Please help me understand several passages in Hebrews 1. In v.5, it sounds like Jesus has not always been the Son of God (“today I have begotten you”, “he shall be to me a son”. Verses 6 and 9 also seem to imply that He was one of the angels before (“Let all God’s angels worship him”, “your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions”).
Personally, I believe that Jesus, like the Father, has no beginning and has always been God. But I presume that the verses I quoted above are sometimes used by people who believe otherwise. If you can also share Scripture passages that support what I believe, I would appreciate it very much.
Many thanks, and God bless you.
Thank you for your questions, I hope my answer(s) help.
I will first answer your question about verse 5 in Hebrews 1 which says, “5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, You are My Son; today I have become Your Father, or again, I will be His Father, and He will be My Son?
The phrase “For to which of the angels did He ever say” clearly distinguishes Jesus from an angel because it is implying that God didn’t address any angel to be His Son.
Angels are servants of the Most High who are to do God’s will as seen in Hebrews 1:14 which says, “14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?”
The Son of God (Jesus) is not a servant or a ministering spirit but an heir of all things which the Father will give Him according to John 3:35 which says, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands.”
The Son of God is a title that was given to Jesus at His incarnation or birth. That title simply refers to His deity because Son gives the meaning of having the same nature as God as seen in John 5:17-18 which says, “17 But Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.” 18 This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill Him: Not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”
I think the passage in verse 5 is very clear that the title Son of God was a title that Jesus did not always have but was given at His birth. Jesus’ title or how He was called that’s revealed in holy scripture before His birth would be “The Word”, referring to The Word of God as seen in John 1:1 which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The title Son of God was also to show His humility, obedience and His total dependence to the Father while on earth. All of God’s names are titles that reflect His character and those titles in the Triune God reveal His purposes.
- God the Father-Elohim: Creator of the heavens and the earth (the universe)
- God the Son-Jesus: The Savior of the world
- God the Holy Spirit-The Counselor: Convicting the world of sin and of righteousness.
Just because Jesus didn’t have the title the Son of God before His incarnation didn’t mean that He wasn’t God. In Romans 10, Jesus was called Yahweh since the word Lord was in reference to Joel 2:32 which meant Yahweh and Lord/Yahweh was attributed to Jesus by saying Jesus is Lord or in other words, Jesus is Yahweh.
6 When He again brings His firstborn into the world, He says, And all God’s angels must worship Him.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy rather than Your companions.
Verse 6 doesn’t imply that Jesus was an angel but actually strengthens the point that Jesus is God because God commands all of the angels to worship Him. Angels aren’t supposed to be worshiped, only God can be worshiped as seen in Revelation 22:8-9 which says, “8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
Jesus couldn’t have been an angel because God Himself commands all of His angels to worship Jesus and then in verse 9 tells you why because He is called God.