Series Title: Jesus is GREATER than…
Message: ‘But we see Jesus’ Text: Hebrews 2:5-9
Introduction: We live in a culture that elevates image. In fact, I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that we are a self-centered, image obsessed society. PP:
- On social media platforms we, more often than not, project ourselves in a way that shows our strengths, our abilities, our good looks, our success, our wealth, our… image.
At least the image we want others to see. Often, that image is not how we truly feel about ourselves.
- You see, we rarely show our struggles, our doubts, our failures, our hardships, our pain.
We’re presenting ourselves on social media as having it all together, all the while, we’re searching the internet for ways to improve our self-worth. I did a search on Amazon and it has a HUGE supply of books on improving your self-worth. PP: (2 slides)
The world around us tells us that our struggles, our doubts, our failures, our pain, our lack of self-worth and image, can be fixed by looking to it for the answers.
- It will tell you what’s important, what’s necessary for you to put into your life, what to remove form your life in order to improve your image and increase your self-worth.
But… there’s a real problem with what the world is selling you.
PP: Next Slide
Pastor Curry Pikkaart tells us a story by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.
- There were some thieves who broke into a jewelry store but didn’t steal anything; they simply rearranged the price tags.
- The next morning, the expensive jewelry was sold as junk, and the junk jewelry was sold as expensive.
His point is obvious. We live in a world that has rearranged the price tags. (end quote)
- The things in life that honor God, all have ‘Going out of business’ tags on them… they’re seen as cheap, useless and not worth investing your time, money or effort.
- But all the superficial, image conscious things in life are given the high price tags… So if it’s seen as expensive, we want it all the more.
Friends, look, we’ve been duped, lied to and manipulated to think that image, self-worth, is something that we either develop within ourselves or by the ‘culturally approved’ ways the world sells us.
The Bible.. God… has a different answer to our search for self-worth and identity. Our text this morning will reveal that
- We don’t find it looking inside ourselves.
- We don’t find it in the ‘culturally approved’ ways the world sells us.
No… who we are, our self-worth, our image, is found ONLY and best in a relationship with Jesus.
Background: How do we get there? A little background.
Our text this morning will show us that our proper image, our true self-worth, is first realizing that at our very heart, at the center of who we are, we’re sinful people… all of us, no exceptions.
And because of that, God had to do something… He came to earth in the person of Jesus, who took on our humanity, and on the cross when He died, He took on our sin.
- Not because we’re wonderful, not because we’re beautiful, not because we’re loveable, not because we’re worthy… in any way.
- But because we’re sinful and helpless to change.
If we are ever to feel good about ourselves, it’s only when we become children of God through faith in Jesus. Because, in that process,
- He changes our sinful condition.
- He makes us whole.
- He restores the image of God in us.
- And puts us back on the path that God originally set for us.
- We are who we’re meant to be
- Our image is secured.
- Our self-worth is authentic
When we stop talking our eyes off ourselves and the world around us,
- and we… see Jesus.
Transition: Open your Bibles to Hebrews 2:5.
But… before we get there, in the ESV of our text, it’s hard to know who the ‘he’ is. So, I’ll be using the NASB that capitalizes the ‘He’ for the members of the Godhead. OK?
- Hebrews 2:5 Humanity’s future
PP: For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.
One of the reasons Christians struggle with self-worth and image is because our focus is on the here and now and not the there and then.
- We don’t often seek first the Kingdom of God.
And by Kingdom, I’m refereeing to the future Kingdom; both the Millennium (1000 yr reign of Christ on the earth) and the Eternal State… heaven.
Time and time again the Bible exhorts us to live each day with eternity in mind. That means all things:
- Our Hopes, dreams, resources, even our current life situations with whatever it brings… struggles, doubts, insecurities, fear, anxiety…
And… it’s because this life is NOT all there is.
- There is a promised future for the Christian, an amazing life; filled with blessing, honor and perfection… It’s the time/place where we’ll fully realize our self-worth and our image will be complete… in Jesus.
You see, God wants us to know, that we do have a glorious future as His children, through faith in Jesus. That’s what He meant when the writer of the Book of Hebrews said: For He did not subject to angels the world to come,
- The world to come can either be the Millennium or heaven. I think it’s both.
Now, we’ll find the context of verse 5 in verses 6-8, but for now, let me tell you this verse is about us and our relationship to angels. It’s saying:
- Angels will not rule in the world of come…
- we will… humans who are saved by faith in Jesus.
That has always been our destiny, God’s plan for us.
And that’s also where much of our problem with self-worth and identity resides:
- One of the reasons we Christians struggle with doubts, insecurities, fear, anxiety and self-worth,
- is because, heaven… for too many of us, is just a nice thought that we’ll only start taking seriously when we’re in our 80’s.
And when that is how we think,
- We choose to live for today and deal with our struggles by seeing what the world has to offer.
- Rather than looking to Jesus the founder and perfector of our faith, as the writer of the Book of Hebrews will tell us in chapter 12.
PP: Sadly, when we do that… we fall into the unhealthy habit of presenting that we’re OK on social media platforms when we’re falling apart on the inside.
Transition: The writer, in verses 6-8, will tell us that even though we have a wonderful, blessed future… we’ve failed to keep up our part of the deal. And there’s nothing we can do to make it right.
- Hebrews 2:6-8 Humanity’s failure
PP: (2 slides) But one has testified somewhere, saying, “What is man, that You remember him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him? “You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
What we see in verses 6-8 comes from Psalm 8.
