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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 2

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. I remember fishing in Alaska once. It was a stormy 24’ swells, in a 17’ boat. When you fish for Halibut, its best to anchor. We tried. But soon, when the tide surged, it slipped our anchor & there it hung suspended above the seabed. It wasn’t long before we noticed...we were adrift.
      1. This morning we’ll notice a number of nautical terms the writer will use in this chapt
      2. His main caution is...that we won’t find ourselves drifting in our faith from inattention nor from carelessness.
    2. Title: Adrift
      1. Outline: Lest we Drift Away; But we See Jesus; Captain of Our Salvation.
    1. (1) 2 nautical terms here:
      1. Give/heed = bringing a ship to land. (Linguistic Key to the Greek NT, Heb.2:1, pg.666)
        1. Ps.107:30 he brought them safely into harbor. msg
      2. Drift away = it was used for: something slipping from one’s memory; or of a ring slipping from one’s finger; or of a ship drifting away.
      3. Lest we drift away – 6 Things we should know about drifting:
        1. Drifting requires no effort
          1. “People seldom lose their religion by a blowout …it is usually a slow leak.”
        2. It’s an unconscious effort (you might not even know you are drifting / eg. Beach)
          1. Drifting is not intentional. It usually comes from inattention & carelessness.
            1. It happens quietly, no friction, no dramatic sense of departure.
            2. Winds of trouble blow into your life, the things of Christ are left behind…then pretty soon…they are out of sight.
        3. We never drift upstream or against the tide
        4. The speed downstream increases (when you hear the noise of the waterfall...it’s too late)
        5. It is dangerous to others (it’s a hazard to all other vessels at sea)
        6. It ends in shipwreck (it will crash on the rocks, or go over the falls)
    2. How are your moorings in Christ? (cables/ropes or frayed strings/tiny threads)
      1. Some people who never consider walking in darkness sure enjoy a little stroll in the shade.
      2. Samson was asleep when he lost his strength.
      3. Still water and still religion freeze the quickest.
      4. It’s also scary to realize that most of the people who failed in Scriptures failed in the second-half of their lives.
      5. How many people have you met that left Christianity because they logically reasoned it through & found it full of holes & faulty. – I think most simply drifted away.
    3. So what causes causes drifting? Not giving careful attention to the Word of God.
      1. Robertson McQuilkin in his book Let Me Get Home Before Dark prays for himself, “I fear the Dark Specter may come too soon – or do I mean, too late?” That I should end before I finish or finish, but not well. That I should stain your honor, shame your name, grieve your loving heart. Few, they tell me, finish well…Lord, let me get home before dark.”
      2. Have you drifted away from your early faith? Or from your fidelity to God? Consistent reading? Serious & passionate prayer times? Church attendance? Giving? Fellowship? Communion? Witnessing?
  3. BUT WE SEE JESUS (5-9)
    1. This Psalm exalts the dignity of man.
      1. Vs.5 should read “You have made him a little lower than God.”
      2. We are the greatest of God’s creations, for we are made in the image of God.
      3. Why are we so messed up/mixed up today?
        1. Modern teaching has lowered man to an animal & rejected the image of God.
        2. No wonder why we as humans have no problem discarding hundreds of thousand human babies, yet will spend millions of $ to free a beached whale.
        3. No wonder we have such civil unrest, so much brutality.
        4. Mankind has dethroned God & debased humanity.
      4. Let us never forget our obligation as creatures made in God’s image, and our greater obligation as saints being renewed in this image through Christ.
    2. (6-8) Man seems even smaller & insignificant when we read the verse before it in Psalm 8 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man…”
    3. (6b & 7a) Man’s position? – We are lower for a time because of our physical body. [Thus we are limited because of our body, & have less power; but man is not lower spiritually, or in importance]
    4. (8b) He put all…He left nothing that isn’t…really?
      1. ​​​​​​​He wants you to take exception…saying, wait a minute.
    5. ​​​​​​​(8c) Then he answers that it will one day, it was God’s original intention, man blew it, but one day…one day.
      1. ​​​​​​​We don’t see all things put under him yet do we…Hardly. [earthquakes, floods, plagues, ebola]
      2. At home I can’t even get ants under my subjection/dominion.
        1. But I know what its going to feel like...Wasps! [I do have them under subjection]
      3. The only way today we can achieve dominion over the animal world is by intimidation, “Obey me or I’ll eat you or wear you!” (Hughes)
    6. (9) I love this transition: we do not yet see (8)…But we see Jesus.
      1. Psalm 8 has its ultimate fulfillment in Christ – from the generic son of man (man), to The Son of man (Jesus) at Christ’s advent.
      2. Jesus was made for a little while lower (while in His humanity)
        1. Now crowned in glory & honor.
      3. Oh I can’t see little ol’ Brian with all things put under my feet & crowned w/glory & honor – but for now, I see Jesus!
