Hebrews chapter 2
Many of our beloved Christian brothers and sisters have never seen the wonderfully beautiful picture of Hebrews chapter two in its entirety.
The "complete and expanded version" of chapter two of the scholarly Book of Hebrews, written by the apostle Paul to the dispersed House of Israel in these last days, gives us a truly remarkable and in-depth understanding of the reasons (plural) why Jesus Christ came to this earth and the Word became flesh. What is the "complete and expanded version"? It is the one which takes in the many scriptures Paul references and quotes from the law and the prophets and fills-in the details, like adding more pieces of a puzzle, thereby giving us a more complete picture to "see". And how truly exciting it is for those who take the time to "study and rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15)" for many of our beloved Christian brothers and sisters have never seen the wonderfully beautiful picture of Hebrews chapter two in its entirety. Those who have seen it have been deeply touched by what they have "seen", so let's get started with our study.
Paul begins this chapter two, which is actually a continuation from chapter one, with a stern admonition (call it a warning if you will) based on the true and certain things he told us regarding the glory of Son of God in chapter one, which things he expounded on from the many scriptures he rightly divided and drew from the Word of Truth, the fountain of life. Here is what he has to say to us ALL:
The words "more earnest" mean "superabundant attention" (see Strong's #G4056) and the word "heed" means "pay attention to" as in diligently "apply oneself" (Strong's #G4337). Paul in his love for the brethren is telling us that all of God's Word has real depth of meaning for our understanding and we need to earnestly, with discipline (as disciples), especially NOW in these last days, pay close attention to what is written, lest we should let them slip away as time marches on and we fall short of having enough oil in our lamps to make it through the dark hour.Hebrews 2:1
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
In other words, do not let the cares of this world rob you from the fullness of His Truth nor let the traditions of man keep you from studying ALL of God's Word lest you end up withering on the vine. Mark 4:19 "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." So wean yourself from the milk bottle and begin to grow and understand your Father's emotions and the love He has shown to us all by sending His precious and beloved Son to both "suffer" and "...taste of death for every man" Hebrews 2:9!
In linguistic terms, the word "if" ("ei" in Greek) is followed by the "Indicative Mood" meaning that the hypothesis (the condition of the "if") is assumed as an actual fact. In simplistic terms, "if" as used here means "since it is true". For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
In other words, Paul is stating the fact that God's Word has already been proven true, in every case, in that the words spoken by His messengers concerning the correction and chastisement that follows transgression and disobedience to His Word is stedfast (sure and true) for it is well documented, or haven't you paid close attention to HIStory? You see, our forefathers (the Israelites) did not "take heed" and obey His commands to remain true and stedfast in His Word... so... they stumbled and fell and were scattered abroad.
So, that being the case...
If we likewise neglect His Word as they did, instead of earnestly heeding to the things that are written as per Paul's instruction in verse one, how shall we be any different than our forefathers? Shall we not also stumble and fall and receive our just recompense in these last days if we become lazy and "dull of hearing"? Time is swiftly marching by and the final hour glass that is reserved for this final generation has already been tipped and the sands are quickly running out. Do not let His saving truth and knowledge slip away and run out on you along with those precious few remaining sands of time. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him;
Also, verses two and three here should bring our thoughts back to the first two verses of this great Book of Hebrews which stated that many times in the past God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets (whose words were stedfast) but now "in these last days" He has spoken unto us (concerning salvation) by the Lord Himself, His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things (Heb. 1:1-2). And that great message of salvation was "confirmed", meaning "passed on", by those that heard Him, even as it is by those who earnestly "hear" Him in these last days...
