September 8, 2019 – Hebrews 2

Lesson Date: September 8, 2019

Focal Scripture Passage: Hebrews 2:1-18

AIM: To lead students to discover the superior humility exhibited by Jesus Christ, and to either (1) thank Him for humbling Himself so they could be saved, or (2) humble themselves and trust Christ for salvation.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Hebrews 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Locate and bring to class some pictures or news stories about the president or other elected official serving meals or distributing emergency supplies to disaster victims. Prepare the index cards or small pieces of paper described in the “Conclusion” step.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the pictures or news stories you have brought to class. Tell the students from time to time the president, governor, mayor, or some other government official serves food at a homeless shelter or distributes emergency supplies to disaster victims. Comment that it is a very nice thing for busy elected officials to take time out of their schedule to serve those less fortunate.

Ask: “Do these people actually work every day doing such a menial job? Do they donate one day a week to serve people in need? Or are these activities really just ‘photo ops’ staged for the cameras?” (they are staged photo ops). Elected officials do these temporary jobs to show the voters they care and want to help (they also do them to try to get votes).

Tell the students it is not really very humbling for an important person to arrive in a large motorcade surrounded by aides and security personnel, do some menial work for fifteen minutes while pictures are taken, and then get back in the limousine and return to their regular activities.

Comment that the President of the United States is the most powerful and important person on earth. Ask: “What would you think if you learned that the President actually traded places with a janitor – doing his duties, keeping his work hours, and receiving his pay?” (that would be very surprising and show a tremendous amount of humility).

