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The Son’s Superiority The Son’s Superiority

The Son’s Superiority


In his poem “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” Gerard Manley Hopkins writes of the way God’s grace and light fill every aspect of our natural world. Near the end of the poem is Hopkins’s famous line, “Christ plays in ten thousand places,” which poetically underscores the idea that Christ’s presence can be seen in innumerable ways.

The author of Hebrews would agree, expanding his opening prologue to reveal Christ in innumerable Old Testament passages. This string of seven biblical quotations (most from the Psalms) underscores Christ’s identity and superiority as God’s divine Son. First, Christ is the unique Son of the Father, as the quotations from Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7 demonstrate. Originally proclaimed about an earthly, Davidic king, in Hebrews those texts are now applied most fully to God’s Son. No angelic being has ever received such status.

Second, the Son’s divinity is proclaimed: “Let all God’s angels worship him” (v. 6), a quotation from the Greek version of Deuteronomy 32:43 and Psalm 97:7. We need think only of the angelic hosts gathered at Christ’s birth to see such worship in action. Third, the contrast between angels and the Son is made even sharper by quotations from two royal psalms (45 and 110). While angels serve, Christ the Son reigns as Lord and King. Only to the Son has God ever said: “Sit at my right hand” (v. 13). Notice especially the repeated description of the Son as “God” in verses 8 and 9!

Finally, the author of Hebrews quotes Psalm 102 as proclaiming the Son’s role in the creation of the world
(vv. 10–12). What is true of our Creator God is also true of the Son: “You remain the same, and your years will never end” (v. 12). Truly, the Son is far superior to any angelic being.

Pray with Us

Moody Radio’s Fall Share, Stand Together, starts today. Please pray that this week would be a fruitful and encouraging time for Moody Radio’s staff and its listeners. May the Lord be glorified through the generosity of His people!

BY Bryan Stewart

Bryan A. Stewart is associate professor of religion at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. His particular interests are the history of Christian thought and the way that early Christians interpreted the biblical canon. He is the editor of a volume on the Gospel of John in The Church’s Bible series (Eerdmans), and he has done extensive research on the ways that the early Church preached on this Gospel. He is an ordained minister. 

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