“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
God’s Final Word
In the Prophets
God is the central figure in Hebrews 1:1-2. Verse 1 tells us He spoke long ago to people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and the rest of Israel in the prophets, in many portions, and in many ways. His revelation of Himself and His plan began in the garden and proceeded through the prophet Malachi. The variety of ways He revealed Himself ranges from visions, dreams, angels, burning bushes, whirlwinds, ordinances and laws.
One key word is that He spoke “in” the prophets. 2 Peter 1:21 reads, “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” God revealed Himself to these men and then was “in” them causing them to articulate His mind to others. There is mystery in this but God was in the prophets and gave them the words to say in order to speak His mind. The “many portions and many ways” that Hebrews 1:1 talks about, makes up the Old Testament which is the body of the prophets work. God’s grace is also happening here as God wrote the Old and New testaments in sinful human beings.
The work was fragmented and incomplete as to our understanding. 1 Peter 1:10-11 says, “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” It was as if they could see something but could not quite fully grasp what the Spirit was telling them. Imagine what Isaiah thought after he wrote the portion of his letter that makes up the 53rd chapter? He knew it was the Messiah but when was He coming? God revealed His plan in a veiled way that couldn’t be fully recognized until God Himself came in the form of Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews wrote this letter to Jewish Christians. Jewish Christians at the time could have been struggling with the question of, “how do they live now that they are followers of Christ?” We are fortunate enough to have the New Testament teachings of how to follow Christ. They may have had a few letters and may have been tempted to leave those teachings for the old. Most of their lives were centered around performance based living and now they were followers of Christ in a period of immense persecution. The temptation to fall back into the ways of Moses out of fear of persecution and because it was natural to them, could have been torturous.
In the Son
John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When Jesus came He signified that the new had come and the old was gone. We have the supreme revelation of God in His Son. Hebrews 1:2 says, “In these last days (God) has spoken to us in His Son.”
When God spoke in the prophets, He was speaking in sinful human beings. This is true throughout all of human history. For a period of 30 plus years though God lived among us in His Son. Think about how many thousands of years humans have existed and compare that with the three years of ministry it took for God to change the world in His Son.
The point that the writer is trying to make is the supremacy of the Son. He follows it up by stating that His Son is the rightful heir of all things and is the one who created all things. Contrast that fact with the prophets who didn’t create anything and their rightful place is children of wrath. There is immense grace in the fact that God spoke in the prophets but how much more valuable is it that God speaks in His Son directly to us. There is nothing more supreme than Jesus Christ!
Peter, James and John heard the Father speak in Matthew 17:5, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” Peter states this in his second epistle and follows it up with, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts 2 Peter 1:19.” The writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 2:3 asks this question, “How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard.” The point is we have the very words of God from God Himself. Let’s pay attention to God’s supreme revelation of Himself!
How blessed are we that we have the complete revelation of God in His Son! We have everything we need to know about God in the pages of Scripture. Like the prophets of old we have the Spirit of Christ living in us and causing us to believe in the Word of God. When we speak truth found in the Bible, it is the Son speaking in us and through us. The words of Christ are final and complete! There exists nothing more supreme than the words of the Son! God’s Son will always have the last word!