Tell the students today’s lesson is about someone who humbled Himself even more than the President doing the work of a janitor.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of Hebrews, which was written to Jewish believers who were tempted to return to the Old Testament Law and sacrificial system.
    • Ask: “What did we learn in last week’s lesson?” (Jesus Christ is superior to prophets, angels, and the created universe).
    • Ask if any volunteers would be willing to recite last week’s memory verses (Heb. 1:1-2).
  2. A Warning.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 2:1.
    • Ask: “What is the first word of chapter 2?” (therefore).
    • Explain that chapters 2-12 of Hebrews all begin with conjunctive words, tying what is about to be said back to what was said in the previous chapter. The book was written as one continuous message. The chapter divisions were added centuries later.
    • Tell them the word therefore in this verse tells us because Jesus is superior to prophets, angels, and creation (chapter 1) we ought to do something.
    • Ask: “Since Jesus is superior, what does the Bible tell us to do?” (pay close attention to the truths we have heard).
    • Explain that the words “more earnest heed” are very strong language (the verse could be translated “we ought to more especially lock our minds onto and adhere to the things we have heard”).
    • Ask: “What can happen if we don’t do this?” (we may let them slip from our minds).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 2:2-4.
    • Tell the class verse 2 reminds us that God’s Word has proven to be true and those in the past who disobeyed it received harsh punishment.
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, what will happen if we neglect the salvation Christ has provided for us?” (we will not escape the consequences).
    • Explain that verses 3-4 tell us the following:
      • God’s Word was spoken by Jesus.
      • It was confirmed by those who heard Jesus.
      • It was authenticated by great signs and miracles.
    • Summarize: Because Jesus Christ is superior to prophets, angels, and creation, we should give careful attention to God’s Word, which is true and trustworthy.
  3. What Is Man?
    • Read Hebrews 2:5.
    • Tell the class this verse (like chapter 1) tells us that Jesus Christ is superior to angels.
    • To visually illustrate this fact, write the word “Angels” in the middle of the marker board or chalkboard and write “Jesus” above it.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 2:6.
    • Tell the class verses 6-8 are quoted from Psalm 8:4-6.
    • Ask: “What did the psalmist ask, as quoted in verse 6?” (Why does Almighty God give any thought or attention to sinners like us?).
    • Read Hebrews 2:7-8.
    • Ask: “According to verse 7, where does man fit into the rank or order illustrated on the board?” (below the angels).
    • Write the word “Man” on the board, below the word “Angels.”
    • Explain that man is lower than the angels in that angels have supernatural powers, they have continual access to the throne of God, and they do not die.[1]
    • Ask: “What does verse 7 say God crowned man with?” (glory and honor).
    • Explain that man is made in the likeness of God and can be saved. This is not true of angels.
    • Ask: “What has God put under man?” (the created world).
    • Write “Created World” below the word “Man” on the board.
    • Summarize: God has established a rank or order for His universe. Angels are lower than Jesus and man is lower than angels.
  4. Jesus Humbled Himself.
    • Tell the class the main point of this chapter is found in the remaining verses.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 2:9.
    • Direct the students’ attention to the words written on the board. Tell them Jesus humbled Himself not just down to the level of angels, but all the way down to the level of man.
    • Draw an arrow on the board from “Jesus,” around “Angels,” down to “Man.”
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, why did Jesus humble Himself so much?” (so He could suffer and die for sinners).
    • Read Hebrews 2:10.
    • Tell the students Jesus Christ made everything, possesses everything, and is the captain (leader, author) of our salvation.
    • Ask: “What did He have to go through to bring many sons unto glory?” (suffering).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 2:11-13.
    • Explain that according to verse 11 Christ identified with us so He could sanctify (cleanse) us. He is not ashamed to call us His brethren.
    • Tell the class verse 12 is a quotation of Psalm 22:22. It reminds us that Jesus always pointed His followers to and praised His Heavenly Father.
    • Tell the students verse 13 is quoted from Isaiah 8:17-18. It tells us that Jesus Christ always put His trust in His Father and He fully identified with the children (believers) the Lord gave Him.
    • Summarize: Jesus Christ humbled Himself to become a man so He could suffer in the flesh, identify with us, and save us.
  5. Ultimate Humility.
    • Read Hebrews 2:14-16.
    • Ask: “According to verse 14, why did Jesus take on flesh and blood like us?” (so He could die for us).
    • Ask: “What did He destroy through His death?” (the devil’s power over us).
    • Ask: “According to verse 15, what did Jesus deliver us from?” (bondage and the fear of death).
    • Ask: “According to verse 16, what nature did Jesus NOT take on Himself?” (the nature of angels: He didn’t come to earth as an angel).
    • Tell the students Jesus came as a man; specifically, a descendant of Abraham (a Jew).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 2:17-18.
    • Tell the class the word behoved (spelled “behooved” in modern writings) means to be under obligation or debt.[2]
    • Ask: “Why was Jesus Christ obligated to come to earth as a man?” (so He could serve as our great high priest and make reconciliation for our sins, making us right with God).
    • Ask: “Could He have done that if He came as an angel?” (no, He had to come as a man).
    • Ask: “Why did Jesus Christ have to suffer temptation?” (so He could rescue, help, and deliver those who are tempted – us).
    • Summarize: Jesus Christ humbled Himself to take on human flesh, suffer, and die so He could deliver us from bondage, take away our sins, and reconcile us to Himself.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention to the words written on the board. Stress the fact that Jesus Christ is the highest and most exalted individual in the universe – seated at the right hand of His Father in heaven – yet He humbled Himself to come into this world as a lowly human being. But Jesus humbled Himself even further – He took our guilt and our sin and He suffered the agonizing, humiliating death of the cross. Jesus is superior in position, rank and characteristics, but He is also superior in humility. No one has ever demonstrated more humility than Jesus Christ. He came down to where we were so He could save us.

Show the class once again the pictures of the president or other government official serving in some lowly task. Remind the students that those events are staged for the cameras. Tell them that’s not the way it was with Jesus. He wasn’t performing for the cameras. He really humbled Himself, became a man, and died on the cross “to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17).

Ask: “How should we respond to Christ’s superior humility?” (Christians should thank Him for humbling Himself so they could be saved; those who are not yet saved should humble themselves and trust Christ for salvation). Encourage everyone present to either thank Jesus or trust Him for salvation, and then voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Hebrews 2:9. Give everyone an index card or piece of paper on which you have written the following: “Jesus humbled Himself, suffered, and died so I could be saved.” Ask them to place it on their refrigerator, dashboard, or bathroom mirror to remind them every day to thank Christ for humbling Himself.

[1] The MacArthur Study Bible, John MacArthur, Copyright © 1997, Word Publishing, Nashville, TN, Electronic edition © Logos Library System.

[2] Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, by James Strong, Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 1998, Parsons Technology, Inc.

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