All this was done NOT as man so chose to do, but according to the Plan of God which was ordained from the beginning, when the Word was with God, remember? God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
How well do you understand the Plan of God? Surely you have read and understood that man was placed "in charge", i.e. been given dominion in this flesh age (though he "blew it" in the fall and what a mess he has made of things since then)! In fact, you can read of the dominion mankind was given in the very first chapter of Genesis (vs. 26-29). Of course, that part of the plan is clearly obvious though the reason and purpose has remained obscure to most. For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
It is also written, for we just read in verse five, that the angels (meaning you and me and our brothers and sisters in our incorruptible bodies) will NOT be in charge of the way things are run in the "world to come", which is the world Paul is talking about when the "garments" are folded up and perish at the end of this flesh age! No, according to His will, His Plan, as it is written in both the Old and New Testaments, Jesus Christ shall return at the sound of the 7th Trump as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule ALL nations with a rod of iron and THEN, though He now sits on the right hand of the Father with all power and authority in both heaven and earth having been given unto Him, we shall see ALL things placed in subjection to the SON. As it is written, every knee shall bow to the name of Jesus Christ, i.e. to His supreme authority (Rom. 14:11, Philip. 2:10).
That having been said, let us now begin to understand the reasons why God sent His Son to dwell in the flesh, beginning with words of "one in a certain place", i.e. one of those prophets and messengers who "testified", i.e. spoke those sure and stedfast words in times past to our forefathers.
This verse is quoted from the 8th Psalm, a Psalm of "new beginnings (8)", a Psalm of David, so let us go there and expand our understanding. Notice that this Psalm both "begins" and "ends", like bookends encasing the words of His plan in between, with "O LORD, our Lord, (Yahveh, our Adonim (Supreme Ruler)) how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!" Just so you know, our Father was, is, and always will be in complete control of His Plan from beginning to end. Therefore, if you are one of His children who love and serve Him, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. He has ALL POWER... for He always has! But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
He is above all things (Jn. 3:31) because "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3)Psalm 8:1
O LORD our Lord, how excellent ["addiyr" = powerful and mighty and noble] is Thy name [meaning His character and authority] in all the earth [the subject of this Psalm]! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
The enemies are having a "field day", aren't they? But don't worry... as it is written, they shall receive their just reward. Of course He could squish them like a bug any time He wanted to, couldn't He (See "power" in verse 1), but you see, He has a purpose and a PLAN to bring many sons to glory! Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Makes you kind of wonder, doesn't it? I mean, look at the GRANDEUR of the universe and the POWER of His awesome creation, even like the morning sun (a star indeed) and then read on... When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Hang in there until we return to Hebrews where Paul is going to explain the "why" of these verses to us. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
What a magnificent plan our Father has in bringing many sons unto glory (Heb. 2:19). You see, the first man Adam couldn't cut it but the second man Adam did and shall! Hopefully by the time we finish this second chapter of Hebrews you will be able to see more clearly from having visited this incredible 8th Psalm the full purpose of Jesus Christ being made "a little lower than the angels". Here is Paul quoting Psalm 8:5-6 in Hebrews 2:7-8 which he shall expound upon in the remaining verses of the chapter. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Jesus Christ was "made a little lower (meaning "for a little while lower") than the angels. In other words, He came to this earth and dwelt in the flesh, was glorified as the only begotten Son of God, and appointed heir of all things.Hebrews 2:7
Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst Him with glory and honour, and didst set Him over the works of thy hands:
 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him.
Next Paul is going to explain to us not only how that Christ, by the loving grace of God, was made a little lower than the angels for the purpose of paying the price on the cross as the "perfect", unblemished sacrifice for our sins, but why it was that He had to "suffer" as He did. Do you know why He endured the direct face to face temptation by Satan and then suffered humiliating ridicule and a bloody scourging and the severe cruelty of death by crucifixion on a Roman cross? There is more to it than most of us have been taught.1 Cor. 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
Paul shall complete the picture for us. Don't go away!
We learned in the first few verses of Hebrews chapter two that the Word of God, even that which was spoken in times past to our fathers by and through His prophets, is steadfast and sure and that every transgression and disobedience carries with it a "recompense of just reward". In other words, there is a penalty, a price that must be paid for sin.