    1. ​​​​​​​(10) Some thought (& think) the concept of a suffering-Savior-God as a completely unacceptable & even an inappropriate way, to regard God.
      1. Thus Paul said, but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness. 1 Cor.1:23
      2. Here, the author writes it WAS fitting.
      3. Note: vs.10 is the key for the rest of the verses.
      4. Alexander Maclaren, Creation was done with a word & voila, there it was & is, but His speech wasn’t enough to effect salvation. It took not a word but The Word. His Son incarnate who was humiliated, who suffered, died, resurrected, ascended & is interceding at the right hand of God.
    2. (10b) Remember the scene in Captain Phillips when Muse 1st hijacks the Maersk Alabama cargo ship?
      1. Muse: "Where is the crew?"
      2. Captain Richard Phillips: "I don't know, I don't know. I'm here with you."
      3. Muse: [on ship intercom] "In one minute I will kill all your friends."
      4. Muse: "Where is your crew?!" Captain Richard Phillips: "I don't know! … I am the captain. If you're gonna shoot somebody, you should shoot me!"
      5. Muse: "Relax, everything going to be okay. Look at me."
      6. Captain Richard Phillips: "Sure"
      7. Muse: "Look at me"
      8. Captain Richard Phillips: "Sure"
      9. Muse: "I'm the captain now."
        1. ​​​​​​​Are you the captain of your own ship? Have you surrendered it unto Jesus? Have you surrendered it & then took it back?
    3. Captain of their salvation (many translations: leader, author, founder, hero, captain, champion, & pioneer)
      1. In Gk. Writings it was used of a hero who founded a city, gave its name, & became its guardian.
        1. ​​​​​​​Messianic name that was prophesied of the Christ Mighty God (Is.9:6) = El Gibbor [pictures God as a warrior & champion] (Lit.)“Mighty Hero God”.
        2. Also used as the head of a family; or a founder of a philosophic school.
        3. The term also had a distinct military connotation referring to a commander of an army who went ahead of his men & blazed the trail for them.
          1. The idea here is of a leader who opens up a new way.
        4. Think of a pioneer who blazed the trail of salvation that we can now follow.
          1. I remember Randy Harvey sharing w/me (If you didn’t get to meet Randy he was a Missionary to Kosovo & b4 that a Marine for 21 years) He said, “You never put your leader up front…the lead man is most vulnerable!”
            1. ​​​​​​​I.e. the 1st man through the door, whether SWAT or military personnel clearing houses, the doorway is known as the fatal funnel. 1st guy through the door is obviously the most dangerous.
          2. But that’s the point here, Jesus did exactly that, He knowingly & willingly became the lead man, & took the bullet that we might be spared.
    4. (14,15) Did Satan ever have the power of death? (I say no)
      1. He surely didn’t in Job 1:12 Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.
      2. Rev.1:18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
      3. Satan, via the sin in the garden, brings about man’s spiritual death...but cannot bring about physical death.
    5. (16-18) Another way to keep them from drifting was to keep them anchored. Read 6:19
    6. Propitiation – To explain man being reconciled to God we use 2 words: Expiation & Propitiation
      1. Propitiation emphasizes the appeasement of God’s wrath and justice. [averting the wrath of God]
      2. Expiation emphasizes the removal of guilt (covering over) through a payment of the penalty.
        1. Thus, the holiness of God is satisfied.
    7. Oh, precious Jesus – made in every way like man. And thus, merci-full, has suffered, able to aid us.
    8. (18) He was tempted to the very same sins into which we fall.
      1. It is a dark room which you are going through, but Jesus went through it before.
      2. It is a sharp fight which you are waging, but Jesus has stood foot to foot with the same enemy.
      3. The blood-stained footsteps of the King of glory may be seen along the road which we traverse at this hour. Spurgeon
    9. Lewis Bayly’s 17th century devotional handbook, Practice of Piety, ends w/a dialogue in which Christ explains to a soul the meaning of the cross. [I modernized it]
      1. Soul: Lord, why did you allow Yourself to be taken, when You might have escaped Your enemies?
      2. Christ: So your enemies wouldn’t take you, & cast you into the prison of utter darkness.
      3. Soul: Lord, why did you allow Yourself to be bound?
      4. Christ: So that I might loose the chains of your iniquities.
      5. Soul: Lord, why did you allow Yourself to be lifted up on a cross?
      6. Christ: So that I might lift you up with Me to heaven.
      7. Soul: Lord, why were Your hands nailed to the cross?
      8. Christ: To enlarge your hands to do works of righteousness.
      9. Soul: Lord, why were Your feet nailed to the cross?
      10. Christ: To set your feet free to walk in the ways of peace.
      11. Soul: Lord, why were Your arms nailed stretched out wide?
      12. Christ: That I might embrace you more lovingly, My sweet soul.
      13. Soul: Lord, why were Your side opened with a spear?
      14. Christ: That you might might have a way to come near to My heart.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hebrews 2". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/hebrews-2.html. 2017.
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