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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

WHAT IS MAN

Hebrews 2:6-9 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the Son of man, that thou visitest Him? Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

The verse preceding the lesson text reads, For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. Although God used angels as His messengers to bring His word into the world during prior dispensations, their role was substantially eliminated in bringing God's new doctrine into the world to come; that is the present age - the Christian Dispensation. The writer of the Hebrew letter tells us that the times whereof we speak arethe current days - the latter days - the time on earth after the kingdom of Christ, His church, was established. During these days the world was not made subject to the Old Covenant delivered from God by His angels. From the Day of Pentecost, when the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ was preached, until the present day, and until the end of time, a new law of God exists. It was delivered from God, not by His angels, but through His Son, Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit-inspired disciples. Using Old Testament prophesies, the lesson text assures us of this fact.

But one in a certain place testified to this fact. The "one"is David, and the "certain place" was His inspired writing of Psalm 8. These are the verywords:What is man, that thou art mindful of him, we find in the 4th verse of this Psalm. Job also asked similar questions: What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him, and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him (Job 7:17)? What is man, that he should be clean, and He which is born of a woman, that He should be righteous (Job 15:14)? The question is this: Why does God place such a high value on human beings - men and women of the world? Immediately after God created the world, everything in it, above it, and on it, why did He give it to mankind the rule over His creation (See Gen. 1, specifically verses 29-31)? Why, when the human life span on earth is but a vapor - a mere dot on the timeline of eternity. Why, when mankind is so sinful and so unworthy of the blessings of God's creation? Innumerable questions could go on and on, which asks, why, ...why, ...why? The only possible answer is that men and women are special in the eyes of God. We need only look back to the sixth day of creation. On that day, God created man in His own image, ...(both) male and female created He them. And they were given dominion over all of God's other creation (See Gen. 1:26-28).

The remainder of verse 6, is also quoted from Psalm 8, and reads ...and the Son of man, that thou visitest Him? Although the term "son of man" is used in the Old Testament to represent God's human creation, it is used almost exclusively in the New Testament in reference to Jesus, in His human form, during His sojourn here on earth. Some disagree, but I consider this reference is to the human nature of our Savior. Although He was Deity, yet He existed on earth in human form just as you and I. In His human body, Jesus, just as all other human beings, was made a little lower than the angels. Unlike the immortal angels, Jesus was mortal, inhabiting a physical body that must eventually die. Yet, all human creation was given additional glory and honor by being made rulers over all of God's other creation.

But thanks be to God for the sacrificial gift of His Son Jesus. He was sent to earth in human form in order that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. Having done so, He was resurrected from the grave and ascended back into heaven, and there crowned with glory and honor, given the sceptre of righteousness (Heb. 1:8), and there rules the kingdom of God as Lord and Savior of the world. Of this glorified nature of Christ, the apostle Paul wrote, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11). Eternal salvation through Christ, fulfilled God's promise to Abraham, that in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Gen. 12:3).