The Difference of Jesus: “Christ is Our Prophet”

Passage: Hebrews 1:1–2; 2:1–3; 4:12–13
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

Sermon Summary

The book of Hebrews presents Christ as our prophet. Prophets spoke forth God’s word to his people, and as prophet, Jesus both speaks God’s word to us and is God’s word to us—everything God wants to disclose about himself, in a person!

Christ is God’s final word to us. Though “long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets…in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (1:1-2). Christ, then, is God’s decisive and complete revelation to us of his own character and purposes, and the culmination of the entire biblical story. We can recognize, therefore, that our search for God, and how to get connected to him, is over, and we should be careful not to “drift away” from him (2:1).

Christ is also God’s personal word to us. He is God’s word, not only for “our fathers,” but for us today, and his message is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (1:1; 4:12-13). Because God’s word is intended to have a personal effect on us, we need to approach it with a posture of openness and obedience, concretely responding to what it says. This, indeed, is the test of whether we’re truly “listening” to him.

Finally, Christ is God’s proximate word to us. When God chose to communicate his final and personal revelation not just through one more messenger, but through his own Son, the second person of the Trinity, he was choosing to move as close to us as he possibly could. He entered into our pain and sin in order to heal it, even “contracting” it himself. When we recognize this, we will see the immense love that God has for us, and we will ourselves become people who move in close to others in their sin and suffering.

Sermon Outline

  • Christ is God’s Final Word (1:1-2; 2:1-3)
  • Christ is God’s Personal Word (1:1; 4:12-13)
  • Christ is God’s Proximate Word (1:2)

Group Discussion & Personal Reflection Guide

Re-read the passage (Hebrews 1:1–2; 2:1–3; 4:12–13)

Christ is God’s Final Word (1:1-2; 2:1-3)

Q) Re-read Hebrews 1:1-2. What do these verses tell us about God’s character? What do they tell us about Jesus’ role? How should these verses impact the way you read the Old Testament?

Q) Re-read Hebrews 2:1-4. What attitude, or posture is the author of Hebrews calling for, in response to God’s communication to us? Do you have that attitude? Why or why not?

Q) Hebrews 2:1 warns us against “drifting away” from what we have heard from God. What has it looked like in the past for you to “drift away” from God’s word? What are some warning signs that you’re “drifting away” from God?

Q) What are some concrete ways that we as a church community can help prevent each other from “drifting away” from God?

Christ is God’s Personal Word (1:1; 4:12-13)

Q) Re-read Hebrews 4:12-13. Meditate slowly as a group on the imagery these verses use to describe God’s word (to “meditate” on Scripture together is to think through it, be moved by it, and draw out its implications). What truths are these images meant to communicate?

Q) Pastor Bobby said that God’s word is meant to have a personal effect on us, which we express through our obedience. Is there a particular area of your life right now where you have been listening to God’s word, but not responding in concrete obedience? Take time to confess this, and then discuss with your group what obedience would look like in this area.

Christ is God’s Proximate Word (1:2)

Q) Re-read Hebrews 1:1-2. Pastor Bobby said that in choosing to speak to us by his own Son, God was moving as close to us personally as he possible could. What does this truth tell us about the nature and character of God? What difference does this make in how we relate to God?

Q) Pastor Bobby said that because our God chose to come close to sinful and hurting people, he forms us into people who do the same. Where in your life can you draw near to someone in their pain or their sin? Where can we do this corporately, as a church

Q)What would be some characteristics of a whole church who was defined by its proximity to pain and suffering? How would this impact its worship? Its priorities? Its budget? Its leadership? What do you imagine the effect would be on its witness?

Q) CASE STUDY: You’re talking to a family member who describes themselves as being on a “long spiritual journey.” “For me,” they said, “It’s more about the search they anything else. I want to explore what all religions have to say, and want to be humble enough to admit that I’ll never know the truth fully—I can tell that even the process of searching, whether it’s talking to you, or some of my Jewish or Hindu friends, is making me a better person.” Based on this week’s passage(s) and sermon, how might you have a conversation with them?

Additional Application Questions

Q) How else would you like to engage with God this week?

Q) How can you tangibly care for those in your community this week, both inside and outside of the church?

Prayer

Spend time praying for yourselves, our church community, the North Shore community, and our nation and world—particularly those most vulnerable.

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