“Your throne, O God, is forever”
We read today – in Hebrews 1 – which is one of the only two places where Jesus is called ‘god’ – and we have made this our caption today. Why is Jesus called “god”? We look at the context and it becomes clear that it is when Jesus is being contrasted with the angels.
In 1:7 we read,
“Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire”
Then in contrast to angels the next words in Hebrews are,
“But of the Son he says,
‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of your kingdom’”.
The next verse clarifies for us the sense in which Jesus is called God –
“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions”.
So the Creator of all things made (anointed). His son with the name (ed.n.: or better “title“) ‘god’ because he “loved righteousness and hated wickedness”. He set the example for us! And, now the key question, what is the future for those who do this? The answer is self-evident – note how the second chapter ends! There is the wonderful declaration to you and I,
“because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted”.
Our world abounds with temptations, so we must, says Paul, have
“the eyes of (y)our hearts enlightened, (so) that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance …” (Ephesians 1:18).
We achieve this, Hebrews 12 tells us, by daily
“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (12:2).
Being seated in this way, there is a sense in which Jesus can be called, ‘god’. Paul sums up the wonder of this situation in 1 Corinthians 15:57 in writing,
“thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
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