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Lesson 3: Jesus, One of Us *

Introduction: Last week we learned that Jesus is fully God. He is not an angel. Instead, angels are His heavenly subjects. This week, Hebrews turns to the subject of Jesus being fully human. Let's dive into the Bible and learn more about our Lord!

  1. Son of Man

    1. Read Hebrews 2:6-8. Does this remind you of your memory? Is the writer of Hebrews in the early stages of Alzheimer's when he writes "someone wrote somewhere...?" (As we will see next, Hebrews is quoting from Psalms. I'm not sure why he starts out this way, but he gets the quote right!)

    2. Read Psalms 8:3-5. We see again this week that the writer of Hebrews has his mind on Psalms. We find this same phrase, "son of man" that we found in Hebrews. Who do you think is being described in Psalms as "son of man?" (I think this is simply talking about those born of humans.)

      1. We have three characters described in these parallel verses in Hebrews and Psalms. Who are they? ("Man," "son of man," and "angels" (Hebrews) "heavenly beings" (Psalms).)

      2. The identity of man and angels is pretty clear in both books. Who is the "son of man" in Hebrews?

        1. Is this us? Is this Jesus? (This could mean "human beings." However, Jesus refers to Himself as the "Son of man" in verses like Matthew 8:20.)

      3. Since Psalms 8 and Hebrews 2 contain parallel texts, do you think they refer to the same "son of man?" Could they be referring to different things even though they use the same language? (If you look at the context of the verses in Psalms 8, it strongly suggests we are just talking about humans in the "son of man" statement. The context of the verses in Hebrews 2 (which we will be looking at in a moment)appear to adapt the statements in Psalms to Jesus.)

        1. If I am right, what would be the point of that? Why adapt the reference in Psalms 8 to humans to Jesus in Hebrews 2? (The point is to show us that Jesus was fully human. It gives us the clear message that Jesus was fully human. He went from being God, to being fully human back to being God.))

  2. Lower than an Angel?

    1. Read Hebrews 2:9. We just read in Psalms 8:5 and Hebrews 2:7 that the "son of man" was made "a little lower than the angels." Who is being described in Hebrews 2:9 as "a little lower than the angels?" (This clearly speaks of Jesus. This also bolsters the idea that the references in Psalms to humans are being adapted in Hebrews to Jesus.)

      1. We spent a great deal of last week's discussion on how Jesus was superior to the angels. How do you explain this sudden switch? Why is Hebrews now anxious to tell us that Jesus was lower than angels? (The context refers to when Jesus came to earth. Again, Hebrews is hammering on the theme that Jesus was fully human.)

      2. Does Jesus stay in the "lower than an angel" status? (He is now crowned with glory and honor because of His life and death on our behalf.)

      3. Why is it important in Hebrews 2:9 to show that Jesus was fully human? ("So that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone." If Jesus had not been fully human, then His death would not have proven that God's law is just and that humans could have obeyed the law. An important part of the incarnation was to prove God right and Satan wrong about the character of God's law. If Jesus were not fully human, Satan would have claimed God had brought a "ringer" into the contest.)

  3. Ruler of All?

    1. Read Hebrews 2:5 and re-read the second and third sentences of verse 8. Verse 5 tells us the "world to come" is not subject to angels. To whom is it subject?(Because the context is the quotation from Psalms 8, it appears that God has subjected the world to come to us - humans.)

      1. What do you think about the idea that world to come will be made for you?

      2. Notice the little phrase in verse 8 "at present we do not see everything subject to him." Is the world now subject to us? (No. Many things are out of our control.)

      3. We have been debating whether Hebrews is talking about humans or Jesus in the references to "son of man." Is this statement in Hebrews 2:8 about things not now being subject to "him" "at present" referring to Jesus or humans? (The commentaries that I read say "humans." Clearly, this text is right if it refers to humans. The lesson (Tuesday) could be read to say "Jesus" because it suggests Hebrews 2 converts Psalms 8 to a Messianic prophecy.)

      4. Would it make any sense to you if the "him" in Hebrews 2:8 refers to Jesus and not us? (What attracts me to the idea that Hebrews 2:8b can be understood to refer to Jesus is the comfort that it gives me when bad things happen to good people. A simple explanation is that not everything right now is subject to Jesus' complete will. The implication is that all things will be subject to His will in the future.)

    2. Revelation 21:4 tells us that in heaven there will be no more "death or mourning or crying or pain." The gospels report many miracles by Jesus when He healed the sick and even raised the dead to life. At the same time I see sickness and death all around me. One of my friends from academy died of sickness just a few days ago. If the absence of sickness and death is the ultimate goal, if Jesus eliminated sickness and death for those around Him when He was on earth, why do sickness and death still abound now if He is the ruler of the earth? (This is why I like to read Hebrews 2:8 "we do not see everything subject to him now" to apply to Jesus. It helps me make sense of things. I do believe that in any specific situation Jesus has the power to assume complete control.)

  1. Perfect Through Suffering?

    1. Read Hebrews 2:10. How can Jesus be made "perfect" through suffering?

      1. Wasn't Jesus already perfect? Wasn't that the "point" of His incarnation? That He was perfect and lived a perfect, sinless life?

      2. Could suffering make anything better? Much less perfect? (The key to understanding this text is in the two phrases "in bringing many sons to glory" and "the author of their salvation." Through His suffering and death, Jesus brought humans to glory - that is He opened up the possibility of our salvation as a result of His suffering. This is one way in which Jesus became the perfect and the complete Savior. He did not need to gain a perfect character. He already had that. The other way in which He became a perfect Savior for us is that He completely understands the temptations and suffering that we face. Indeed, He understands better than we do. Not only was He the focus of Satan's efforts (while you and I are not), but the very fact that He did not sin shows (as our lesson for Thursday notes) that He was tempted more than us because He did not sin and we always do.)

    2. Read Hebrews 2:11-13. How are we related to Jesus? (We are family. We are His brothers and sisters.)

      1. Why is that important? Is it because you are a "social climber" and want to be able to claim you are related to God? (It is just the opposite. We were part of God's family. We were sons and daughters of God created in His image. Through sin, that relationship was severed and Satan became our "father." (See John 8:41-44.) Jesus has simply restored us to our original family relationship.)

  2. Free at Last

    1. Read Hebrews 2:14-15. Do you fear dying? Why?

      1. What is the solution to the fear of dying? (Verses 14 and 15 tell us that Jesus destroyed the master of death. As a result, we no longer need to fear him or death.)

    2. Read Hebrews 2:16-18. What does this tell us is the ongoing work of Jesus? (Jesus not only atoned for our sins, but He helps us when we are tempted. Jesus understands us and He knows what we are going through.)

    3. Friend, Jesus, our Creator and our God, became a man so that He could defeat sin on our behalf. He knows what it is like to live our life. Not only did Jesus defeat death on our behalf, He continues to work today as our Mediator. What do you say to accepting His work? Agreeing to join the family of God?

  3. Next week: Jesus, Higher and Better.
* 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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