More Distinguished Name

Having achieved the purification of sins, the Son inherited a more distinguished name than the angels

Jesus Name - Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash
The Son achieved the “
purification of sins,” thus qualifying to “sit down at the right hand of the majesty on high,” where he continues as the high priest interceding for his people. And he also inherited the “more distinguished name,” namely, “Son.” And as such, he has surpassed even God’s mightiest angels in status and honor - [Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash].

Hebrews will use several comparisons to demonstrate the supremacy of Jesus over all persons and things that preceded him. His priesthood, covenant, and sacrifice completed what the Levitical sacrifices and rituals could not accomplish, and he has received even more honor and authority than the great lawgiver himself, Moses.

SON VS ANGELS

The first contrast is between Jesus and the angels, and it employs several Old Testament passages to demonstrate his superiority over them, as well as his supremacy over all things.
  • (Hebrews 1:4-7) - “By so much becoming superior to the angels by as much as, going beyond them, he inherited a more distinguished name. For to which of the angels said he ever: You are my son; I, this day, have begotten you? And again: I will become his father and he shall become my Son? But whenever he again introduces the first-born into the habitable earth, he says: And let all God’s angels worship him! Even as to the angels, indeed, he says: Who make his angels winds, and his ministers of state a fiery flame.”
The argument demonstrates his superiority by comparing Jesus to persons widely recognized as excellent, and in this first case, angels. If they are glorious and holy, how much more so is God’s Son?

DISTINGUISHED NAME

Better.” This is the first instance of this term in this letter. ‘KreittĂ´n’ is an adjective used for comparison, one that denotes something or someone that is “better, best, nobler, noblest” (Strong's #G2900). It is used thirteen times in the letter to stress the superiority of what God has done in Jesus - (e.g., “better sacrifices” - Hebrew 7:7, 7:19, 9:23).

Distinguished name.” This translates the Greek term diaphoros (Strong's #G1313), which means that which is “distinct, distinguished, different.”

The point is not simply that his name is more excellent than “angel,” but also that his name is of an entirely different kind and order. And that is because he bears the name “son” in contrast to “angels” and “prophets.”

The emphasis is on his position and name as the “son.” Certainly, the author of the letter is aware that he is none other than Jesus, but that name does not appear until the second chapter when discussing his sacrificial death.

TO NO ANGEL

The comparison starts with the rhetorical question, “to which of the angels said He at any time?” The expected and obvious answer is “none.” At no point did Yahweh call any angel “son” or elevate him to sit at His “right hand.”

Seven scriptural citations are used to demonstrate his superiority, and the first six are divided into three pairs for literary effect:
  1. Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14.
  2. Deuteronomy 32:43 and Psalm 104:4.
  3. Psalm 45:6-7 and Psalm 102:25-27.
The first pair concerns his status, the second, the functions of angels, and the third pair presents the exalted reign of the Son.

The seventh citation responds to the first rhetorical question - What God said to the Son He never said to an angel (i.e., “Sit at my right hand until I make your foes your footstool”).

The two words that link all seven citations to the letter’s opening proposition are “angels” and “Son” - (Psalm 110:1, Psalm 103:20-21, Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:1-4).

Thus, Jesus is superior to angels by the very fact that he is a “Son.” Not only so, but God also has commanded all the angels “to render homage” to him. His high status has resulted from his priestly act when he “achieved the purification of sins.”



Comments

POPULAR POSTS

On David's Throne

Two Women Restored