Study Notes

Hebrews 2:1-16


In chapter one, the writer of Hebrews focused our attention directly onto Jesus. He is greater than the prophets, certainly. He is higher than the angels, definitely. He is the creator of all things, the purifier of sins. He is the one whom the Father calls "God." Having laid that foundation, we now are exhorted to keep our attention and our focus, as chapter two begins.

2:1 Drift Away

Because Jesus is all-important, we must pay closer attention to what we have heard from Him. We must focus in on the gospel, for if we don't, we will drift away from it. Paul the apostle was constantly reaching up, going for, the gospel in his life. He told the Philippians,

Phil. 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained {it} , or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of {it} yet; but one thing {I do} : forgetting what {lies} behind and reaching forward to what {lies} ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The fact of the Christian life is this: you are always either moving forward or falling backward. If you are not growing in Christ, you are going away from Christ.

Where has your relationship with God been going lately? Are you progressing forward, or drifting away? We need to pay more attention to the gospel in our lives, giving Christ a larger part of our attention.

2:2-4 If We Neglect

When God spoke through angels, it was always right. When He spoke through the prophets, it was always fulfilled. When warnings were given about the consequences of sin, those who did not repent always suffered the consequences of which they were warned.

Now, God has spoken to us through Jesus Christ. The message of forgiveness of sins, of salvation and eternal life, has been delivered to us. How can we neglect it? If we do, there will certainly be a price to pay. Jesus said,

John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

It is very dangerous to intellectually believe the message of the gospel, yet not to act on it, not to obey it. We must not ignore the gospel or disregard the message.

Confirmed By Those Who Heard

At the time in which the author was writing, he knew that the Old Testament had been proven out by history. Everything that God had said was, in the minds of the Hebrews, certain and true. But the New Testament, the gospel, was so new, they questioned whether it was really reliable, whether it could really be true.

We are told that, yes, the New Testament is true. First of all, the Lord spoke it. This was confirmed by many witnesses who attested that the Lord had spoken. How could their witness be trusted? Because as they were witnessing of God, God was witnessing of them - through signs and wonders, miracles taking place. The last verse of the gospel of Mark tells us,

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed...

2:5-9 Angels

A lot of people then (and now, unfortunately) revered angels. They thought that angels were awesome and worthy of worship. But as we saw in our study last week, angels are simply servants - sent to serve us. It is not the angels who will one day inherit the earth, but the meek. It is not the angels who will rule and reign with Jesus Christ - it is us.


At first, God gave mankind dominion over all things. Although man seems really insignificant compared to the Lord, even compared to angels, He told Adam and Eve,

Gen. 1:28 ..."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."

But we lost dominion over all things when they sold out to sin. Thus, today, we don't see man having dominion over this earth. Yet the day will come when we will again have dominion.


Although man does not rule today, we do see a man who has been crowned, and that man is Jesus Christ. For a while, He was lower than the angels. This happened when,

Phil. 2:6-8 ...although He existed in the form of God, (He) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

He became a man, making Himself lower than the angels for a time. However, today He has been crowned with glory and honor because of his death on the cross.

2:10 For Whom Are All Things

All things are for Jesus and all things are through Him. In Colossians, we read,

Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities —all things have been created by Him and for Him.

Jesus is the source of the creation, and the focus and reason for the creation.

Perfection Through Sufferings

Some people misread the end of verse ten. They get the idea that Jesus wasn't perfect before He suffered and died on the cross. But the word perfect here means "complete." Jesus had to suffer and die on the cross to complete His authorship of the gospel, in order to provide salvation to us. He told the disciples on the road to Emmaus,

Luke 24:26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"

2:11-13 Christ Our Brother

Because Christ is the Son of God, and we are now adopted sons of God, Jesus is our brother. This is far stronger than any family relationship we have on this earth.

Matt. 12:46-50 While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."

2:14-15 The Devil Powerless Over Us

We know that the devil is powerful. As he was tempting Jesus in the wilderness,

Luke 4:5-7 ...he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours."

All the kingdoms of this earth have been given to satan. He has been given all power and ability to effect signs (2Thes. 2:9). However, he does not have power over us who are Christians any longer.

Before, we were enslaved to sin. Jesus said,

John 8:34 "...everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin."

But Paul told us in Romans that when our old self was crucified with Christ on the cross, we changed, and are now no longer slaves of sin. Satan's influence - regarding sin and death, is now powerless in our lives!

2:16 God Gives Help

God does not focus his attention on the angels. He focuses it on the children of Abraham. The book of Galatians tells us,

Gal. 3:7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

If you have faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, God is giving you help.

Understand that God loves you, that He is giving attention to you personally. If you've never come to faith in Jesus Christ, then you've never been set free from the power of sin and the fear of death. You've never experienced what it's like to have God call you His child and pay special attention to you. Make the choice to put faith in Christ today - let Him take your place in death.

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