Let's recap what Paul wrote just to refresh our memories:
This leaves us sinners in a heap of trouble unless we do as Paul told us in the first verse of this 2nd chapter and earnestly heed the things we have heard concerning His salvation and His deliverance.Hebrews 2:2
For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
We are going to learn more about the Word who became flesh, Jesus Christ, and also those who carry on as His messengers, those who declare His righteousness and bear witness to His truth and justice in these last days. Hopefully this will bring joy to your heart even adding to the way in which you "see" our "Lord" and "Savior", Jesus Christ, and view your own trials and tribulations and even those of your brothers and sisters! How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Paul is now going to teach us more concerning the Plan of God we read of in Psalm 8 where it was declared long ago that Christ would be made a little lower than the angels, i.e. made to dwell in the flesh as one of us.
For the purpose of comparison, here is Paul's quote from Psalm 8:5 in Heb. 2:7:
Paul now repeats Heb. 2:7 (from Psalm 8:5) with further explanation for our understanding:Hebrews 2:7
Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst Him with glory and honour, and didst set Him over the works of thy hands:
If we take the time to understand what Paul is teaching us, we will come to a richer understanding in "seeing" Jesus and the reasons He was made a little lower than the angels, i.e. made subject to pain and suffering and death. Of course we know that Christ was totally innocent, without iniquity, the perfect and unblemished Lamb of sacrifice for sin and that by His death on the cross He made our salvation possible in providing us with deliverance (salvation) from the certain penalty of death which accompanies transgression and disobedience. In fact, Jesus Christ is our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7).Hebrews 2:9
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Many people like to say that "salvation is free", but it really is not in the sense that the just recompense for sin and disobedience MUST be executed, i.e. the price MUST be paid, which is what Jesus Christ did on our behalf, "standing in for every man" (Heb. 2:9), meaning anyone, "whomsoever will", who will come to repentance and believe in Him. So you see, our salvation cost Jesus Christ His life, which was an awesome price to pay, wouldn't you say?
But wait! There's more! You see, because of His death AND His enduring temptation and suffering He is able not only to deliver us from death and the hands of all our enemies, but to succor us (as in relieve or help us, vs. 18) through all our trials and tribulations. To wit, we have now read numerous times that Christ has been "crowned" with glory and honor as a result of His suffering and death. This is extremely important because the PLAN IS to bring many more sons unto glory. Open your eyes and ears... here it is:
 For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Jesus Christ came down from above ("anothen" in Greek) and became as one of us, one of the brethren, even "taking on Him the seed of Abraham" (vs. 16) and dwelling in the flesh in the midst of us. To wit, His name was "Emmanuel", which means "God with us"! In other words, Christ became as one of us in that He felt pain and suffered and was tempted in more ways than most of us will ever be during our flesh experience. Remember, we just read in verse 10 that He was the Creator of the Universe, the One for "Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things" and yet He was not "too good" (i.e. not ashamed) to be made lower than the angels and become one of us, a member of the brotherhood of man. In other words, He did not ask us to do anything that He wasn't willing to do both in becoming flesh and enduring trials, tribulations, and even death. Think about it! This is more than profound! This is the greatest act of love and unselfishness ever! For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
And you know what? Is was written concerning Him becoming "one of the brethren in our midst" long before He even did so. Paul brings this to our attention.
Paul is quoting Psalm 22:22 in this verse which now makes that Psalm part of the Book of Hebrews, and therefore part of the New Testament. And indeed it is part of the New Testament for every word of Psalm 22 depicts the events of that momentous day including the very pain and suffering and death of Messiah on the cross, establishing beyond a shadow of doubt by the evidence of its complete fulfillment that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
And the reason Paul quotes this particular verse from Psalm 22 is that it directly relates to (utters to) what he just said in verse 11, i.e. that Christ became one of the brethren and dwelt in the midst of us, as one of us!
