Today’s Reading: Hebrews 1-4
Today’s Reflection: Hebrews 1:1-3
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,
Believed to have been written by Paul and addressed to the Jews (hence the name), no book in scripture better bridges the traditions of the children of Israel and the faith of Christians than the book of Hebrews. Given that this is a letter to people of Hebrew heritage, it makes sense to begin with the prophets and their words—the laws they received from God and their writings. The Jews revered these, particularly the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees. They revered them to a fault. They revered them until their keeping of the law completely missed the point of the law. Too busy trying to create their own righteousness, they missed the picture of God the law was painting. If they had seen it, they would have recognized it in Jesus and known He was the Messiah.
But even more important, this text is showing us that God is leading us to an experience greater than merely trying to keep commandments (important as that is). God is leading us to a knowledge of Himself through His son Jesus Christ, a knowledge of His majesty, a knowledge of His grace, a knowledge of His love for us, and a knowledge of the salvation only to be found in Him. And this isn’t just intellectual knowledge, but the deep knowing that comes from an intimate and trusting relationship.
At one point Philip said to Jesus, show us the father and it will be enough. Essentially he was saying, ‘I know enough now. Just point the way to heaven and I can take it from here.’ Like the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, he thought that with enough intellectual knowledge he could achieve his own righteousness. Here’s how Jesus answered him.
John 14:9 – Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Philip figured he was smart and spiritual enough to get to the kingdom of God if Jesus just showed him the way. But Jesus was telling him, He is the way.
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Sometimes we get so focused on the destination we think we can get there on our own, and we forget how the journey shapes, trains, tests and prepares us for what we’ll receive when we arrive. The kingdom of God is the destination. Jesus is The Way. He is the excellency of the Father, so everything that is fruitful for our salvation, our discipleship, and our commission to spread the Gospel—including the law—will point us to Christ.