#6 To Identify with Humanity - Part 1 series: Lessons on Hebrews

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Tom Lowe

Lesson #6: To Identify with Humanity (Hebrews 2:10-13)

Scripture: Hebrews 2:10-13 (NIV)
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly, I will sing your praises.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

I accepted Jesus as my Savior in 1952 at the age of ten. I wrote the date in a Gideon New Testament so I would never forget. I think I could still point out the spot at the altar where I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my heart. He did it and I have loved Him ever since. Jesus is busy “bringing many sons and daughters to glory.” This short passage strikes at the very heart of God, the gospel, and glory.

Remember, man fell in the Garden of Eden and his glory was removed. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus Christ gave up glory and came into this world, “for a little while made lower than the angels.” However, when He arose from the dead and ascended back to heaven, He regained His glory and now, according to John 17:22-24, He shares that glory with all those who trust Him for salvation.

22:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. (John 17:22-24).

Lesson #6

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory {4], it was fitting {2] that God, for whom and through whom everything exists {3], should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.

It seemed incredible to the Jews that the Christ {1] should die, and that His
death was ordained "by the grace of God." God is to be praised for making the suffering {6] of Christ the pathway to His kingdom; it was worthy of God, for whose glory and through whose power all things exist; who as Creator rules the universe He created, and who cannot do anything which will tarnish His glory. No one may doubt their supreme fitness to finish what is already underway. The following words may partially explain their fitness and of what this fitness consisted.

In bringing.-- The Greek word used here may be rendered, having brought, which is a better translation. As in the divine counsels, all things were subjected to man, with the same correctness it may be said that God had brought many sons to glory when the Savior suffered and died. “Bringing many sons and daughters to glory” is God’s current purpose. God also has a future purpose of putting His King on His holy hill of Zion see Ps. 2. God is moving forward with that program, but right now He is calling out a people for His name; He is bringing many sons home to glory.

The author of Hebrews wrote this in Hebrews 2:7-8: “You made them a little Or them for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.” Who is the writer of Hebrews talking about”? God? Jesus? Mankind? He is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. That becomes apparent when we make a few appropriate changes to the wording that show Jesus is the One that he is talking about. “Or 7You made Him a little lower than the angels; you crowned Him with glory and honor 8and put everything under his feet.”] In putting everything under them Or Him, God left nothing that is not subject to them Or Him. Yet at present, we do not see everything subject to them Or him. This was taken from Psalm 8:4-6, where it says, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.” (Psalm 8:4-6). There is no doubt that the psalmist is referring to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Many sons.--The new thought introduced here is of great importance to the followers of Christ. The divine purpose has always been to “bring many sons and daughters unto glory”--the glory already spoken of as reserved for man--through His Son, who has Himself received this glory so that He may make it theirs. “You crowned Him with glory and splendor” (Ps. 8:5b). God’s intention could only be realized through the incarnation and death of His own Son. That is the assertion of verse ten, which provides a commentary on the final clause of verse 9 and particularly on the statement that Jesus experienced death “by the grace of God.” God’s intention for the human family could be achieved in no other way.

Pioneer (Captain).--This word occurs in three other places. In Acts 5:31 it bears its original meaning, "Leader" ("a Leader and a Savior"); in Hebrews 12:2 and Acts 3:15 the idea of "leading the way" has passed into that of origination. In the present case, also, Author is the best rendering; but in a context which so distinctly presents our Lord as taking on Himself the conditions of man's lot, and so passing into the glory which He wins for man, the primary thought of leading must not be entirely set aside. It is as the Author of salvation that He is made perfect through sufferings. Three aspects of this truth are presented in the Epistle. By His suffering unto death He "bare the sins of many" (Hebrews 2:9, Hebrews 9:28); He offered the sacrifice of perfect obedience (Hebrews 5:8); He was enabled to be a perfect representative of man. This last thought pervades the remaining verses of the chapter.

Christ is not only the last Adam, but He is also the Captain of salvation. That word Captain literally means “pioneer - one who opens the way for others to follow.” This word occurs in three other places. In Acts 5:31 it bears its original meaning, "Leader" ("a Leader and a Savoir"); in Hebrews 12:2 and Acts 3:15 the idea of "leading the way" has passed into that of origination. These are all great titles of Christ’s; Captain of salvation, Pioneer of their salvation, Author of salvation, and He is also called Leader, and Head. Christ gave up His glory to become a man. He regained His glory w. hen He arose and ascended to heaven. Now He shares that Glory with all who trust Him for salvation (John 17:22-24). He is bringing many sons and daughters to glory!

Christ is united to us, and we are united to Him: we are spiritually one. In fact, we are His brethren according to Hebrews 2:12. The writer quotes Psalm 22:22 - a Messianic psalm - in which Christ refers to His church as His brethren. This means we and the Son of God share the same nature and belong to the same family! What a marvel of God’s grace!

Not only are believers His brethren, but we are also His children: “Behold I and the children which God has given Me” (v. 2:13). If Jesus Christ had not come to earth and become a man, He could not take us from earth to share in His glory. The Hebrews were looking for their Messiah to come in power and great glory to reign on earth - not to die in shame on a cross even though the purpose of His death and resurrection was that He might bring many sons to glory.

One phrase of this verse requires clarification before we move on: “make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” This statement does not suggest that Jesus was not perfect when He was here on earth. The word rendered “perfect” means “complete, effective, adequate.” The Authorized and Revised Standard Versions say that God made Him perfect through suffering. Jesus could not have become an adequate Savior and High Priest had He not become a Man and suffered and died. The Greek word translated “make perfect” in the New Testament is teleioun. It is used, for instance, when referring to an animal that is unblemished and fit to be offered as a sacrifice; for a scholar who is no longer at the elementary stage but mature; for a human being or an animal who is fully grown; for a Christian who is no longer on the fringe of the church but who is baptized. The basic meaning of teleios in the New Testament is always that the thing or person so described fully carries out the purpose for which it was designed. Therefore the verb teleioun will mean not so much to make perfect as to make fully adequate for the task for which it was designed. So, then, what the writer to the Hebrews is saying is that through suffering Jesus was made fully able for the task of being the pioneer of our salvation. If Jesus had come into this world in a form in which He could never have suffered, He would have been quite different from men and so He could not have been their Savior. In fact, there was no other in heaven or in the earth who could become the Captain of salvation and God set forth His Son that He might become the propitiation {5] for sins.

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