Suffering and Keeping Love in Sight: Follow Jesus or Do What’s Comfy?

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Thank you for visiting Love InSight. It is the mission of this ministry to be a blessing and inspiration to everyone who visits this site and uses our resources. In the coming weeks, many things will be added that can be used for encouragement, evangelization, and formation. I hope you will come back to visit soon as well as considering to share our resources with others. Hebrews 1:1-4 is one of my all-time favorite Bible passages, so I thought I’d take some time to comment on takeaways from this passage. I’m hoping you will take the time to read, like, and possibly even share this and many things fro Love InSight. Hebrews 1:1-4 says:

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs” (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition).

For the author of Hebrews (scholars debate whether it was Paul or someone who was close to Paul), the prophets of the Old Testament only spoke on God’s behalf “in many and various ways” or as the New American Bible translates it: “in partial and varied ways.”  But now, according to the author, God has spoken definitively through his Son through whom he created the world. The word for “world” found here could mean the entire universe (the Greek word for “world” comes into English as cosmos). So, in the first two verses, we see a contrast between the piecemeal revelation of the Old Testament prophets and the complete revelation of the New Testament given by a single representative who is not a mere prophet but the Son of God and creator of the universe.

The author then goes on to say some of the most powerful words about Jesus found in the entire Bible.  He is “the glory of God” and he “reflects the very stamp of his nature.” Jesus, as the begotten Son of God and like all begotten sons, carries on the same nature as the Father. In other words, as the begotten son of God, Jesus has God’s nature; he too, then, is God. Jesus upholds the universe. All things continue in their existence because Jesus is upholding them. Since he upholds us constantly, His presence and touch are close to us at all times, whether we like it or not or we are aware of it or not. This passage points out that Jesus is not only the Creator and the one who sustains the world, but he is also the Redeemer since “he made for the purification of sins” and now has “sat at the right hand of the majesty on high” where he pleads to the Father on our behalf. This is a profound mystery of the Word made Flesh: He not only created us, and has sustained us, but he comes to be one of us so he can know us personally and ultimately to save us. (There just aren’t other religions that are like this!)

The last verse in this passage shows the prominent place that Jesus takes in heaven. In a way, it is another iteration of his divinity. Though he descended to the level of humans, he is higher than the angels. All of this draws my mind to the prologue found in chapter one of John’s Gospel. The Word who was God in all of his glory has come down to visit us. To show us the way of love for him and each other. Moreover – to go well with the point of this ministry – this is the God that we keep in sight: A God that loves us and saves us in a way that shows the extent of his love for us (he gave up his human body to the point of great suffering for the purification of our sins). Now, he has taken his rightful place in glory above the angels.

In the end, Jesus – who is always close to us and upholding us – is the glorious God who humbled himself to make purification for sins on our behalf. He gave up his body to immense pain and suffering so that we might know the extent of God’s love for us. If only we would be good followers of him! If only we were willing to endure more graciously the things life throws our way. If only we were willing to respond by not choosing what is selfish or self-centered, but in our suffering choosing to be a blessing and benefit to others as Jesus was. Come with me in challenging ourselves to choose others even when life gets hard. Together Christianity can show the crazy world around us what were really made of: redemption in the midst of suffering. Together, even in the midst of our pain and distress, we can learn to keep love in sight.