In this chapter the apostle,
I. Makes some application of the doctrine laid down in the chapter
foregoing concerning the excellency of the person of Christ, both by
way of exhortation and argument,
II. Enlarges further upon the pre-eminence of Christ above the angels,
III. Proceeds to remove the scandal of the cross,
IV. Asserts the incarnation of Christ, taking upon him not the nature
of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and assigns the reason of his so
|The Danger of Neglect.
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1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the
things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every
transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which
at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed
unto us by them that heard him;
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders,
and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according
to his own will?
The apostle proceeds in the plain profitable method of doctrine,
reason, and use, through this epistle. Here we have the application of
the truths before asserted and proved; this is brought in by the
illative particle therefore, with which this chapter begins, and
which shows its connection with the former, where the apostle having
proved Christ to be superior to the angels by whose ministry the law
was given, and therefore that the gospel dispensation must be more
excellent than the legal, he now comes to apply this doctrine both by
way of exhortation and argument.
I. By way of exhortation: Therefore we ought to give the more
diligent heed to the things which we have heard,
This is the first way by which we are to show our esteem of Christ and
of the gospel. It is the great concern of every one under the gospel to
give the most earnest heed to all gospel discoveries and directions, to
prize them highly in his judgment as matters of the greatest
importance, to hearken to them diligently in all the opportunities he
has for that purpose, to read them frequently, to meditate on them
closely, and to mix faith with them. We must embrace them in our hearts
and affections, retain them in our memories, and finally regulate our
words and actions according to them.
II. By way of argument, he adds strong motives to enforce the
1. From the great loss we shall sustain if we do not take this earnest
heed to the things which we have heard: We shall let them slip.
They will leak, and run out of our heads, lips, and lives, and we shall
be great losers by our neglect. Learn,
(1.) When we have received gospel truths into our minds, we are in
danger of letting them slip. Our minds and memories are like a leaky
vessel, they do not without much care retain what is poured into them;
this proceeds from the corruption of our natures, the enmity and
subtlety of Satan (he steals away the word), from the entanglements and
snares of the world, the thorns that choke the good seed.
(2.) Those meet with an inconceivable loss who let gospel truths, which
they had received, slip out of their minds; they have lost a treasure
far better than thousands of gold and silver; the seed is lost, their
time and pains in hearing lost, and their hopes of a good harvest lost;
all is lost, if the gospel be lost.
(3.) This consideration should be a strong motive both to our attention
to the gospel and our retention of it; and indeed, if we do not well
attend, we shall not long retain the word of God; inattentive hearers
will soon be forgetful hearers.
2. Another argument is taken from the dreadful punishment we shall
incur if we do not do this duty, a more dreadful punishment than those
fell under who neglected and disobeyed the law,
(1.) How the law is described: it was the word spoken by angels, and
declared to be stedfast. It was the word spoken by angels, because
given by the ministration of angels, they sounding the trumpet, and
perhaps forming the words according to God's direction; and God, as
judge, will make use of the angels to sound the trumpet a second time,
and gather all to his tribunal, to receive their sentence, as they have
conformed or not conformed to the law. And this law is declared to
be stedfast; it is like the promise, yea and amen; it is
truth and faithfulness, and it will abide and have its force whether
men obey it or no; for every transgression and disobedience will
receive a just recompence of reward. If men trifle with the law of
God, the law will not trifle with them; it has taken hold of the
sinners of former ages, and will take hold of sinners in all ages. God,
as a righteous governor and judge, when he had given forth the law,
would not let the contempt and breach of it go unpunished; but he has
from time to time reckoned with the transgressors of it, and
recompensed them according to the nature and aggravation of their
disobedience. Observe, The severest punishment God ever inflicted upon
sinners is no more than what sin deserves: it is a just recompence
of reward; punishments are as just, and as much due to sin as
rewards are to obedience, yea, more due than rewards are to imperfect
(2.) How the gospel is described. It is salvation, a great salvation;
so great salvation that no other salvation can compare with it; so
great that none can fully express, no, nor yet conceive, how great it
is. It is a great salvation that the gospel discovers, for it discovers
a great Saviour, one who has manifested God to be reconciled to our
nature, and reconcilable to our persons; it shows how we may be saved
from so great sin and so great misery, and be restored to so great
holiness and so great happiness. The gospel discovers to us a great
sanctifier, to qualify us for salvation and to bring us to the Saviour.
