1.How does the concept of Jesus as an heir help you understand more about Hint and draw closer to Him? How do we bring this imagery from the first century into the twenty-first?
Today’s concept of an heir is more limited than it was in the first century. In ancient societies fathers and sons often worked side by side to develop the family business. Even though the ownership technically belonged to the father, a son knew that Isis efforts would be rewarded eventually by what he would inherit. Today those who receive an inheritance often have not been part of developing the resources that are being passed on. Consequently they may not feel the same obligation for preserving the family’s assets. The Bible establishes that we are “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). He invites us to help build His kingdom, and He empowers us to do so. We will inherit this kingdom (Matthew 25:34). We should stress both points when we try to explain the heir-imagery today.
2.Which parts of God’s revelation of himself through Jesus Christ help you gain a better understanding of who He is?
The appearance of Jesus Christ corrected many of the misconceptions that had formed about God. He was neither distant nor uncaring. He was so devoted to His creation that He was willing to have His Son die to redeem it. Further-more, those who saw Him in person began to understand how real holiness was to be enacted. A distinguishing mark between a great and a mediocre piece of art is often whether the artist was able to capture the real essence of what is depicted. In Jesus we have the greatest picture of God we could possibly have! Sadly any who re-fused to let go of their misconceptions came to view Jesus as a mediocre piece of art, or worse.
3. Why do you think that there is such a modern interest in angels? How can we use this infatuation to point people to Jesus instead? Modern portrayals often treat angels as if they were superheros—intervening at not the right moment to avert a tragic mistake. Some people fantasize about having someone or something that can keep them front hurting themselves.
They long for a supernatural being to avenge a wrong on their behalf. This mentality seems to be an upgraded fantasy of “Superman,” who intervened to help the oppressed.
Jesus offers a far greater hope because those who follow Him are saved for eternity, not from just momentary blunders. His is the perfect and eternal protection plan! When angels speak in the Bible, they point to God and not to them-selves (Revelation 19:10).
4.One who holds a sceptre for scepter) is a king on a throne. Yet we who live in democratic societies may balk at the idea of having a king. If you live in a democratic society, what challenge does this pose for you?
Those of us who live in Western democracies have grown used to “having a say” through the ballot box. Yet any earthly ruler whether a king or an elected representative–can disappoint us. Their power and ability to make right decisions often is limited by political concerns and incomplete ethical structures.
Jesus has no limit in either of these areas. He has the ability and intention to keep every “campaign promise.” When He does He will bring us into a perfect eternity. Democracy is limited by the character strengths of the participants. Jesus ‘kingdom rests on His divine authority and flaw-less virtues.
5.Today’s text directs the readers to Jesus as the true object for worship. How well is your church doing at pointing people toward Jesus? How will you help it do better?
Church growth is important, but church health is vital! Unfortunately, church growth is often depicted in terms of numbers alone. In an attempt to make those numbers grow, churches may shrink their focus on Jesus in favor of a well-planned, but spiritually unhealthy, sales pitch. Recently, a minister of a large church took a lengthy vacation and visited as any other churches in the process. He was startled to realize how rare it was even to hear the name Jesus mentioned during their worship services! We reaffirm the central message of Jesus if we don’t even mention His name?