STUDY Hebrews 2:10-18
(click here for notes)
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises."
And again, "I will put my trust in him."
And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (NIV)
Becoming Perfect and Holy
Verses10-13 discuss the reality that God has been working to make us holy and to make us sons (and daughters) of God.
1. What does it mean for us to become sons of God and to be brought to glory, as verse 10 says? (see John 1:12,13; Romans 8:14, 16, 21; Eph. 5:1,2; 1 John 3:1,2)
2. What are the implications of this phrase referring to God, "for whom and through whom everything exists"? (see Romans 11:35,36; 1 Cor. 8:6; 11:12; Col. 1:16; John 1;3; Eph. 1:13,14)
3. In what way did the "author of [our] salvation" need to be made "perfect", and how was suffering the means of that perfection? (see Luke 24:26; Heb. 5:8,9; 7:28; 1 Peter 1:10,11)
4. How did Jesus make us holy (v.11)? (see Eph. 5:26; John 17:19; Heb. 10:10, 14; 13:12)
Being Made Brothers
According to verse 11, Christ-God incarnate-becoming human played a central role in his making us holy and declaring us "brothers".
1. The author of Hebrews shows how the Old Testament foretold Jesus' humanity, his suffering, his trust, and his claiming us as brothers. What is significant about the way Jesus lived his life in human flesh? (see Psalm 22:22; Isaiah 8:17,18; 53:3-12; John 10:27-29)
2. What is the problem with "flesh and blood", and how is Jesus' humanity central to our salvation? (1 Cor. 15:50; Eph. 6:12; John 1:14)
3. How has Jesus destroyed "him who holds the power of death" and redeemed humanity? (see 1 Cor. 15:54-57; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; 1 John 3:7-10)
4. Before we were born again, how were we "held in slavery by [our] fear of death," (v. 15) and how are we freed from this fear? (see 2 Tim. 1:17; 1 John 4:18; 1 Cor. 15:54-57; Rev. 118)
Made Like His Brothers
"For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants," says the author. (v.16)
1. Who are Abraham's descendants, and why does the author contrast them with the angels? (see Luke 3:8; 19:9; John 8:33, 39; Acts 13:26; Romans 4:1,11,12,16,17; 9:7,8; Gal. 3:7)
2. What made Jesus a merciful high priest, and what constitutes his faithfulness "in service to God"? (v.17) (see v. 14; Philippians 2:7; Heb. 5:2; 3:1; 4:14,15; 7:26,28; 8:1,3; 9:11; 5:1)
3. Why, as verse 17 says, did Jesus have to become human in order to be our "merciful and faithful high priest"?
4. An alternate translation for the phrase in v. 17 "that he might make atonement for the sins of the people" is "that he might turn aside God's wrath, taking away the sins of the people." How can we understand a God of love who has wrath? (see 1 Thess. 5:9; 2:14-16; 2 Thess. 2:9-12; John 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2:5; 5:9; 9:22; Rev. 6:16; 14:7; 19:15)
5. Do you think Jesus' having suffered during his temptations makes him somehow more helpful or sympathetic to us than he would have been if he hadn't become human? (v. 18) Why or why not?
1. What have you understood the significance of Jesus' humanity to be? Has your understanding changed?
2. How have you experienced slavery to the fear of death?
3. Specifically, how has Jesus' atonement changed your life?
4. In what ways do you think Jesus' sufferings have helped you in your temptations?
1. From what fear or secret bondage do you need Jesus' freedom?
2. What heritage as the brother or sister of Jesus do you need to embrace?
3. With what temptation(s) do you struggle that you need to lay before your merciful and faithful high priest?
4. Praise God for Jesus' suffering and mercy, and ask him to clarify
your unsolved struggles with truth and heal you with his love.
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Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Revised October 7, 2000.