See Jesus

September 10, 2023 | Jess Rainer

Passage: Hebrews 2:5-18

Opening Illustration: I love when my wife notices the things I do for her.  And I know in marriage you are supposed to serve out of love and not for recognition. But let’s all be honest, we like when our spouse sees those things. Early on in my marriage, I wouldn’t say I word if I mopped the floor. And if Rachel happened to miss it, I would just choose to move on. After several years of marriage, I would start leaving little hints. I would leave my “chore list” on the counter. Now, as soon as Rachel walks in the door, I just start yelling out all the things I did for her! I want Rachel to notice the things I did for her. What about you? At what level of service do you start expecting recognition? At what level of service that you do for someone would it bother you if they ignored it. Would it bother you if you cleaned their house and they didn’t say anything? Would it bother you if you bought someone a car and they didn’t say anything? Would it bother you if you saved someone’s life and they completely ignored you?

Today, we reach a passage this week that is saying, “Hey, take a look at this!”1 “There is someone who stepped off their throne for you.” “There is someone who freed you from captivity.” “There is someone who brought you into their family and is not ashamed of you.” “There is someone who helps you every single day.” This passage screams, “Do you see what Jesus did for you?!” It’s only fitting that is your challenge for today: See what Jesus did for you. Go ahead and open up your Bibles to Hebrews 2. We are in our current Sermon Series: Hebrews: The Complete Work of Christ.  We are in the 4th week of our time in Hebrews and we reach the end of chapter 2. Here’s what we’ve seen so far: Jesus is better than anything else. Be fascinated with Jesus more than anything else. Hold on to God’s truth more than anything else. Let’s hear from God. Read Hebrews 2:5-18. Pray. If you remember two weeks ago, we spent time discussing Jesus and angels.  The main point was that Jesus is superior to angels. The writer of Hebrews comes back to wrap up that idea. 

[1] This sermon influenced by

1) See Jesus as the King who put aside His crown for you. (vs. 5-9)  Let’s start with verse 5: And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about. This verse is connecting back to chapter 1 where we read about how Jesus will be ruling the coming world. All the enemies of God will one day be a footstool for Jesus. Jesus will reign in full victory in the new heaven and earth. The angels will not rule or control when Jesus comes back and makes everything new again. To further this point, the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 8 starting in verse 6. BTW, I love how he starts quoting Psalm 8. 6a For in one place the Scriptures say, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said a Bible verse, but I can’t remember the location of that verse in the Bible. For some reason, the writer doesn’t name the exact location of the verse he’s about to quote. I don’t think it’s because he forget, but it at least makes me feel better. Psalm 8, which is being quoted, describes the position that God created man to be in. 6b “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or a son of man that you should care for him? Clearly, we are not God. Man is below God. Then, in verse 7 and 8, we see our current position. Yet for a little while you made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. Our position is below God, and currently, our position is below the angels. We know from Scripture our position will one day be above the angels. There will be a point in time when we judge the angels. I want to go down a path for a minute. Whenever an angels appears to a human in the Bible, what do they say almost every time. “Don’t be afraid. Fear not.” Why do they say that? Because their appearance is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Some people in the Bible react by worshipping angels. It’s just a reaction to their appearance. Think about this, we will be in a higher position and a higher privilege than those angels. That should give you pause before you look down on those who have Jesus. That should give you pause before you look down on your spouse, child, or coworker. That person – the person next to you – as long as they have Jesus – will be in a position higher than the angels. Back let’s go back to where we find ourselves right now. When God made us, He made us with glory and honor. 8a You gave them authority over all things.” When God created the world, He created it for us. He created us to rule world. That’s why the writer of Hebrews gives more commentary in the second half of verse 8. 8b Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. All things are supposed to be under our authority.

All of this is God’s design. But that’s not the reality we know to be true. It wasn’t the reality when this letter was written either. 8c But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority.  If you have been struggling when looking at this world and thinking, “It just shouldn’t be this way,” you’re right. The death, disease, natural disasters, the external chaos, the internal turmoil. It’s not supposed to be this way. Quote: “Man was meant to have dominion over everything but he has not. He is a creature who is frustrated by his circumstances, defeated by his temptations, girt about with his own weakness. He who should be free is bound; he who should be a king is a slave. As G.K. Chesterton said, whatever else is or is not true, this one thing is certain--man is not what he was meant to be.” – William Barclay. I know that’s a whole lot by introduction. But it sets up everything we see in this passage. We have a problem, a plight. And we need the solution.

Verse 9 shows us the solution. These first few words in verse 9 grabbed my heart this week. What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. What we do see is Jesus! Praise the Lord that God didn’t leave me to look at myself and my circumstances. When the weight of the world grows heavy, my job is to see Jesus. To see what Jesus did. What did Jesus do? He put aside His crown, took on the form of man, and tasted death for us. See Jesus who got involved in life to save your life.  The reason we are not as we are meant to be is because of sin. Sin took our freedom and made us captives. But we see Jesus. We see Jesus as the leader, the pioneer, the captain who leads us away from defeat into victory. And that’s what we see in verses 10, 14, and 15. See Jesus as the leader who freed you.

2) See Jesus as the leader who freed you.  (vs. 10, 14-15)  In verse 10 there is a title given to Jesus. It’s the Greek word, archegos. And it’s been translated in many ways: Leader, pioneer, originator, captain, founder, author. That word describes a person who takes the lead and accomplishes what needs to be accomplished. Look at how it’s used in verse 10: 10 God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. Jesus is the One, the only one, who could bring about the salvation of mankind. Verses 14 and 15 tell us that in order to save humanity, Jesus had to become human. 14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. 

