Hebrews 1:1-3

God Spoke To Us Through the Prophets, Now His Son
Hebrew 1:1-3

What sayeth the Preacher . . .

1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

What is he getting at . . .

God is both transcendent (distant, other) and immanent (near, personal).  He is transcendent in several respects.  As Creator, of necessity he is distinct from what he created, which means that he is immaterial (spirit), timeless (eternal) and independent of space (outside the universe, which has a periphery, albeit expanding).  He is also transcendent spiritually because he is thrice holy (Isaiah 6:3), a word that literally means separate.  This has even been more the case relative to man since the fall (Genesis 3) when Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden.  If we do not realize that God is “other” than us, we have way too small a view of God.

God is also immanent in several respects.  God, who is spirit, is omnipresent, which means he is everywhere.  Even when you zoom into the smallest space, the distance between the smallest particles known (quarks, which make up protons and neutrons), God is there.  God is present everywhere even in everything, though everything is not God, which is the false Hindu belief known as pantheism.  (It has been reported that Hindus have up to 330 million gods.)  God is also immanent in a personal sense in those who have trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  At that moment, they are born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8), baptized in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), indwelled by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16) and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13), the Third Person of the Godhead.

God’s transcendence necessitated that “at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets.”  A survey of the OT would reveal a host of different ways God communicated, from the burning bush (Exodus 3:2-4) to Balaam’s donkey (Numbers 22:28) to handwriting on the wall (Daniel 5:5).  Moreover, God spoke through prophets directly, who at times memorialized God’s word in written form known as Scripture.  (A prime example is the prophet Moses who wrote most of the first five books of the Bible, also know as the Torah or Pentateuch.)  The Apostle Peter describes first what prophecy is not and then what it is.  “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)

“In these last days [God] has spoken to us by his Son, [in 3D] . . . . He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”  What would God be like if he were a human, a perfect human?  Jesus!  Recall that in his Gospel John said, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:14, 18) Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Oxymoron?  No.  Mystery? Yes.  Jesus and God the Father are one with the Holy Spirit, i.e., they are the Trinity.

Without question, Jesus is the Second Person of the Godhead!  The Preacher gives us his credentials.  “He is the heir of all things, . . . he created the world [and] he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”  “After making purification for sins [as the perfect priest and perfect sacrifice], he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”  Paul similarly describes the Creator becoming in part a creature, actually, the God-Man.  “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.