We Christians are all too often fully content to live far below our spiritual potential. If God made us holy then our actions should reflect this. Sanctified Christians should recognize that Christ owns us and everything he’s given to us. Our behavior will be tell-tale. We ought not be about the task of spending enormous sums of money on our own self-indulgences while at the same time putting meager amounts of change into the church offering box. And our time must be set apart too. Believers who set aside hours of leisure time and weeks for vacations but set aside little to no time for church attendance and ministry can hardly boast about being sanctified in any practical sense. We have the potential, but too often it lies dormant within our selfish lives.
Hebrews 2:14-15… Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
The writer of Hebrews has endeavored to show how God took on human flesh and became a living and breathing man in the person of Jesus Christ. He became like man so that he could suffer like a man and taste death like a man. And this was the “fitting” thing to do (v. 10), for in doing so his death made man holy because man was unable to become holy on his own behalf. Jesus, the sanctifier, caused man to be sanctified, and both the sanctifier and the sanctified have one Father. Now, having become like man, Jesus, the Son of God, can unashamedly call mankind “brethren.” His atoning sacrifice on the cross accomplished what man has perpetually failed to do (i.e., please God), and he satisfied God’s wrath on behalf of man.
That introduction is what the “therefore” in v. 14 is referring to. So since the children of God now “share” (literally, “have fellowship”) the same flesh and blood as the Son of God, given that the Son of God took on flesh like man, and because the Son of God died while in the flesh, Christ’s death is now said to have accomplished the disarmament of the one who has the power of death – the devil (v. 14). Satan has the power of death because Satan is the author of sin (John 8:44) which brings death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus called him a murderer (John 8:44), and his kingdom is one of darkness and death (Col. 1:13). But Hebrews reveals that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection gives believers victory (1 Cor. 15:55-58).
So there is another accomplishment of Christ’s death on the cross. Whereas man is naturally flesh and blood, Jesus Christ “partook” of flesh and blood. This word has to do with taking hold of something that isn’t naturally one’s own. So this means that Christ voluntarily became flesh and blood, adding himself to man’s nature, so that man could add to his nature something that didn’t belong to him – God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Therefore, God became like man, so that man could become like God – in spite of his sins.
Now this doesn’t mean that man is God. That idea, held by some, is as untrue as it is blasphemous. Only God is perfect, but God Himself has declared man righteous by making him holy. Those that are holy (i.e., believers in Christ) have been freed from the power of death. The only way for man to be brought to God was for God to render Satan’s power over death null and void. Death has always been Satan’s weapon. He has always known that God decreed death because of sin, and he knows that once a person dies he has no chance for salvation. This is why Jesus died for man. In doing so he trumped Satan’s ultimate weapon – death! Now although all men die, death has absolutely no power over the children of God. In fact, death is a sweet release for God’s children. The Apostle Paul himself said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21)… “Oh death, where is your victory; oh death where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
Food for Thought
Those who do not truly know Christ tend to fear death above all else. And why wouldn’t they? There is no hope after death for those that fear death! But Jesus’ death freed his children – those who place their faith in him alone for salvation – from the bondage of slavery, the slavery of sin and death. All unbelievers are slaves of sin and death. The Christian’s enemy, the devil, has been rendered inoperative, for he cannot touch their eternal souls (cf. 1 John 5:18). All glory to Jesus Christ, our God, Savior, Lord, and our Brother. Yes, Jesus became our brother in death!
Hebrews 2:16-18… For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Nowhere in all of Scripture is Jesus ever seen giving help to angels. There is no doctrine in Scripture that even comes close to teaching that Jesus came to save angels, serve them, or redeem them. On the contrary, the teaching of Hebrews 1-2 not only concerns Jesus’ superiority over the angels, it also centers on His concern for mankind. He came to the earth “made for a little while lower than the angels” (2:9) so that he could sympathize with mankind, suffer for mankind, taste death for mankind, and be resurrected for mankind. So mankind was who Jesus came to help, not angels. But did Jesus come to save all of mankind? The answer is that he came to die for all of mankind, but his death only accomplished salvation for the “seed of Abraham.” Verse 16 says that Jesus helps, not angels, but the descendant (seed) of Abraham.