The gospel unfolds a great and excellent dispensation of grace, a new
covenant; the great charter-deed and instrument is settled and secured
to all those who come into the bond of the covenant.
(3.) How sinning against the gospel is described: it is declared to be
a neglect of this great salvation; it is a contempt put upon the
saving grace of God in Christ, making light of it, not caring for it,
not thinking it worth their while to acquaint themselves with it, not
regarding either the worth of gospel grace or their own want of it and
undone state without it; not using their endeavours to discern the
truth of it, and assent to it, nor to discern the goodness of it, so as
to approve of it, or apply it to themselves. In these things they
discover a plain neglect of this great salvation. Let us all take heed
that we be not found among those wicked wretched sinners who neglect
the grace of the gospel.
(4.) How the misery of such sinners is described: it is declared to be
How shall we escape? This intimates,
[1.] That the despisers of this salvation are condemned already, under
arrest and in the hands of justice already. So they were by the sin of
Adam; and they have strengthened their bonds by their personal
transgression. He that believeth not is condemned already,
[2.] There is no escaping out of this condemned state, but by accepting
the great salvation discovered in the gospel; as far those who neglect
it, the wrath of God is upon them, and it abides upon them; they cannot
disengage themselves, they cannot emerge, they cannot get from under
[3.] That there is a yet more aggravated curse and condemnation waiting
for all those who despise the grace of God in Christ, and that this
most heavy curse they cannot escape; they cannot conceal their persons
at the great day, nor deny the fact, nor bribe the judge, nor break the
prison. There is no door of mercy left open for them; there will be no
more sacrifice for sin; they are irrecoverably lost. The
unavoidableness of the misery of such is here expressed by way of
question: How shall we escape? It is an appeal to universal
reason, to the consciences of sinners themselves; it is a challenge to
all their power and policy, to all their interest and alliances,
whether they, or any for them, can find out, or can force out, a way of
escape from the vindictive justice and wrath of God. It intimates that
the neglecters of this great salvation will be left not only without
power, but without plea and excuse, at the judgment-day; if they be
asked what they have to say that the sentence should not be executed
upon them, they will be speechless, and self-condemned by their own
consciences, even to a greater degree of misery than those fell under
who neglected the authority of the law, or sinned without the law.
3. Another argument to enforce the exhortation is taken from the
dignity and excellency of the person by whom the gospel began to be
It began at first to be spoken by the Lord, that is, the Lord
Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah, the Lord of Life and glory, Lord of all,
and as such possessed of unerring and infallible wisdom, infinite and
inexhaustible goodness, unquestionable and unchangeable veracity and
faithfulness, absolute sovereignty and authority, and irresistible
power. This great Lord of all was the first who began to speak it
plainly and clearly, without types and shadows as it was before he
came. Now surely it may be expected that all will reverence this Lord,
and take heed to a gospel that began to be spoken by one who spoke so
as never man spoke.
4. Another argument is taken from the character of those who were
witnesses to Christ and the gospel
It was confirmed to us by those that heard him, God also bearing
them witness. Observe,
(1.) The promulgation of the gospel was continued and confirmed by
those who heard Christ, by the evangelists and apostles, who were eye
and ear-witnesses of what Jesus Christ began both to do and to teach,
These witnesses could have no worldly end or interest of their own to
serve hereby. Nothing could induce them to give in their evidence but
the Redeemer's glory, and their own and others' salvation; they exposed
themselves by their testimony to the loss of all that was dear to them
in this life, and many of them sealed it with their blood.
(2.) God himself bore witness to those who were witnesses for
Christ; he testified that they were authorized and sent by him to
preach Christ and salvation by him to the world. And how did he bear
them witness? Not only by giving them great peace in their own minds,
great patience under all their sufferings, and unspeakable courage and
joy (though these were witnesses to themselves), but he bore them
witness by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the
Holy Ghost, according to his will.
[1.] With signs, signs of his gracious presence with them, and
of his power working by them.
[2.] Wonders, works quite beyond the power of nature, and out of
the course of nature, filling the spectators with wonder and
admiration, stirring them up to attend to the doctrine preached, and to
enquire into it.
[3.] Divers miracles, or mighty works, in which an almighty
agency appeared beyond all reasonable controversy.