In biblical times, it wasn’t uncommon for armies to send out to representatives to fight on behalf of the entire army. Just think David and Goliath. That fight would determine the rest of the war. Someone had to step out as the leader to bring about the victory. Illustration: Shooting a 3-pointer in the basketball state tournament. I could have never gotten the victory needed for my team. It’s the same for us. On our own power, we never can get the victory needed for eternity. But Jesus did. Jesus stepped out, got involved, and claimed the victory of death. Do you see Jesus? Do you see what Jesus did for you? He put aside His crown and freed you. This picture of Jesus is beautiful. And it gets better. Look at the next portrait: See Jesus as the brother who is not ashamed of you.

3) See Jesus as the brother who is not ashamed of you. (vs. 11-13)  There is a subtle shift in the text. The writer focused on the redemption through the cross that Jesus had made available. Now, starting in verse 11, we see the continual action that comes from Jesus’ redemption. Part of that action is our position in the family of God. Growing up, it was undeniable what family I was in. I heard it a thousand times, “Look at your black hair. You look just like your dad.” And I loved it as a kid. It brought a sense of identity. Now, since my dad has gotten a little older, it just doesn’t produce quite the same feeling when people tell me I look just like my dad. That feeling of belonging takes center stage in verses 11 through 13. 11 So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. 12 For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.” 13 He also said, “I will put my trust in him,” that is, “I and the children God has given me.”  

I love this picture of Jesus. I don’t think about it often enough. Through Jesus, we are adopted in God’s family. That makes all of brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus, as the Son of God, identifies with us as our brother. Go back to verse 12. Jesus says to God – the Son says to the Father: “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.” Jesus claims the position as big brother to us. Being the little brother has pros and cons. You got away with a lot more and got a lot more. I’ve learned by the third child, you’ve kind of figured it out as a parent plus you’re just tired. There’s lot of freedom being down in the birth order. But you’re also the little brother. If you’re a big brother, the little brother doesn’t help the coolness factor. I remember one time in high school when my brother let me drive his Jeep. For him, it probably wasn’t a big deal. For me, I thought I was pretty cool. My brother allowed me to identify with him. When Jesus looks at you, He tells us the world, “He’s with me. She’s with me.”  Jesus stands before the world and claims us.  He’s not ashamed of us. With all of our nonsense, with all of our stumbling around, with all of craziness, with all of awkwardness, with all of complaining and whining, with all of the things that we do – Jesus claims us. Jesus is not ashamed of us. Jesus stands before the Father and says, “These are my family. These are my brothers. These are my sisters.” Jesus stands before the Father, looks at you, and says, “I am proud to call you My own.”

Do you see that picture of Jesus? Are you living in the guilt and shame? Are you running away from Jesus because you think there’s no way that He opens His arms and take you back in? Are you letting the lies that you aren’t good enough keep away from a place that is so special? See that Jesus. The One that is anything but ashamed of you. Isn’t looking at Jesus so fun? Isn’t it so great to see these portraits of Jesus? He put aside His crown for you. He freed you. He’s not ashamed of you. And here’s the last picture we see: See Jesus as the Priest who helps you.

4) See Jesus as the Priest who helps you.  (vs. 16-18)  The writer of Hebrews puts a bow on the truth that Jesus is better than angels. And in doing so, reiterates the position of humanity. Look at verse 16:  1We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham.  Think about that for a minute. Jesus didn’t die for the angels. Jesus died for you. Jesus didn’t take on the form of angels to save them. Jesus took on the form of man to save you. Jesus didn’t come to help the angels. Jesus came to help you. There is a love that God has for you and that angels marvel at. We saw this in 1 Peter 1. 12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. The angels stand in the presence of God and marvel at the love story that is unfolding between God and humanity.

In these last two verses, verses 17 and 18, we see that Jesus is able us in every way. 17 Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. 18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. He became like us, went through everything we have gone through, and came out victorious. Because He was victorious where we never could have been, He has become our High Priest. We’ll get more into that in a few chapters. Jesus is able to help us get into the presence of God.

Jesus is able to help us in this life:

  • He knows how you feel
  • He knows your pain of heartache
  • He knows your pain of depression
  • He knows your pain of anxiety
  • He knows your pain of loneliness
  • He knows your pain of rejection
  • He knows your pain of betrayal
  • He knows your confusion
  • He knows your tiredness
  • He knows your hungry and ready for lunch (I’m almost done…)
  • He knows your joy
  • He knows your celebration
  • He knows your hope
  • He knows every corner of your heart
  • And He’s experienced every emotion you feel
  • He understands.
    • And He’s here to help
    • Let Him help
      • Ask Him for help

Because after all, Jesus came for you, not any other being.

I’ll close with a question.  Do you see what Jesus did for you? I’m not standing on this stage, giving you hints, hoping you’ll catch it. God’s Word isn’t hinting at what Jesus did. It’s as clear as it can be. Jesus is the King who put aside His crown for you. Jesus is the leader who freed you. Jesus is the brother that is not ashamed of you. Jesus is the priest who can help you. Jesus is the only One who can give you a hope and a future. No one else can offer you what He has to offer you. GOSPEL PRESENTATION. Don’t leave here today without taking hold of Jesus. What does your picture of Jesus look like? I challenge every day to wake up and see Jesus for who He is and what He has done. Write it on your mirror in the bathroom: king, leader, brother, and priest. Knowing Jesus will change your life, every single day. Let’s pray.

Transition to Prayer Time

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Series Information

Sin causes us to experience shame, rejection, and pain.  This series highlights the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ in the Book of Hebrews—offering hope to all of those struggling with self-doubt and seclusion. By exploring the passages that connect Jesus' ministry to the fulfillment of the Law, this guide will help you not only better understand the Old Testament, but also how Jesus completes the story of God’s redemption. This is a great series to remind others of God’s love for them, as well as the sacrifice He made to bring them back to God.

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