Journal – October 10, 2021

Published October 9, 2021

Hebrews 2:16-17

16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 

HEBREWS 2:16-17

Vs. 16 For indeedHe does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. TheLord Jesus Christ does not give aid to angels or take upon Himself the nature of angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham or take upon Himself the flesh and blood of the sons of Abraham. No where do the Scriptures record anything about the Lord Christ taking upon Himself the nature of angels, but here and elsewhere He does take upon Himself the nature of the seed of Abraham. It is good to remember that this is the Son of God, both God and Man—Godman. In these words, there is believed His pre-existence in another nature than that which He is here said to assume. He was before, He subsisted before, or He could not have taken on Him what He had not. The nature He took to Himself was of the seed of Abraham according to the promise. Therefore, continuing what He was, He became what He was not, for He took this to be His own nature. He took it so entirely as to become truly the seed of Abraham, to whom and concerning whom the promise was given (Galatians 3:16) and was Himself made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Romans 1:3), and as according to the flesh came of the fathers (Romans 9:5), so also according to the Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). And this could be accomplished no other way than by taking that nature into personal subsistence with Himself. The nature He assumed could not otherwise become Him. If He had by any way or means taken the person of a man to be united to Him in the strictest union that two persons are capable of—a Divine and a human—the nature had still been the nature of that other person and not His own. But He took it to be His own nature, and He is therefore a true and perfect man, for no more is required to make a perfect man but the entire nature of man subsisting, and this is in Christ as a man, the human nature having a subsistence communicated to it by the Son of God. Therefore, this is done without a multiplication of persons in Him, for the human nature can have no personality of its own, because it was taken to be the nature of another Person who was pre-existent to it, and by assuming of it prevented its proper personality. Neither was there any confusion of natures following or the essential properties of them; for He took the seed of Abraham to be His human nature, which if mixed with the Divine it could. not be.

The redemption of mankind by the taking of our nature was a work of sovereign grace. He took the seed of Abraham and for what cause or reason? Can any be assigned but the sovereign grace, love, and pleasure of God? The Scriptures do not provide any other reason. This will be more reasonable if we consider for a sinning nature to be saved it is absolutely necessary for that nature to be assumed. Those who dream of saving sinners any other way than by satisfaction made in the nature that had sinned, have not considered the nature of sin and the justice of God. Also, we were carrying away all human nature into endless destruction when Christ’s assumption of it is expressed by His putting forth His hand and taking hold of it to stop it in its natural course of apostacy and ruin. Regarding angels only some individually fell from God, but our whole nature in everyone to whom it was communicated from and by Adam was running headlong into destruction. As to angels, He spared them not, and He spared not His own Son for us.

Vs. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

God the Father had designed Him to fill the office of High Priest, therefore, it was absolutely necessary for Him to be made like His brethren in all things. He was made like his brethren in the essence of human nature—a rational, spiritual soul, and a mortal body quickened by this union. But that He should take this nature upon Him by natural generation, after the manner of His brethren, was not possible; this would have rendered Him incapable of being a priest as His Father   appointed. For He must be holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. It was necessary that in His human nature He should take upon Him all the properties and affections of it, that He might be made like unto His brethren. His soul was the subject of these affections such as love, joy, fear, sorrow, shame and the like that belong in a rational human soul. His body was subject to hunger, thirst, pain, cold, and death itself. But now we know these things occur in whimsical actions for the most part, and all the individuals of them have their proper infirmities in their own persons, part from inordinate inclinations from their various tempers, etc., partly in weaknesses and sicknesses proceeding either from their original constitutions or other following unrestrained actions. It was in no way necessary that in any of these He should be made like His brethren.

He was also made like His brethren in temptations, for the reason given in the last verse of this chapter. Our temptations arise from within us, from our unbelief and lusts; and in the case of those that are from outside us, there is somewhat within us to take part with them, which makes us fail in our duty of resisting and sometimes leads to further miscarriages. But these things He was absolutely free from, for He had no inward disposition or inclination to do the least evil. When the prince of this world came to Him, he had no part in Him, nothing to close with his suggestion or to entertain his terrors. He was also made like His brethren in sufferings—they were of the same kind as those which the brethren underwent, yet they had a far different effect on Him from what they would have had on them. He was perfectly innocent and righteous, and in no way deserving sufferings in His own Person.

He was made man that He might be a High Priest. He suffered being tempted that He might be merciful and faithful To His being High Priest, it was necessary that He should partake of the nature of them for whom He was to administer in the things of God: that in this nature He should be perfectly holy and exactly discharge His duty according to the mind and will of God. This was all that was required of Him as High Priest. But this was not all that the state and condition of His brethren required. Their condition was such through the infirmities of their nature, with their manifold temptations and sufferings that He as the High Priest was furnished with qualifications for His office, this by His own sufferings and temptations. He was a merciful and faithful High Priest.

  • Merciful. Mercy in Christ is a compassion, a condolence and hath a moving of pity and sorrow joined with it. And that was in the human nature of Christ a grace of the Spirit in all perfection.
  • Faithful.   His faithfulness as a High Priest consists in His exact constant, careful consideration of all the concerns of the brethren under their temptations and sufferings. This He is excited to by His own experience of what it is to serve God in such a condition.
  • The promised Messiah was to be the High Priest of the people of God. He was made a High Priest by the oath of Jehovah (Chapter 7:20, 21). He alone had somewhat to offer unto God; other priests offered the beasts that were brought unto them by the people, but the Lord Jesus Christ had a body and soul of His own prepared for Him to offer. He alone was set over the whole spiritual house of God—the family of God in heaven and earth. He alone abides forever, and He alone did and can do the true and proper work of a priest, namely, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
  • The assumption of our nature, and His conformity to us therein, were principally necessary to the Lord Jesus Christ on the account of His being High Priest to us. Without the assumption of our nature, He had nothing to offer; and of necessity said the Apostle, He must have something to offer to God.
  • Such was the unspeakable love of Christ to His brethren that He would refuse nothing, no condition that was needful to fit Him for the discharge of the work which He had undertaken. Their High Priest He must be this He could not be unless He was made like them in all things.

The things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. The things pertaining to God are either the things to be done for God with men, or the things toward God which on the part of the people were to be performed; and the latter is intended as we see from the next clause of the verse: to make propitiation for the sins of the people. In the word ‘propitiation’ there is understood:

  1. An offense, crime, guilt, or debt to be taken away.
  2. A person offended to be pacified, atoned, reconciled.
  3. A person offending to be pardoned, accepted.
  4. A sacrifice or other means of making atonement.

The Jews knew the great work of the high priest was to make atonement, and the Apostle now instructs them in the substance of what before they had attended to in types and shadows.

Catechism Question 81

Q: Which is the ninth commandment?
A: The ninth commandment is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”

Exodus 20:16

“Prove it” Catechism Question 116

Q: What has Christ given us to teach us how to pray?
A: The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.