[4.] Gifts of the Holy Ghost, qualifying, enabling, and exciting
them to do the work to which they were called--divisions or
distributions of the Holy Ghost, diversities of gifts,
1 Corinthians 12:4,
&c. And all this according to God's own will. It was the will of
God that we should have sure footing for our faith, and a strong
foundation for our hope in receiving the gospel. As at the giving forth
of the law there were signs and wonders, by which God testified the
authority and excellency of it, so he witnessed to the gospel by more
and greater miracles, as to a more excellent and abiding
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5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world
to come, whereof we speak.
6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man,
that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou
crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the
works of thy hands:
8 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
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that
he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
The apostle, having made this serious application of the doctrine of
the personal excellency of Christ above the angels, now returns to that
pleasant subject again, and pursues it further
For to the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come,
whereof we speak.
I. Here the apostle lays down a negative proposition, including a
positive one--That the state of the gospel-church, which is here called
the world to come, is not subjected to the angels, but
under the special care and direction of the Redeemer himself. Neither
the state in which the church is at present, nor that more completely
restored state at which it shall arrive when the prince of this world
is cast out and the kingdoms of the earth shall become the kingdom of
Christ, is left to the government of the angels; but Jesus Christ will
take to him his great power, and will reign. He does not make that use
of the ministration of angels to give the gospel as he did to give the
law, which was the state of the old or antiquated world. This new world
is committed to Christ, and put in absolute subjection to him only, in
all spiritual and eternal concerns. Christ has the administration of
the gospel church, which at once bespeaks Christ's honour and the
church's happiness and safety. It is certain that neither the first
creation of the gospel church, nor its after-edification or
administration, nor its final judgment and perfection, is committed to
the angels, but to Christ. God would not put so great a trust in his
holy ones; his angels were too weak for such a charge.
II. We have a scripture--account of that blessed Jesus to whom the
gospel world is put into subjection. It is taken from
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? &c.
There words are to be considered both as applicable to mankind in
general, and as applied here to the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. As applicable to mankind in general, in which sense we have an
affectionate thankful expostulation with the great God concerning his
wonderful condescension and kindness to the sons of men.
(1.) In remembering them, or being mindful of them, when yet they had
no being but in the counsels of divine love. The favours of God to men
all spring up out of his eternal thoughts and purposes of mercy for
them; as all our dutiful regards to God spring forth from our
remembrance of him. God is always mindful of us, let us never be
forgetful of him.
(2.) In visiting them. God's purpose of favours for men is productive
of gracious visits to them; he comes to see us, how it is with us, what
we ail, what we want, what dangers we are exposed to, what difficulties
we have to encounter; and by his visitation our spirit is preserved.
Let us so remember God as daily to approach him in a way of duty.
(3.) In making man the head of all the creatures in this lower world,
the top-stone of this building, the chief of the ways of God on earth,
and only a little lower than the angels in place, and respect to the
boy, while here, and to be made like the angels, and equal to the
angels, at the resurrection of the just,
(4.) In crowning him with glory and honour, the honour of having noble
powers and faculties of soul, excellent organs and parts of body,
whereby he is allied to both worlds, capable of serving the interests
of both worlds, and of enjoying the happiness of both.
(5.) In giving him right to and dominion over the inferior creatures,
which did continue so long as he continued in his allegiance and duty
2. As applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole that is here said
can be applied only to him,
And here you may observe,
(1.) What is the moving cause of all the kindness God shows to men in
giving Christ for them and to them; and that is the grace of God. For
what is man?
(2.) What are the fruits of this free grace of God with respect to the
gift of Christ for us and to us, as related in this
[1.] That God was mindful of Christ for us in the covenant of
[2.] That God visited Christ on our account; and it was concluded
between them that in the fulness of time Christ should come into the
world, as the great archetypal sacrifice.
[3.] That God had made him a little lower than the angels, in his being
made man, that he might suffer and humble himself to death.
[4.] That God crowned the human nature of Christ with glory and honour,
in his being perfectly holy, and having the Spirit without measure, and
by an ineffable union with the divine nature in the second person of
the Trinity, the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him bodily; that by
his sufferings he might make satisfaction, tasting death for every man,
sensibly feeling and undergoing the bitter agonies of that shameful,
painful, and cursed death of the cross, hereby putting all mankind into
a new state of trial.
