“(God), 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. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”
One Who is Son
When God thinks of Himself, what do you think comes to mind? God, being all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere at all times, must have perfect knowledge of Himself. God must think of Himself accurately, right? This may be hard for us to grasp as we are just finite and do not think of ourselves with complete accuracy, but what does God think when He thinks of Himself?
The writer of Hebrews gives us the answer. There are five things in Hebrews 1:2-3 that helps us understand what God thinks when He thinks of Himself. Mainly, the writer gives us one Person and then gives us four reasons of support to help us understand what God thinks of Himself in verses 2 and 3.
The first clue is in the word Son. The Son is the main subject. The author peels back the layers of the flesh of Christ so we can peer into divine nature. Here is one of these times that the English translation of the Greek text may be hard to translate according to English rules. The Greek text could be translated, “One who is Son.” Preceptaustin.org helps us with the technical definition, “the definite article (the) is missing in the Greek – so the idea is that the absence of the article fixes attention upon the nature and not upon the personality of the mediator of a new revelation.” When we answer the question what does God think when He thinks of Himself, we can answer Jesus, or the Son. The writer’s purpose in the first chapter of Hebrews is to help us and his readers understand the supremacy of Christ, who is God.
The first point of support is in the term, “whom He appointed heir of all things.” God who owns everything has ultimate rights, authority and power over everything. The whole universe is just clay in the potters hand and He can do anything He wishes because He owns the clay. When God thinks of Himself as owner over everything, the eternal Son is also equally heir of all things. Jesus is the rightful owner over everything. Leading with this point establishes the eternality of the Son. He has always existed as God has always existed.
The second point of support is, “through whom He also made the world.” Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning God created.” We know that God is creator. When the Father thinks of Himself as creator, the eternal Son equally displays His creating ability. Paul credits Jesus with being the creator. Colossians 1:16 reads, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” For the Spirit to tell us that the Son has been appointed heir of all things and then follow the point of heir with creator, stresses the point the Son has always existed and is God. To create something, the creator must exist before the creation.
The third point of support is in the term, “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” There is no human example that can best describe the Trinitarian aspect of our God. The sun may be the best example we have to help us understand what the writer is communicating to us here. The sun has a core which cannot be seen but what we do see is the rays of the sun which is the sun. The brightness of the sun radiates the truth of the sun. The rays display the exact representation of the nature of the sun. The Son of God radiates the brightness of the Father and exactly displays the Fathers nature. John 14:8-9 quotes Jesus supporting this statement in His discussion with Philip; “Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? The Son shines forth the Father.
The fourth point of support is that the Son “upholds all things by the word of His power.” The term “All things” is important as the writer means all things. Every fabric of material that exists in the form of protons, neutrons and electrons are the fabric that makes up every single element that exists. Every particle, air, wind, colors, wood, you, me and everything else found in the universe is being held together by the Son. Salvation and everything that is immaterial is also held together by the Son. The Son is central to the existence of everything. When the Son thinks of something, it exists. When Son speaks things are created. If the Son stopped thinking about you, me, or the chairs we are sitting in, then the existence of those things and us would cease. He thinks of us therefore we exist!
When we pull it all together we can say the writer is telling us that Jesus is God. Humans can only beget humans. Cats can only beget cats. God can only beget God. The letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament stands only next to the apostle John’s writings in its focus on the divine nature of the Son. Jesus is God, He is the radiance of His glory, the exact imprint of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. If the Son does not exist, neither would God, neither would we. Let’s worship Jesus for who He is, God over all, God blessed forever! To answer the question, “what does God think of Himself?” The answer is the One Who is Son!