Note: Psalm 22, written 1,000 years before the crucifixion, gives the details of the events that happened on that day of His crucifixion, even foretelling of the gambling for Christ's clothing that would take place by the Roman soldiers. Furthermore, there can be little doubt that Jesus Christ quoted and taught this entire Psalm while He hung on the cross. To that end, consider for a moment the thoughts of the thief alongside Him who witnessed those events, like the gambling, etc., as they unfolded and the words of the Psalm being uttered by Messiah came to pass right before his very eyes. Yes, he became a believer! You see, it is written in Mat. 27:46 & Mark 15:34 that Christ cried with a loud voice saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Did you know these are the first words of Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?.. (Ps. 22:1)". Jesus was simply quoting this Psalm! It is also written in John 19:30 that the last words Christ spoke before He died were "... It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." "It is finished" are also the last words of Psalm 22 in Hebrew. (See note on Psalm 22:31 in the Companion Bible.)
Yes, I believe Jesus quoted the whole 22 chapter of Psalms. Matthew and Mark just didn't tell us so. No wonder the thief was converted! It all took place just as written and quoted! right before his eyes.
It is also written in the last two verses of Psalm 22 ( vs. 30-31) concerning that "seed", the brethren (brothers and sisters) who come and serve Him in the final generation, declaring His righteousness, even His Holy Word, unto a "people that shall be born"! They are those disciples Paul spoke of Heb. in 2:2-3 who "hear Him", i.e. who hear His voice, teaching and confirming the Word of God and bearing "witness" in these last days!Here is the verse from Psalm 22 that Paul just quoted in Hebrews 2:12:
And so Jesus Christ did declare the Father unto His brethren: in the midst of the congregation, as the one called "Em-manu-el"... God dwelling "im", with us, i.e. in our midst! Not only THAT, Paul gives us further reference concerning what "Emmanuel" said in the scriptures. He next quotes excerpts from Psalm 18/Isa. 8 and then from Isa. 12.Psalm 22:22
I will declare Thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
And again, I will put my trust in Him.
What do these two verses tell us? Let's go to their source and read them in context.And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
This is also written in Isaiah chapter 12 concerning trusting the LORD as our deliverer. Paul will emphasize this "deliverance" in Heb. 2:15 just a few verses hence.Psalm 18:1-2
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,
I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
First of all, DO NOT ever let someone tell you that Jesus Christ was afraid of dying. Fear is not of God. 2 Tim. 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Neither do God's servants fear those who can only kill the flesh for they revere the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell, Gehennah, which represents the lake of fire (Mat. 10:28). God's servants, His true unwavering, uncowering Christian soldiers, always take a stand and fight and defend the kingdom. You see, as God's servants we KNOW who it is we serve. We serve the Creator of Universe, the One who has ALL POWER in both heaven earth. As an ensample (1 Cor. 10:11) of how God's servants are so concerned about their flesh bodies, read what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo said when they were delivered up to death before king Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon who was a type (an ensample) of the king of Babylon in these last days, i.e. a type of the false-christ, Satan, "the-instead-of-Christ"?Isaiah 12:2
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.
They did not have to think about nor "premeditate" what they said to the king of Babylon when they were delivered up, did they?Daniel 3:16
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
The only way Satan can harm or kill one of God's elect is to first "get past" (i.e. by permission) our Father who protects them according to His will. To that end, it was God's will, ordained from the beginning, because of His love and grace that His Son would suffer and pay the price on the cross. It is all part of the PLAN, the grand purpose, in bringing many sons to glory. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
By the way, the Hebrew word for "salvation" in Isaiah 12:2 is "yeshuwah" meaning "deliverance".
Paul next quoted in Heb. 2:13 the phrase "I and the children whom the LORD hath given me" from Isa. 8:18. Let's go read that entire verse (Note: It is beyond the scope of this study of Hebrews to be able to bring in the full content and context of all the scriptures Paul refers to in his teaching, but serious students should do so on their own):
All of us must be born "from above", into the sack of water and then be re-born of the spirit in order to enter into the kingdom of God.
