What this blog is about and what I hope it does...

I hope this will be a simple fun tool for us to grow in our understanding and surrender to God through the Bible as we connect over the web. Reading the Bible is both simple and difficult. What could be easier than opening a book and reading? Yet we've all done that and wondered what sections of the Bible mean? What's with the book of Leviticus? What is Revelation really about? Is the Song of Songs about marital love or is it supposed to be more 'spiritual' than that?

So, my intent is for this blog to be a tool that helps us in our faith. A forum for better understanding. An honest place of sharing that nurtures us as we follow Jesus together.

(There are a few resources I have included under "PAGES" that may be a helpful start, especially to those newer to reading the Bible. It's located just below this and to the right. Also included is a READING OUTLINE. If you miss a day, go on to the next rather than trying to catch up.)

ONE LAST NOTE: you don't have to join or set up an account to share comments. Just click 'comment' at the bottom of a post, click the drop down and click 'anonymous.' Then write your post and if you want sign it with your first name and finish by clicking 'Post comment.' I would love to hear your thoughts.


Hebrews 1:1-4

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (NIV)
This initial section sets the stage for the rest of Hebrews. A few things to conisder as you read it:
  1. What is the main contrast here?
  2. What are the 7 claims made of Christ?
  3. What is the writer's conclusion about all this?
These questions are fleshed out in the rest of the letter/sermon of Hebrews, but the writer (no one really knows who wrote Hebrews) wants us to to be introduced to some of the major topics that are included in these first 4 verses.

How might these truths encourage your faith?

Thoughts, questions, etc.

Have a great couple of days!


  1. Some interesting parallels to the first few verses of the Gospel of John. JESUS' Deity is affirmed, as well as giving HIM responsibility for creation and government.

    Not sure of what's going on in your life? Remember that JESUS is sutaining all things. Not really sure who GOD is and what HE means in your life? Read the gospels. Burdened by the guilt and shame of yesterday (or yester-year)? CHRIST, through HIS birth, life, death and resurrection has already offered propitiation for those sins, as well as freedom from judgement and condemnation.

    I'm not quite sure what to make of the "superior to the angels" commentary. Obviously CHRIST is above all. What is the writer calling the reader to surmise by this statement?

  2. Good point Andy! There are several places where Jesus is pretty clearly designated as somehow 'God.' It took a bunch of church councils and a lot of reflection, time, prayer, argument and unfortunately fighting to work out what is meant in passages like this one and John 1. The fruit of their dabates is a gift to the whole church, though it had its price.

    What I find so fascinating and compelling is that early monotheistic Jews (!) somehow came to the place where they could only make sense of Jesus by including him in their understanding of God. That to me is absolutely mind-boggling. For a faithful Jewish person, that God is one was about the most fundamental belief they had (recited it in the shema 2x a day!)...so to add the person of Jesus to their understanding of this one God is almost unthinkable. The very categories they reserved only for God, were the very categories used to makes sense of Jesus.

    We'll get to the 'superiority' thing a bit later, since it comes up over and over.

  3. OK...a few more thoughts on these first few verses and then we'll move on tomorrow:
    (1) The main contrast is clearly between how God has spoken in the past (through the prophets, many times, in various ways) and how God has now spoken to 'us' in these last days (by His Son).
    (2) Then, there are a number of claims made about Christ: God has 'set' him to be heir of all things, he is the one through whom God created all things, he is the radiance (the one who shines out to us) God's glory, the exact imprint (the word is character which means something that has been cast by a mold), bears all things by his powerful word, has made purification for our sins, and is now seated (a position of authority having accomplished a major task). There are astonishing claims made of Jesus in the first century.
    (3) Finally, the writer draws a conclusion - that Jesus is Better/Superior.
    This points to an observation I have - there are all kinds of good Christians who often talk as if they could go back to the way God used to speak - through prophets, in dreams and visions, and other means. But the writer is encouraging a group of Christians who are finding the Christian faith to be difficult at time - he encourages them by saying God has given His final word...that word is Jesus and therefore we are in a much better place/time (see the 7 claims about Jesus above). We live in remarkable times. Jesus has spoken. Jesus still speaks. We are privileged and fortunate. I wonder if the problem we sometimes have is that we don't want to listen to what God has said/what Jesus is saying. Perhaps it cramps our style. Nevertheless...it is a superior word and we are in a blessed time to have it.

  4. That last comment was a mouthful Matt. Are you saying God no longer works through prophets or dreams? "Prophet" is a strong word, but I think it is reasonable terminology, even if one only wears the mantle for a short time. What else do you call one prompted by the Holy Spirit? And how else does the H.S. prompt us?

    I'm sure I am overthinking as usual...

  5. Good point Dave. I think you're right...the Bible does remind us of the gift of prophecy - there are still some who have that gift and so speak in a prophetic role. More to the point is that God's way of speaking is now through/by Jesus. Even to or through persons with a prophetic/preaching gift, it is Jesus who speaks God's Word, and in fact is God's Word (see John 1). And the Spirit is the enabler of all this. Standing behind all of God's speech is the person and work of Jesus. God has declared His message to all of creation by what took place in Jesus, and that declaration is God's ultimate purpose and plan.

    One application of all this is that the promptings of God to us now must somehow align with the person and mission of Jesus and reflect His love and grace seen most fully in the cross and resurrection. That's why I think Jesus could say that the whole law and prophets is fulfilled in loving God and loving others as Jesus loved.

    This is one of the things I love about Paul - he chooses to perceive everything through the lens of Jesus and his decisions and values are therefore all impacted and shaped by God's Word in Jesus. Guess that's another mouthful...hopefully I didn't muddy the waters more, Dave.

  6. Is there someone " famous " or well known that I might of heard of who has spoken prophetically ?
    Is there an example of modern day prophecy that we might examine to see if it falls in line with "the Word "?

    I saw a "prophet " at Bethel a couple years back . Seemed more like a fortune teller .I didn't see any fruit , BTW.

  7. Good q's Doc. You probably have heard prophets lots of times. Though biblical prophecy does sometimes include prediction, it is at its heart proclamation/preaching. It is someone being called/burdened with a word of the Lord to someone(s) and then speaking it. But fotune telling is definitely not part of it.

  8. Prophet more accurately is translated "mouthpiece of GOD." We also know that, "with mouths and tongues of other men, I will speak to them, and yet they still will not hear ME." Many a man/woman has been used prohpetically without even knowing it. And, if you ever experience being used by GOD to speak to someone, the hair will stand up on the back of your neck and you may have your breath taken away. It's a pretty awesome experience.

  9. Yes...agreed...even if 'they still will not hear...'

    God's mercy is all we can cling to when we are stiff-necked and a pain in the neck:) That's why we'll hear warnings over and over throughout Hebrews to pay attention, listen, etc.

    Great thoughts Andy

  10. Andy , usually when I pray in public I am so self aware and nervous and fumbling . There have been a couple times , however , that the words just came out and I don't recall what they were and they just kind of flowed out . Nobody complained ( not even Sue ! ) and they have not thrown me out of BUMC ( at least not yet ) . Those couple of times were indeed goose bump experiences .I have thought of those times as perhaps times of the Holy Spirit taking over when words fail us as was promised in scripture .Not quite prophecy but goose bump provoking , none the less !

  11. Doc, remember the hootenanny? I played guitar and sang, "I will rise." As I begun singing, I became lost, so to speak, and don't really remember much after that. It was really bizarre. Afterwards, several people came to me and expressed their gratitude for the song, 1 of which was brought to tears. All GOD. It was pretty cool.