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The embodiment of God’s message to us.
All that we’d ever hope to know about God the Father is captured in God the Son.
It might seem glib to say, but, candidly, it is a fundamental premise of Scripture itself: if one is seeking clarity or confidence regarding who God is, what he’s like, and what he values, just look at Jesus. This isn’t to undermine the great theological endeavors of learned men through the history of the church. It’s just to say that the glut of our theological proclivities and propensities ought not to stray too far from what’s already been revealed in Christ. What we know about the Father is manifest in the Son. Such, I think, is what the writer to the Hebrews is getting at in the opening verses of his epistle: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,” writes anonymous, “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1–2).
The new covenant was accompanied by a new revelation, this one being far superior to any revelation came before. This new revelation would be the articulation of God’s Word, but this time that Word would take on flesh (John 1:14). As the writer to the Hebrews aims to show, Jesus is better. Namely, because he doesn’t just tell us what God is like, he shows us. Arthur Pink takes a similar approach when commenting on that same passage at the beginning of Hebrews, writing:
The whole revelation and manifestation of God is now in Christ; He alone reveals the Father’s heart. It is not only that Christ declared or delivered God’s message, but that He himself was and is God’s message. All that God has to say to us is in His Son: all His thoughts, counsels, promises, gifts, are to be found in the Lord Jesus. Take the perfect life of Christ, His deportment, His ways; that is God “speaking” — revealing Himself — to us. Take His miracles, revealing His tender compassion, displaying His mighty power; they are God “speaking” to us. Take His death, commending to us the love of God, in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us; that is God “speaking” to us. Take His resurrection, triumphing over the grave, vanquishing him who had the power of death, coming forth as the “first fruits o them that slept” — the “earnest” of the “harvest” to follow; that is God “speaking” to us . . .
He has appeared before us in the person of His beloved Son, to bring us a knowledge of the Divine affections, and this in order to engage our affections. In the very nature of the case there can be nothing higher. Through Christ, God is now fully, perfectly, finally revealed. (1:27)
Jesus says quite plainly, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). The writer to the Hebrews similarly affirms, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3). All that we’d ever hope to know about God the Father is captured in God the Son. Those looking or yearning for additional revelation will be disappointed in their quest. And yet, there’s nothing ever disappointing when it comes to Jesus. May we never tire of the faith which is tethered to the One who perfectly embodies God’s message to us.
Grace and peace to you, friends.
Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews, Vols. 1–2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1963).