Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
Continuing the train of thought related to the superiority of Jesus above angels (″therefore″, Hebrews 2:1), the writer argues that what we receive from Jesus is ″so great a salvation″ that it must not be ignored or belittled (v. 3). The Jews believed that the law of Moses was brought by angels (Hebrews 2:2; Acts 7:38, 53; Galatians 3:19). If obedience to this law was of prime importance, and the breaking of it justly punished, how much more important it is to obey the message brought by the Son of God, who is worshipped by angels. This message of salvation was ″first announced by the Lord″ (see Mark 1:15). It was He who announced the coming of His kingdom of grace and our need for faith and repentance. Jesus' declarations and teachings were ″confirmed to us by those who heard him″ (Hebrews 2:3), who were His witnesses (see Acts 1:8; 1 John 1:1). God also authenticated the message of Jesus (John 2:11; 5:36-37) and the apostles' testimony with ″signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit″ (Hebrews 2:4; Acts 2:43; Romans 15:19).
The message of salvation announced and demonstrated by Jesus, culminating in the cross and the empty tomb, is of utmost importance because of who Jesus is. We must therefore ″pay the most careful attention″ to what we have heard (Hebrews 2:1). For the readers of Hebrews, what they had heard would have been either apostolic preaching or testimonies of the apostles (which would eventually become the New Testament). Notice how closely they were to give attention to these things; the words ″most careful″ (v. 1) underline the quality of thought and response that was necessary. The apostle Peter echoes this point in 2 Peter 1:19 when he urges his readers to pay attention to the testimony concerning Christ in Scripture. By doing so, we will experience God's light shining in us through His Word, till Christ returns to shine perfectly in our hearts as a morning star brings a new day. We will thus be blessed.
There is danger in not giving Christ and His message sufficient attention. A person who fails to continue to listen to Christ (see Matthew 17:5) will ″drift away″ (parerrein, meaning ″slip away from″, Hebrews 2:1). The second-generation Jewish believers were in danger of rejecting Christ. Like them, we also risk losing our way when we neglect Christ. We must pay heed to this first of five warnings found in the book (see Hebrews 3:12-19; 6:4-8; 10:26-31; 12:25-29).
Consider what Jesus taught and said about himself in the Gospels. Why is this so important to the Christian life? Make a list of reasons why your salvation in Christ is great.
Reflect on how people drift away from Christ. Recall situations in your past experience where you may have drifted away. How did you find out, and what did you do to return to the Lord? How can you prevent yourself from drifting away from Christ?