Daily Plumer – Hebrews 1:4-7 – Christ is Superior to the Angels

“Christ is superior to angels also, any one and all of them, vs. 4-7. It is not denied, but in scripture it is clearly admitted that angels are exalted beings. To them are given two of the very names given to God himself. There seems to be no room for doubt that by nature angels are the most excellent creatures God has ever made, and that some of them are so exalted that men, who are most familiar with spiritual things, are liable to mistake an appearance of an angel for a theophany, Rev. 22:8-9. They are vastly numerous. In fact they are countless, Ps. 68:17; Heb. 12:22. They are powerful and some of them are very mighty, Ps. 103:20; Rev. 10:1; 2 Kings 19:24. They are pure spirits, Heb. 1:7. They are of heavenly origin. Their home is in our Father’s house above, Matt. 18:10. They are ever young, Mark 16:5. They have seen this earth in all its history. They know much. Their faculties were at creation good. They have travelled much, and thought more. They are holy and happy. But they are still creatures, servants, yea, the guardians of God’s people in the world.

Christ is the Lord of them all. They are denominated in scripture Ministers, Heb. 1:7; Watchers, Dan. 4:13, 17; Spirits, Heb. 1:7; Men of God, Judges 13:6, 9; Lords, Gen. 19:2, 18; Gods, Ps. 8:5; Sons of God, Job 1:6; Holy Ones, Dan. 4:13, 17; the host (or army) of God, Gen. 32:2; The heavenly host, Luke 2:13; Cherubim, Gen. 3:24; Seraphim, Isa. 6:2; Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Powers, Col. 1:16; Messengers, so the name angel in both Testaments signifies. Angels (I speak of those who never sinned) have long felt and manifested an intense interest in the person and kingdom of the Son of God. Though he is not their Saviour, he is their Lord and head. They were employed to predict his conception, to herald his birth, to guard his life, to comfort him after his temptation and in his agony, to open his sepulchre, to announce his resurrection, to form his convoy on his return to heaven, to come with him to judgment, to execute his sentence against the ungodly, Luke 1:30; 2:9-11; Matt. 2:13-14; Mark 1:13; Luke 22:43; Matt. 28:2; Luke 24:5, 23; Ps. 88:17-18; Matt. 25:31; 13:49, 50. They feel an intense interest in the conversion of sinners, Luke 15:7, 10. They wonderfully uphold God’s people and protect them, Ps. 91:11-12; Ps. 34:7. They conduct the souls of believers from their death-chamber to their home in heaven, Luke 16:22. The Jews knew that their law was given by the ministry of angels, Gal. 3:19; and so they were reluctant to give their adhesion to the gospel.

And Paul’s argument here is to show them that Jesus is far above angels, and Jesus is the author and the substance of the gospel. In nature they are angelic; in his higher nature Christ is divine. They were made after the image of God; he was the express image of God. They are pure spirits; he has his divine nature, a reasonable soul and a true body. They are creatures; he is Creator. They are minsters; he is mediator. They are worshippers; he is the object of worship.”

(These hopefully daily remarks come from William Swan Plumer’s 1872 commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews.)



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