We need a little background to this Psalm of David to get the full and wonderful idea behind Hebrews 2:6-8. David beings Psalm 8 this way:
PP: O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained (Psalm 8:1,3)
Perhaps David was looking out his window at the vast array of stars and planets in the night sky. He cries out O Lord, our lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
- He’s in awe of the absolute greatness of God’s creation and the ultimate supremacy of God over His creation.
Yet, he thinks about himself, his imperfect, sinful self, and is deeply humbled by the attention God gives to him.
- What is man, that You remember him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him?
Then he realizes that Almighty God who has placed humans below angels, has also promised these insignificant humans, glory and honor.
And not only that, God Himself has chosen insignificant humans to rule over all His creation… even the angels.
- You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.
Listen to where this part comes from. It’s Genesis 1:26-28
- Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
- God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
- What’s that do to your self-worth?
- How does that affect your image?
Let me make this clear:
- This promise of God will be fulfilled by His children through faith in Jesus
- who will rule over all of His creation, including angels, during the coming Millennial and eternal kingdoms.
But I’m getting ahead of myself with excitement… There is a problem. The writer addresses what is also clearly evident today… we’ve failed to keep up our end of the deal. PP:
- But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. Him here is all of us.
If that isn’t an understatement.
Why haven’t we seen all creation placed in subjection to us? Sin… Starting with the fall in Genesis 3 and continuing by our own constant choice to reject and disobey God.
- In our heart of hearts we know that and it’s why we put up the facade in front of our family and friends and on social media.
- That’s why we feign being in control, why we act as if we’re confident and self-assurd.
Because we can’t admit the truth… we sin, we reject God, disobey God and want little or nothing to do with His Son, Jesus.
And it’s part of the reason why we as followers of Jesus Christ, still struggle with our self-worth and image…
- We’ve failed to recognize that the world has switched the price tags…
- We’ve accepted the lesser things of the world rather than the greater things of God.
- We’ve believed and start to live out the lies the secular, God hating world tells us… all so it can re-image us into its own form.
- And, we’ve forgotten or made unimportant, the work Jesus did on the cross for us.
Leaving us, like the rest of the unsaved world, w/o hope.
Transition: Which is why the writer of Hebrews reminds us what had to take place for us
- to regain our glory and honor, our promise of ruling in the world to come,
- the perfection of our image and realization of our self-worth…
- Jesus, whose death on our behalf, bring us our only hope.
- Hebrews 2:9 Humanity’s only hope
PP: But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9, NASB95)
The writer’s saying look, we don’t see our glory and honor and rule. And yes, it’s disappointing and it’s causes us to wonder if it’s true…
- But… we do see Him, Jesus…
When we take our eyes off of ourselves, off of the world, and look to Jesus, and what He has done for us, we can have hope.
The writer adds who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus. He’s talking about the incarnation, God becoming flesh… HUMAN.
- Jesus, in His humanity, was for a little while, lower than the angels… just as we were… going back to verse 7.
And here’s the big idea… Jesus did, as a human, what we are incapable of doing, as humans… living rightly before God.
- In other words, Jesus became our champion. He championed our cause.
Webster defines a Queens Champion as
- one who at the coronation of the sovereign of England declared his readiness to defend the sovereign’s title to the crown against any challenger
The Queen was unable to defend herself, she has someone to fight her battle for her.
PP: It’s the picture we see in 1 Corinthians 15:57
How… is Jesus our champion, what did He do?
- PP: Jesus, because of the suffering of death… tastde death for everyone.
In other words, when we recognize that we don’t have a leg to stand on, spiritually speaking, when we repent of our sin against God, when we place our faith in Jesus to forgive our sin, He becomes our substitute… our Champion.
- He takes our place on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin against God.
- And as the 2nd Adam, the representative human, He lived in such a way as to restore not only the glory and honor God promised us, but also restore our place of ruling in the world to come.
Jesus did this by dying for us, taking our sin and its punishment upon Himself, so that those who place their faith in Him as Savior and follow Him as Lord, would become children of God with all the rights and privileges of an heir.
PP: Christian, because of what Jesus has done for you… you have hope, you are a child of God,
you are destined for honor and glory, you are promised to rule in the world to come…
- That’s where you base your self-worth.
- That’s the image you project to the world around you.
Conclusion: Pastor C. Phillip Green writes:
- Joni Eareckson Tada, a paraplegic, talks about visiting Corrie ten Boom in her later years, after she too had been paralyzed by a stroke. She says, “I recall how our eyes met as we were fed our cucumber sandwiches. Helpless and for the most part dependent, I felt our mutual weakness. Yet I am certain neither of us had ever felt stronger. It makes me think of the Cross of Christ – a symbol of weakness and humiliation, yet at the same time, a symbol of victory and strength.”
- Joni continues, “A wheelchair may confine a body that is wasting away. But no wheelchair can confine the soul, the soul that is inwardly renewed day by day.
For paralyzed people can walk with the Lord. Speechless people can talk with the Almighty. Sightless people can see Jesus. Deaf people can hear the Word of God.
And those like Tante Corrie, their minds shadowy and obscure, can have the very mind of Christ.
That’s what it means to be a Christian, no matter how small and insignificant and weak and frail you are. (end quote)
The writer of the Book of Hebrews would
- not want us to focus on things like our pain, weakness, frustration, anxiety, nor on our physical attributes or lack of them.
- He would not want us to give our attention to sickness or death.
- He would not want us to listen to the world when it tells us how to build our self-worth or improve our image.
NO! But instead, in the midst of all of life’s hardships and tragedies, he would want us to see Jesus. And even more than that,
- He would want us to see Jesus… in us.
Then choose daily, to project Jesus in us, to those around us.
PP: Next Slide