Alva Review-Courier -

Spiritually Speaking: Amazing people are still not Messiah


November 15, 2019

Once, an octogenarian minister was asked for the secret of framing the perfect sermon. He answered, “tell ‘em what you’re gonna’ tell ‘em; then tell ‘em what you need to tell ‘em; and finish by telling ‘em what you told ‘em.” That pretty well sums up the approach of the writer of Hebrews. Far more than a friendly letter; Hebrews is a sermon, a polemic, a debate; complete, at times, with imagined arguments from those who might shy away from the ultimate conclusion.

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 writer may have in mind far more than we would normally think of when we see the word “prophet.” Modern church-goers often think of prophecy in terms of foretelling the future – and many prophets certainly did. However, the word we translate as prophet denotes anyone who speaks on behalf of another. That would make Moses a prophet as well as a law giver, since he was God’s spokesman and the writer will specifically discuss the amazing role Moses played in helping the Jewish people get to the Promised Land and the great legacy he left behind. This group also includes messages delivered by angels and the author will give credit where credit is due for the work they performed. But none of these had the final word. None of these were Messiah.

The fact that the writer includes his own generation in the phrase “these last days” demonstrates that, even 2000 years ago, the world had already turned the corner and was heading for the finish line. The One who ushered in those “last days” is described in three glowing terms: God’s Son, the heir of all things, and the conduit through whom the entire universe was created. As we will see in the coming weeks, the writer introduces these terms to begin his first major statement. “You may be amazing. You may be faithful. But you’re not Messiah.” See you Sunday.


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