Beginning in Genesis 12:1-3, 7 God called Abraham (then Abram) and made a covenant with him. He promised Abraham the land from the river in Egypt to the Euphrates. Furthermore, He promised to bless Abraham and all those who blessed him. But he also promised Abraham a “seed” or a descendant. Abraham had a handful of sons, but his first two sons were Ishmael then Isaac. Yet God did not bless Ishmael, He blessed Isaac, for he was the son of promise. Isaac had twin sons, yet God only loved one of them – Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons, yet God’s special favor rested only on Judah, Jacob’s fourth-born son whom the seed promise would travel through. Judah’s line produced King David and later Solomon, and that same line produced Jesus Christ. Of course Jesus had no sons or daughters, at least not physically. But as God’s Son he was sent by God the Father to sanctify a people and to call them brothers (Heb. 2:11-13). God adopted sons and now calls them His own (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5) – those who specifically call on Jesus Christ for salvation. These are the true seed of Abraham (Rom. 4:11, 16-17). As Abraham “believed God and God reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6), so too do we simply believe God so as to have righteousness credited to us. That is salvation, and it is what being Abraham’s seed truly is. And it is this “seed” that Jesus gives help to – his children.
Verse 17 sums up the whole matter saying that Jesus “had to be made like his brethren.” The word means to “owe” something. So Jesus actually obligated himself to be like his brothers. In doing so he became man’s high priest which meant that he could represent mankind before God because he had become like man. And just as the high priest in Israel offered the blood of bulls and goats to atone for sins, Jesus offered his own blood as a “propitiation” for the sins of the people. That word means “to satisfy.” Jesus satisfied God’s wrath by offering himself for sin on behalf of man. He turned God’s wrath away from sinners by becoming sin even though he was sinless. He was tempted in all ways like a man so that he could sympathize with man.
Food for Thought
What Jesus did in the past is wonderful because it has present-day ramifications. His death continues to atone for our sins – daily! And he knows exactly how we suffer and endure temptation because he did too. He’s felt our deepest hurts because he’s been there. And note v. 18 which says, “He is able to come to the aid of all those who are tempted.” This phrase means “to run to the cry of a child.” How appropriate! When we cry, Christ feels it, and he runs to us.
Hebrews 2:10-18… Ἔπρεπεν γὰρ αὐτῷ, διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα,
It is fitting (IAI) for him on account of whom the all and through whom the all
πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν
many sons into glory having led (AAPtcp) the author/pioneer of the salvation our
διὰ παθημάτων τελειῶσαι. 11 ὅ τε γὰρ ἁγιάζων καὶ οἱ
through sufferings to complete (AAIn). For both the one who sanctifies (PAPtcp) and the ones
ἁγιαζόμενοι ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντες· διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν οὐκ ἐπαισχύνεται ἀδελφοὺς
being made holy (PPPtcp) from one all through which cause not he is ashamed (PPI) brothers
αὐτοὺς καλεῖν 12 λέγων· ἀπαγγελῶ τὸ ὄνομά σου τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς μου, ἐν
of them to call (PAIn), saying (PAPtcp): I will proclaim (FAI) your name to the brothers of me, in
μέσῳ ἐκκλησίας ὑμνήσω σε, 13 καὶ πάλιν· ἐγὼ ἔσομαι πεποιθὼς ἐπʼ αὐτῷ,
middle of assembly I will sing (FAI) you. And again, I I will be (FMI) persuaded (RAPtcp) on him
καὶ πάλιν· ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ καὶ τὰ παιδία ἅ μοι ἔδωκεν ὁ θεός. 14 Ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ
and again: Behold, I and the small children that to me gave (AAI) the God. Since then the
παιδία κεκοινώνηκεν αἵματος καὶ σαρκός, καὶ αὐτὸς παραπλησίως
small children have partnered (RAI) of blood and flesh, and himself likewise
μετέσχεν τῶν αὐτῶν, ἵνα διὰ τοῦ θανάτου καταργήσῃ τὸν τὸ κράτος
partook with (AAI) the same, that through the death he might abolish (AAS) the one the strength
ἔχοντα τοῦ θανάτου, τοῦτʼ ἔστιν τὸν διάβολον, 15 καὶ ἀπαλλάξῃ
having (PAPtcp) of the death, this is (PAI) the devil, and might release (AAS)
τούτους, ὅσοι φόβῳ θανάτου διὰ παντὸς τοῦ ζῆν ἔνοχοι ἦσαν δουλείας.
those as many as in fear of death through all of the to live (PAIn) guilty were (IAI) of slavery
16 οὐ γὰρ δήπου ἀγγέλων ἐπιλαμβάνεται ἀλλὰ σπέρματος Ἀβραὰμ
not for surely of angels is he concerned with (PMI) but of seed Abraham
ἐπιλαμβάνεται. 17 ὅθεν ὤφειλεν κατὰ πάντα τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ὁμοιωθῆναι,
is he concerned with (PMI). From where he owes (IAI) by all to the brothers to be likened (APIn)
ἵνα ἐλεήμων γένηται καὶ πιστὸς ἀρχιερεὺς τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εἰς τὸ
so that merciful he might become (AMS) and faithful high priest the to the God into the
ἱλάσκεσθαι τὰς ἁμαρτίας τοῦ λαοῦ. 18 ἐν ᾧ γὰρ πέπονθεν αὐτὸς
to be expiation (PMIn) the sins of the people. In which for he has suffered (RAI) himself
πειρασθείς, δύναται τοῖς πειραζομένοις βοηθῆσαι.
