Tuesday in the Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 2:5-9

Made a Little Lower Than the Angels

At the center of the Christian faith is the Incarnation—the event whereby the Son of God took upon himself the body prepared for him by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin’s womb, adding our humanity to his divinity and thus making that one unique person who had never been but who shall always be the Son of God and Son of Man.  It is this “humbling” on God’s part that is highlighted in chapter two and especially by reference to Psalm 8:4-6.  Bear in mind, the Preacher returns to the Old Testament throughout the sermon showing how everything there pointed to the Incarnation, passion, and exaltation of Christ.  And we should not think the Preacher unique in doing this nor Hebrews a singular instance of this; indeed, the Apostles understood and preached the same following the example of our Lord (Luke 24:27).

The interesting part of this passage is how the Preacher uses Psalm 8.  It is obvious that the psalm itself is speaking of the creation of man—who though seems so small was “made a little lower than the heavenly beings [angels] and crowned…with glory and honor.”  To man, God gave dominion over all things, as is plainly stated in Genesis 1:26-31.  But this is not the way the Preacher understands the psalm.  Instead of referring to man, the Preacher applies the words of the psalm to Jesus, who for a time was made “a little lower than the angels,” an obvious reference to his Incarnation. 

Moreover, it is the Son who is crowned with glory and honor, all things being subjected unto him.  And why is the Son so crowned and all things subjected unto him: “Because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”  This was the purpose of his Incarnation—that he might join himself to us that he may live our life without sin and then take our place, tasting death for every man.  That is, he came to live and die for us.  But his “tasting” seems a temporary thing (one does not “taste” something forever but soon swallows), indicating that his death was a temporary thing—which indeed it was.  His subsequent resurrection and exaltation to the Right Hand of the Father is his victory.  And as he tasted death for us, we shall taste the resurrection with him, only our “tasting” shall not be temporary but eternal.

Because he willingly endured humiliation, he is exalted; because he was crowned with thorns, he is now crowned with glory and honor that shall ever only belong to him.  And because the Son of God became the Son of Man, now sons and daughters of men may become sons and daughters of God.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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