Hebrews 1v1to 3. GOD'S SPOKESMAN

(A) Jesus is God's spokesman. v2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son.

In the past God spoke to men through prophets. They were God's spokesmen. Now we have a far better spokesmen - the very Son of God. Right from the start the superior nature of Christianity is emphasised.

    (a) The very fact that God speaks should comfort us. It shows that God cares. If you love someone you communicate with them. Roald Dahl says in his autobiography that he wrote to his mother every week of his life that he was away from her. He loved his mother. When I retired from teaching the pupils who wrote me letters of thanks, and I wish there had been more of them, were those who valued me. God is not indifferent to us. He values us to the extent that he sent his Word, his very own love letter, to communicate with us.
    A communication may also be a challenge. I regularly receive letters from British Gas and Eastern Energy to remind me of what I owe and my obligation to pay. Jesus spent much of his ministry telling men how God expected them to behave. He spelled out a code of conduct not as an option but with all the authority invested in the Son.

    (b) Why did God speak through prophets and finally through his Son rather than address us directly? Why was it necessary for a spokesman to be used at all? Most managers of professional football teams are former players. Footballers find it easier to take advice from someone who has shared their experience. The best person to introduce new techniques to farmers is another farmer, someone who can speak their language. Jesus knows what it is like to be human, he empathises with us and although he reveals the mind of God he does so in a language we can understand.

(B) The Qualifications of God's spokesman.

(1) His relationship with the one who matters
The spokesman we trust is the one close to the person who matters to us. The more remote the spokesman the less we are likely to trust his or her pronouncements on behalf of the person they proclaim to represent. During Tony Blair's first term of office Alistair Campbell had the confidence of the Prime Minister and no one doubted that he spoke on his behalf. So how is the relationship between Jesus and God described?

    (a) Jesus is the outshining of God's glory. V3 the Son is the radiance of God's glory. This means that Jesus is to God as the sun's radiation is to the sun. This gives us a perceptive and profound description of the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. The sun and its radiation are the same substance and yet there is a difference. The function of the sun's rays reminds us of some aspects of Christ's work:

  • It is radiation from the sun, which is so far off, which allows men to see the sun. Jesus said that men could only see God insofar as they looked to him. John 14 v 9.
  • It is radiation from the sun rather than the sun itself that allows us to see everything else. That may be the significance of those moving but rarely commented upon words in John 1 v 9 where Jesus is described as the true light that gives light to every man.
  • The energy we receive from the sun is tempered to our limitations in a way that the sun itself is not. No man can look upon God and live but Mary Magdalene was able to cling to the feet of Jesus even on the resurrection morn. The suns rays warm and cheer us.

Who can cheer the heart like Jesus;
He is more than life to me
And the fairest of ten thousand,
In my blessed Lord I see.

    (b) Jesus bears the stamp of God's nature v3 the exact representation of his being. Jesus is to God as the superscription of a coin is to the die that stamped it out, or as a print is to the engraving or the moulding to the mould from which it was cast. There could hardly be a closer relationship than exists between the image on a coin and the die from which it was stamped. Yet once again they are not the same.

    We do well always to remember that Jesus is like God the Father in his character and moral perfection, in the virtues that he displayed. Jesus noticed a certain poor widow give her breakfast, a half a cup of cornflakes, to God, and commended her for it. So God notices and evaluates every sacrifice made on His behalf. Jesus was not afraid to embarrass his host, Simon the Pharisee, a man of influence, for his inhospitality. He had provided no water for Jesus to wash his feet. God will hold us to account for being cold and unwelcoming; for not putting people at ease and making them feel wanted.

    (c) Jesus is the Son v2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. Sometimes in England a Palace spokesman speaks on behalf of our Queen. Note is taken of what is said but much greater attention would be paid if it was Prince Charles speaking on behalf of his mother. Jesus the Son and God the Father thought as one. There was, and is, warmth and love in their relationship. God says, "This is my Son, whom I love: with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" John 17 v5. Jesus is not an impersonal or detached spokesman for God. He speaks from the intimacy of the closest possible relationship.

