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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 37 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 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!
- Son of Man
- 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!)
- 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.)
- 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).)
- The identity of man and angels is pretty clear
in both books. Who is the "son of man" in
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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
- Lower than an Angel?
- 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
- 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.)
- 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
- 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
- Ruler of All?
- 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.)
- What do you think about the idea that world to
come will be made for you?
- 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.)
- 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
- 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
- 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.)
- Perfect Through Suffering?
- Read Hebrews 2:10. How can Jesus be made "perfect"
- Wasn't Jesus already perfect? Wasn't that the
"point" of His incarnation? That He was
perfect and lived a perfect, sinless life?
- 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.)
- Read Hebrews 2:11-13. How are we related to Jesus?
(We are family. We are His brothers and sisters.)
- 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.)
- Free at Last
- Read Hebrews 2:14-15. Do you fear dying? Why?
- 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.)
- 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
- 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
- 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.