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Sabbath School Lessons on Hebrews
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: Jesus, Our King *
Introduction: What an odd title ("Jesus, Our King") for a lesson on
Hebrews, when Hebrews never calls Jesus King! The word "king" only
appears in Hebrews 7, and it is talking about someone else. Have you
ever heard the expression "If it walks like a duck and talks like a
duck, it must be a duck?" Let's continue with our study of Hebrews 1
which describes Jesus in the same terms you would use to describe a
- Jesus' Scepter
- Read Hebrews 1:8. We pick up where we left off last week
in Hebrews 1. Who, again, is the being described as the
- Who is the speaker here? ( Hebrews 1:5 - God the
- What does God the Father call Jesus in verse 8? (He
calls Him God. This again bolsters the doctrine of
the Trinity. God the Father calls Jesus "God [the
- How long will Jesus be God? (Verse 8 tells us that
Jesus' throne lasts forever.)
- Re-read Hebrews 1:8 and add verse 9. Verse 8 refers to a
scepter. What is a "scepter?" (This is a rod - a symbol of
the power of the king. If you think back to the story of
Esther, when she approached the king without an
invitation, her life depended upon the king extending his
scepter to her. Esther 4:11.)
- Would someone who is not a king have a scepter? (No,
they would have just a stick because their stick
carries no authority.)
- Jesus' scepter is righteousness according to verse 8.
Explain to me how righteousness is the power of
Jesus' kingdom? (Remember in our overview of the book
of Hebrews last week, that we learned that Jesus'
current work in heaven is His ministry as our High
Priest? The righteousness that comes from His
perfect life and death is the power of His kingdom
that most concerns us. This is the power that allows
us eternal life together with Jesus.)
- Read Psalms 45:6-7. It appears that the writer of Hebrews
was quoting from Psalms when he wrote Hebrews 1:8-9. Why
did Hebrews change the Psalms description of Jesus'
scepter from "justice" to "righteousness?" (Jesus
fulfilled the requirement of the law when He died in our
place so that we could have His righteousness. This is
beyond justice from our point of view. Because Jesus was
willing to suffer what justice required, we have
righteousness. That is why at the stage where Jesus is
our High Priest in heaven, His "power" is righteousness.
He has satisfied justice, so that we can have
- Hebrews 1:9 tells us that Jesus "hated" wickedness. Is
hatred part of justice and righteousness? Often when you
read the comments of a homosexual activist, you find
observant Christians described as "haters." Is hatred the
proper attitude towards sin?
- What if we just disdain sin?
- What if sin attracts us, but we resist?
- Are we required to hate sin? Should that be our goal?
(I think we need to take a hard line attitude towards
sin for our own sake as well as those around us. M.L.
Andreasen, in his book on Hebrews, comments on this
verse by saying that until we come to the point where
we hate sin we "cannot be said to be safe.... The man
who hankers after sin, who finds it alluring or
interesting, has not yet attained to Christ's
standard. He must learn to hate sin as well as to
- Our King, when He was on earth, was considered "soft"
on sinners. See Matthew 9:10-11. How can you
reconcile the statement in Hebrews that Jesus hates
sin and Jesus' practice of hanging around with
sinners? (If you hate something, you want to destroy
it. Jesus' ministry on earth (and our ministry) is to
persuade, not coerce people into the kingdom. The
only way to destroy the sin in sinners is to befriend
and engage them in discussions about truth. Yelling
at strangers is not a good tool for persuading them
to your view. When was the last time a stranger
yelled an insult at you, and you said, "You know,
that person is right!")
- Jesus' Servants
- Let's go back to Hebrews 1:6-7. Read. Would a king have
servants? Followers? Does Jesus, the King, have servants?
(Yes, the angels are His servants.)
- Notice how the angels are described: "winds" and
"flames of fire." Why do you think angels are
described that way?
- Read Psalms 104:4. What does this say about the
angels? (Putting Psalms and Hebrews together
clarifies that the angels are the messenger "winds.")
- What does this suggest about the writer of
Hebrews? (This is another example of how he had
his mind on Psalms when he was writing.)
- Compare Hebrews 1:8 with 1:7. Winds and fire that
come and go versus the throne of Jesus that lasts
forever. Why does the writer of Hebrews give us that
contrast? What point is he making? (There are several
possibilities. First, "wind" gives us the idea of
speed of movement. The angels are fast messengers.
"Fire" gives us the idea of power or enthusiasm. It
could be saying the angels are fast, enthusiastic
servants. Second, the word "wind" can be translated
"spirit." This may just be telling us that angels are
servant spirits. Third, we see the contrast between
Jesus, the King on the substantial, permanent throne,
and the angels, who are a bundle of activity.)
- King of the Earth
- Read Hebrews 1:10-12. We just read a comparison between
Jesus and the angels. We now see a comparison between
Jesus and what? (His creation.)
- What is the future for the creation? (It will wear
out. After that, it will be changed.)
- What is the point of comparing Jesus and the
creation? (First, it bolsters the idea that Jesus is
King. A king has authority. In our case the authority
comes in part because He is our Creator. Second, the
text again stresses the idea of the permanence of
Jesus' kingdom. The earth as we know it will change,
but Jesus' kingdom will not.)
- Read Hebrews 1:13. What is the answer to this question?
- Read Psalms 110:1. Again we see that the writer of Hebrews
has his mind on Psalms. What point is David making in
Psalms? (That his Lord sits at the right hand of God the
Father who controls all enemies.)
- How does that help your attitude in time of trouble?
(It lets you know that the outcome of your problems
is not in doubt. Your King has conquered all of the
- Friend, Jesus is our King. Not only does He have real
authority, an eternal throne, and real servants, but He
comes to us with the power of His righteousness. Will you
choose to serve Him today? Will you accept His
righteousness on your behalf? If you do, you become allied
with the King whose reign is eternal!
- Next week: Jesus, One of Us.
* Copr. 2003, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.