Jesus Christ along with the elect of God, the ones chosen before the foundation of this earth age (Eph. 1:4), i.e. the ones the LORD had given Him, all serve His purpose, His will, and serve as conspicuous "signs" which means beacons, signals, lights, evidence, even as witnesses. Again, we already noted that Psalm 22:30-31 speaks concerning the "seed" who shall come (even have) and serve Him in this final generation. Those sons and daughters make up those two rays of light spoken of in Habakkuk 3, who are those two golden candlesticks in Rev. 2 & 3, who are the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna.Isaiah 8:18
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Paul is now going to recap, as if to say "in others words", and then he will explain something else that Jesus Christ accomplished by His death, the depth of which is understood by those who have been eating "meat" for awhile!
So... Jesus Christ took part of flesh and blood after the same manner as all the children of God who must all be "born again", which is to be born "anothen" meaning born "from above", into the sack of water and then be re-born of the spirit in order to enter into the kingdom of God. Christ explained this requirement to Nicodemus in John 3 and that "even the Son of man, who is now in heaven, was willing to do the same (John 3:13). It is also confirmed by the words of Paul in the 9th chapter of Hebrews where he teaches us that it is given unto all men once to die (i.e. in the flesh) before the day of judgment (which occurs at the end of the Millennium). Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Again, Christ was willing to do the same thing as the children and so we see the love and fairness of our Father in that He did not ask His children to come down from above and be born of flesh while exempting Himself.Hebrews 2:14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
It is the "will of God" to bring many sons to glory though the training (I'll call it) in the flesh!
We "see" in Heb. 2:14 that one of the things Christ purposed "through (His) death" was "that through death He might destroy Satan"! Now students of God's Word know from Ezekiel 28 that Satan has already been sentenced to perish in the lake of fire and there is no turning back for him, i.e. there is no pos+sibility for repentance. That is why he is even called the "son of perdition", which means the son who will perish. Those seasoned students also know from Ezekiel 28 that Satan was once a prince of our people until he decided he wanted to be king and sit on high! That's right! Ezekiel 28 will show that Satan was once a beloved son of God, a prince of our people, a bright morning star who once wore the breastplate of (as a priest) and walked up and down in the midst of "the stones of fire", which are the 12 tribes of Israel whose identity stones are listed there. Again, he was a beloved son of God and he was positioned very high in the mountain (kingdom, govt.) of God, even as a cherub covering (protecting) the mercy seat where the Word of God dwelt. Things were going along fine until iniquity was found in Satan and he ended up becoming as a great red dragon whereby he drew 1/3 of God's children away from that mercy seat of truth and justice he was once the guardian of (Rev. 12:4).
So God sentenced His once beautiful and beloved son (our brother) who went bad to DIE... which would not be an easy thing to do, would it? However, it would come to pass that Satan would bring about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, while He dwelt in the flesh. To that end, Jesus Christ actually became a witness to Satan killing the Son of God. This all goes back even to the prophecy from the beginning in Genesis 3:15 which declared that the "enmity" would result in causing Satan to "bruise His heel" (when He walked in the flesh) but He would wound (to death) the serpent's head. To that end, the murderous serpent, Satan, showed his true colors (none of them white by the way) by killing the Son of God. The point is... even aside from the fact that the law itself justifies Satan's execution as a convicted murder... it somehow makes it easier to see this son perish, knowing that he not only brought death into this world through the temptation of Adam of Eve, he murdered the Son of God.
And so it is that through Christ's death we have the victory over death and the bondage of this flesh.Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
So we now begin to see the wondrous reasons why Jesus Christ did not come as an angel, but rather came in the flesh, even taking on Him the seed of Abraham, whose name means the "father of many nations".1 Cor. 15:54-58
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Again, Jesus Christ, the Word of God from the beginning, for whom and by whom all things were created, could have come at any time with all power and glory and subdued all things and all people. But you see, it is the "will of God" to bring many sons to glory though the training (I'll call it) in the flesh during this flesh age! Remember, Christ was "crowned" with glory and honor through His suffering and death!Hebrews 2:16
For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.
