Jesus is Better
(from 2/11/18 sermon - Spencer Teal)
Play a short game designed for you get to know new people in your group and for them to get to know you. If there are no new people in your group, see if anyone wants to share a testimony.
Hebrews 1:5-14 - “ For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"? Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." Of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire." But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions." And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end." And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? ”
Q - Sermon takeaways from those who were in attendance?
Spencer reminded us on Sunday that the book of Hebrews was written to a small Italian church just outside of Rome, a church filled with the fear of death who instead of looking to Jesus for strength and help was looking to other things. In the first two chapters we see that one of the things they have done has been to elevate the position of the angels to a place of prominence, even above that of Jesus.
Discussion - In the passage above we see that angels are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” Angels are good, but they serve as servants to do the Lord’s work.
It’s easy to look at those in this church and think how foolish it is that they would choose to worship angels instead of Christ, but do you remember what the people did when Moses went up Mt. Sinai to get the 10 commandments? They made a calf and began to worship it. Q - We may not be worshipping angels or golden calves, but what types of things do we often elevate as our central focus above Christ, either as a church or as individuals ? Discuss the fickleness of our hearts that can so easily wonder.
If you have ever been to Rome or Israel you will find that the religious people there are fascinated by relics, objects of significance to their religion. Even in the Catholic church Mary, angels, saints, and relics can be the sole focus of their worship. Q - Has anyone in your group ever been to these places or places similar to them where other things are elevated above Christ? If so, it would be good to share .
Read Hebrews 2:14-18 - “ Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. ”
We saw in our earlier passage that Angels are sent a servants from the Lord, but Jesus is superior to angels. In this passage we see that Jesus isn’t sent to help angels. Rather, He is sent to help “the offspring of Abraham.” That’s us. Q - Look at the last part of this passage and answer, how exactly did the Lord help us (pay attention to “propitiation” and temptations) ? Discuss why these two helps coming from Jesus Himself should be a source of comfort and strength to us .
Read Hebrews 2:11-12a - “ For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, ‘I will tell of your name to my brothers… ”
Q - Why is it of such great significance that because of the cross Jesus is now able to call us “brothers?” What are the characteristics of a brother that are different from that of Him being our Father or Lord? Discuss the implications of this word “brother.”
V. FURTHER APPLICATION
Once again, you are encouraged to actually speak the name of Jesus as you talk with others throughout your week. We have somewhat watered down His name by using it inappropriately and/or by not using it at all. Let’s speak the name of Jesus with boldness, reminding others and ourselves that He indeed is better! And as you pray, remember, Jesus is both Lord and brother. There’s nothing you are going through that He can’t identify with. Be real in your prayers.
VII. BE ON-MISSION
Who do you know that is far from Him or is turning to other things other than Him? Remember what Spencer said two Sundays ago, there’s a younger generation who has tried the church and religious thing and has said, “No thank you” and has moved on. Do you know anyone like this that you could/should go to in order to point them back to the majesty of Jesus, the One who is better than anything else that they might be pursuing?