conﬁrmed by those who heard it.
God conﬁrmed their testimony bysigns, wonders and miracles of everykind—especially by the gifts of theHoly Spirit that he distributed ac-cording to his will.
The angels were not given domi-nion over the new world of which weare speaking.
Instead someone de-clared in Scripture:
What is man,that you should be mindful of him,what is the son of man that you should care for him?
For a while you placed him a little lower than the angels, but you crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over all things.
When it is said that God gave himdominion over all things, nothing isexcluded. As it is, we do not yet seehis dominion over all things.
ButJesus who suffered death and
for a little while was placed lower than the angel
s has been
crowned withhonor and glory.
For the mercifulplan of God demanded that he expe-rience death on behalf of everyone.
God, from whom all come andby whom all things exist, wanted tobring many children to glory, and hethought it ﬁtting to make perfectthrough suffering the initiator of theirsalvation.
So he who gives andthose who receive holiness are one.
1 The addressees of this letter wereformed by a religion in which the role of thehigh priest, consecrated by God, was essential.The author wants to show that now Jesus isthe only high priest on whom people can de-pend. The starting point of his argument is theunique dignity of Jesus, not a prophet or a su-pernatural personage like so many others, butrather, the Son of God. Every word of thisverse asserts that Jesus is unique, God born ofGod (Jn 1:1-14).This comparing Jesus with the angels maysurprise us (as in Eph 1 and Col 1). For be-lievers of Jesus’ time, it was enough to con-template nature to presume, beyond the har-mony and splendor of creation, the activepresence of cosmic powers, beings that theycalled angels—the distributors of divine riches.In the same degree that the Old Testament hadbattled against the gods of nature, God re-mained extremely distant and far above. If peo-ple refrained from pronouncing his name, itwas an additional reason for seeing the actionof heavenly spirits in the constant proofs of di-vine providence in our favor.When evoking Israel’s past, many thingswere attributed to angels. If we have any ideaabout God’s mystery, we are also bewildered atthe thought of being able to enter into com-munion with God. Today many people seeksome contact with spiritual powers, althoughat a much lower level. The word
l may ap-pear old-fashioned but the fact remains thatmany people believe in cosmic powers. There-fore, it was necessary to reafﬁrm that Jesus,who is not an angel but one of us, surpassesthem all.
Lord, in the beginning
(v. 10). Let us payattention to the method of discussion: from thebeginning of the Church, the apostles attrib-uted to Christ all the texts where the Bible says“Lord.” In fact, the word “Lord” which theyread in the Greek text translated “Yahweh” inthe Hebrew text. They consciously attributedto Christ a great number of words addressed toYahweh-God. This sufﬁces to destroy what wehear sometimes, namely that it was only withtime that Jesus was recognized as Son of Godand fully God; and that in the early Church theapostles saw him only as a Messiah.•
1 The author has just reafﬁrmed the di-vinity of Christ, but immediately takes othertexts from the Old Testament which speak of“man” (
son of man
is the Hebrew term) andthis time applies them to Christ. This showsthat in God’s design, Man and Christ are one.All that he has been, the glory that is his, of allthis we are invited to share.
The new world
Actually the text says:
the world to come.
This does not mean futuretimes, or the end of the world, but the new anddeﬁnitive times that began with the resurrec-tion of Christ.The new world is where the risen Christ is.It is the homeland we are hoping for. This newworld has already come to us: a believer wholives in the Spirit constantly has experienceswhich are not of the earth even if in the be-ginning he is not aware of it.All the history of Jesus is then both his andours.
He thought it ﬁtting to make perfectthrough suffering the initiator of their salva-tion
(v. 10). There is no other way to human
Mk16:17;1Cor12:11;2Cor12:12Col 2:15Ps 8:5-71Cor15:25;Eph 1:20Phil 2:6Rom11:36;1Cor 8:6;Jn 17:19