    It is a very serious matter to reject the words of the Son. In Mt 21 v37 in the Parable of the Tenants the owner of the vineyard finally decided to send his son to the tenants to collect what was owing to him. Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said. Many today do not respect the Son and it is this more than anything else which will be charged to their account.

    It is heart warming to remember that Jesus is not only God's spokesman but ours as well. The writer to the Hebrews has much more to say about this later. God loves the Son and will listen to him as he pleads for us.

(2) His personal qualifications.

The spokesman you can trust is the one with detailed knowledge of his subject. The expert speaks with authority. This is well illustrated by the weather bulletins given on T.V. Those broadcast on the B.B.C. are delivered by professional meteorologists whereas I.T.V. uses presenters that just read a script provided by the National Weather Centre. It is evident that the professional meteorologist is just more involved with the weather and speaks with genuine understanding.

Jesus qualifications are unique. He speaks as:

    (a) Creator v2 he (God) has spoken to us by his Son ….through whom he made the universe
    At the end of a lesson at school I picked up a tub of glue, Copidex, by the lid. Unfortunately the lid was loose and the glue spilled onto my jacket. I went to consult the school chemist about what to do - but he was unsure. So I hurried to the teacher of Textiles and she asked, "Is it still wet?" By this time it had set hard. "Well you could have rubbed it off had it still been wet," she said. Eventually I did what I should have done in the first place - I read the maker's instructions on the container. Hardened Copidex can be rubbed out of cloth using a pencil rubber. It can! The maker knows best.

    Jesus is the maker and we should follow his instructions. He knows what is best for us. He was able to say repeatedly when on earth, "You have heard that it was said ..... but I say unto you…." See Mt 5. Jesus tells us that hatred, lust, divorce, lack of integrity and revenge are bad for us. He knows, he speaks as the creator.

    (b) Owner v2 he (God) has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things.
    The creation belongs to Jesus. God shows how much he esteems the Son by giving him possession of all things. This reinforces his authority as God's spokesman. An owner is usually committed to his property. He cares about it. Jesus wants the best for his possession. When he speaks it is for the good of what he values. He also has certain rights as owner. I play cricket for a small village side in Suffolk. We rent our pitch from a local farmer. We are very careful always to consult the owner before undertaking any developments on what is his land. Similarly we should consult our owner before taking decisions that are going to have consequences upon the world and those who live in it.

    (c) Sustainer v3 The Son .... sustaining all things by his powerful word.
    This is an important point and it deals with an aspect of Christ's work that we are not familiar with. The Creation cannot just be left to itself. It needs fine tuning, a certain level of maintenance. Even the first garden that was created by God needed tending. It almost seems that there is a tendency to disorder that has to be held in check by Jesus.

    It is still possible for a man to manufacture, own and sail a boat. When such a person speaks about the boat who can doubt his knowledge and authority. In John 2 v25 we read that Jesus did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in man. His qualifications are such that we should take his words with the utmost seriousness - he is the supreme authority on the human condition and God's remedy for it.

(c) The Spokesman's speciality. V3 After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
There are many things Jesus did not speak about when he was here upon earth. He did not explain the origin of the universe, the way that life was created, or why suffering is necessary. The subject upon which Jesus was expert was salvation. He sacrificed himself for it. God accepted that sacrifice as a job well done. That is why he is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. We can have every confidence that he will give eternal life to all those who believe in him because of what he has done and because of where he is. All that is required of us is unconditional trust in his name, in his authority.

One Sunday morning as I was travelling by car to church I saw something that made me apply the brakes and stop at once. A small girl aged about four was running up the middle of the road followed unsteadily by her brother, a toddler, who could only have been two at most. They were in danger. I got out of my car and picked up the little boy. He did not resist. I stretched out a hand to the girl and she took it. I said, "Where is your mummy?" She pointed vaguely in the direction of a house alongside the highway. I took those two young ones back home to their mother. It was easy because they trusted me. They were happily compliant. It pleased me. Jesus is the only one to trust if we are to be restored to our Heavenly Father and come safely home at last.

ANY COMMENTS FOR JOHN REED: E-mail jfmreed@talktalk.net