We all know too well that we are all subject to the pains and sufferings and death of this corruptible flesh.
Just never let it be said that Jesus Christ, our "perfect" advocate who sits at the right hand of the Father, does not understand what you are going through. Quite frankly, it is much harder for most of us to understand the amount of pain and suffering and endurance of temptation that He went through. The saying goes that if we all sat around and threw our problems into the center of the ring, we would all end up taking our own back. To wit, would you rather endure what you are enduring or endure what Messiah went through? The fact is, He never puts on our plate more than we can handle.
Now, think hard, for this can forever change the way you "see" your trials and tribulations, even death, from here on out! If you can "see the picture" Paul has drawn for us using the scriptures and understand the "glory and perfection" that was accomplished in the pain and suffering of Jesus Christ, then you will have absolutely no difficulty understanding the opening words of James, the brother of Christ, in his great and marvelous book titled after his name:
Why in the world should we count our temptations joy? Here's the reason:James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Do you KNOW THIS? Do you "see" and "understand" that the testing of your convictions builds character, as in maturity and endurance and faithfulness? Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
You hang in there and be patient and endure those trials and tribulations and overcome those temptations as best you can with His help. He knows what's going on and He can and will help if you come to Him. THEN... you shall become a can-do "helper", able to succor others, not a "helpee" as in a poor why-is-this-happening-to-me baby! In other words, you will be able BECAUSE of having been there and having done that and having gotten the victory in Him, to be a more compassionate, and merciful, and faithful servant of God able to take a stand in these last days and overcome Satan and His beast system thereby being a champion, an example, a leader, of your people. How glorious indeed! But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Consider our merciful and faithful high priest, Jesus Christ.
It "behoved" Him means it "benefited, advantaged" Him on our behalf, on behalf of the brethren, so that He now KNOWS AS ONE OF US exactly what we are going through! Therefore... He went through and endured all that one-on-one temptation by Satan himself, and endured all that humiliation and pain and suffering of an horrendous death by crucifixion on our behalf, because He loves us and so we now KNOW that HE KNOWS and we are comforted by knowing that He is a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God. What an advocate we have sitting on the right hand of the Father!Hebrews 2:17
Wherefore in all things it behoved* Him to be made like unto his brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
You SEE! He knows... having been tempted Himself... and so He is able to succor (aid, relieve, help) them that are tempted. How about you? Are you able to help others? Think about it! If you have endured little or no pain and suffering and have not been subject to much temptation, how much relief and comfort are you able to give unto others who are tempted and or suffering? Understand how much more compassionate and of help (succoring) you can be if you have been "put through the wringer" or "tried in the fire" and have been victorious in the patience of Jesus Christ? To wit, Paul endured many trials and tribulations including among other things, being stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, tried in court, bit by a serpent, etc., etc. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.
Hopefully now, by understanding how Christ was "made perfect" through sufferings and the enduring of temptation, perhaps we can quit being "cry babies" (babies drinking only milk) and have a more mature and meat filled understanding of what Paul said after praying thrice that the thorn in his flesh be removed. Here was the Lord's reply to Paul's petition:
Paul understood the strength, the power of God, that comes from the faithful patience and endurance of our weaknesses and infirmities. So he was only too glad, joyous as James says, to endure and become more "Christ-like"! Here are his own words giving his own conclusion:2 Cor. 12:9
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore, when we see one of our brothers or sisters suffering or going through a trial or struggling with temptation, know that in their "patience and endurance" they shall be made strong in Him and shall become more gracious and merciful as a result of their victory in overcoming! As a mature Christian, as a brother and companion in tribulation, pray and succor them and encourage them to be patient and endure, trusting in Jesus Christ, the Word of God, for deliverance!Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
So you have problems and trials and tribulations? Good for you! Count them as joy and hang in there and trust in the Lord and be made strong in Him, knowing full well from the Word of God that He knows exactly what is going on in your life!
What more can one say, other than "Thank you Father!"
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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