Being tempted (APPtcp), he is able (PPI) to the ones being pressured (PPPtcp) to help (AAIn).
Sermon Notes: Hebrews 2:10-18
· Christ’s humanity and suffering through death gave man his dominion back.
o Because Christ has it, we also have it being united to him (5-9).
· Christ’s sufferings made him the perfect sacrifice for mankind (10)
o The author of salvation went in first, as it were, and paved the way for others.
o A holy God demands a perfection. Man failed and is now unable to offer a perfect sacrifice for his own sins. So God Himself provided the sacrifice FOR man. This is why Jesus had to become a man.
· Christ’s sufferings gave him the ability to call us brothers (11-13)
o As Christ’s brothers great things are expected of us. Just as we expect younger brothers and sisters of students we loved to teach or coach to live up to their sibling’s standard, the world expects us to live up to Christ’s standard. We have the potential, but we fail to use it.
o We’re never called brothers until after the resurrection
o Jesus rejoiced in Psalms and Isaiah long before he accomplished his task. But like a parent reunited with his child Christ rejoiced in turmoil to purchase His children
· His humanity enabled Him to disarm Satan and deliver us from death (vv. 14–16).
· His humanity enables Him to be a sympathetic High Priest to His people (vv. 17–18).
o Angels cannot identify with us in our weaknesses and needs. But Jesus can!
o He was a helpless baby, a growing child, an awkward teenager.
o He knew the experiences of weariness, hunger, and thirst (John 4:6–8).
o He was hated and rejected and misrepresented; falsely accused.
o He was tempted in all matters, but he never gave in.
o He experienced physical suffering and death.
o Come to the aid (Heb. 2:18)… “to run to the cry of a child.”
o As our High Priest, Christ intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34)
o He is not ashamed to call us His brothers… are we ashamed to call Him Lord?
Image: Interview between Joel Osteen and Larry King
Need: To understand who Jesus really is. People are confused!
Passage: Hebrews 2:10-18
Who is Jesus?
1. The author of salvation (10)
a. Our pioneer who has paved the way through the impossible path
b. If he is the author then there is no other (John 14:6)
i. For whom are all things
ii. Through whom are all things
2. Son of God who suffered
a. Sufferings come from God b/c we would never cause ourselves to suffer
b. These made Christ “perfect” which means “to carry to the goal”
3. The sanctifier of humanity (11)
a. To set them apart for God’s use
b. Their works can be accepted by God
4. The big brother of those he sanctified (11b)
a. Jesus never directly called anyone brethren until after rez.
b. As “brethren” we are completely redeemed
5. The Jewish Messiah (12-13)
a. Trusted God during his darkest moment before death (Psalm 22:22)
b. Isaiah quoted the Messiah who hoped in the midst of despair (Isaiah 8:17-18)
6. A man who died to render death and the devil powerless (14-15)
a. Jesus suffered and died to become a brother with God’s children (1 Cor. 1:23)
b. Died to free slaves who fear death
7. The helper of the seed of Abraham (16)
8. A merciful and faithful high priest (17)
a. Makes propitiation for sins
b. Suffered as men suffer yet never gave in to temptation
c. Able to come to the aid… (“to run to the cry of a child”)
KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?
OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just...
KING: Because we've had ministers on who said, your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't.
OSTEEN: Yeah, I don't know. There's probably a balance between. I believe you have to know Christ. But I think that if you know Christ, if you're a believer in God, you're going to have some good works. I think it's a cop-out to say I'm a Christian but I don't ever do anything ...
KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.
KING: Do you ever involve politics in the sermons?
OSTEEN: Never do. My father never ...
KING: Never mention President Bush?
OSTEEN: Well, only to pray. Only to pray. We prayed for President Bush, Clinton, all of them. But I've never been political. My father hasn't. I just, I have no ...
KING: How about issues that the church has feelings about? Abortion? Same-sex marriages?
OSTEEN: Yeah. You know what, Larry? I don't go there. I just ...
KING: You have thoughts, though.
OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don't think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I'm not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.
KING: You don't call them sinners?
OSTEEN: I don't.