[5.] That, as a reward of his humiliation in suffering death, he was
crowned with glory and honour, advanced to the highest dignity in
heaven, and having absolute dominion over all things, thus
accomplishing that ancient scripture in Christ, which never was so
accomplished or fulfilled in any mere man that ever was upon earth.
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10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom
are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the
captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified
are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the
midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I
and the children which God hath given me.
Having mentioned the death of Christ, the apostle here proceeds to
prevent and remove the scandal of the cross; and this he does by
showing both how it became God that Christ should suffer and how much
man should be benefited by those sufferings.
I. How it became God that Christ should suffer: For it became him
for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many
sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
1. God is described as the final end and first cause of all things, and
as such it became him to secure his own glory in all that he did, not
only to act so that he might in nothing dishonour himself, but so that
he might from every thing have a revenue of glory.
2. He is declared to have acted up to this glorious character in the
work of redemption, as to the choice both of the end and of the
(1.) In the choice of the end; and that was to bring many sons to glory
in enjoying the glorious privileges of the gospel, and to future glory
in heaven, which will be glory indeed, an exceeding eternal weight of
glory. Here observe,
[1.] We must be the sons of God both by adoption and regeneration,
before we can be brought to the glory of heaven. Heaven is the
inheritance; and only those that are the children are heirs of that
[2.] All true believers are the children of God: to those that
receive Christ he has granted the power and privilege of being the
children of God, even to as many as believe on his name,
[3.] Though the sons of God are but a few in one place and at one time,
yet when they shall be all brought together it will appear that they
are many. Christ is the first-born among many brethren.
[4.] All the sons of God, now many soever they are, or however
dispersed and divided, shall at length be brought together to
(2.) In the choice of the means.
[1.] In finding out such a person as should be the captain of our
salvation; those that are saved must come to that salvation under the
guidance of a captain and leader sufficient for that purpose; and they
must be all enlisted under the banner of this captain; they must endure
hardship as good soldiers of Christ; they must follow their captain,
and those that do so shall be brought safely off, and shall inherit
great glory and honour.
[2.] In making this captain of our salvation perfect through
sufferings. God the Father made the Lord Jesus Christ the captain of
our salvation (that is, he consecrated, he appointed him to that
office, he gave him a commission for it), and he made him a perfect
captain: he had perfection of wisdom, and courage, and strength, by the
Spirit of the Lord, which he had without measure; he was made perfect
through sufferings; that is, he perfected the work of our redemption by
shedding his blood, and was thereby perfectly qualified to be a
Mediator between God and man. He found his way to the crown by the
cross, and so must his people too. The excellent Dr. Owen observes
that the Lord Jesus Christ, being consecrated and perfected through
suffering, has consecrated the way of suffering for all his followers
to pass through unto glory; and hereby their sufferings are made
necessary and unavoidable, they are hereby made honourable, useful, and
II. He shows how much they would be benefited by the cross and
sufferings of Christ; as there was nothing unbecoming God and Christ,
so there was that which would be very beneficial to men, in these
sufferings. Hereby they are brought into a near union with Christ, and
into a very endearing relation.
1. Into a near union
Both he that sanctifieth and those that are sanctified are all of
one. Observe, Christ is he that sanctifieth; he has purchased and
sent the sanctifying Spirit; he is the head of all sanctifying
influences. The Spirit sanctifieth as the Spirit of Christ. True
believers are those who are sanctified, endowed with holy principles
and powers, separated and set apart from mean and vile uses to high and
holy uses and purposes; for so they must be before they can be brought
to glory. Now Christ, who is the agent in this work of sanctification,
and Christians, who are the recipient subjects, are all of one. How?
(1.) They are all of one heavenly Father, and that is God. God is the
Father of Christ by eternal generation and by miraculous conception, of
Christians by adoption and regeneration.
(2.) They are of one earthly father, Adam. Christ and believers have
the same human nature.
(3.) Of one spirit, one holy and heavenly disposition; the same mind is
in them that was in Christ, though not in the same measure; the same
Spirit informs and actuates the head and all the members.
2. Into an endearing relation. This results from the union. And here
first he declares what this relation is, and then he quotes three texts
out of the Old Testament to illustrate and prove it.
(1.) He declares what this relation is: he and believers being all of
one, he therefore is not ashamed to call them brethren. Observe,
[1.] Christ and believers are brethren; not only bone of his bone and
flesh of his flesh, but spirit of his spirit-brethren by the whole
blood, in what is heavenly as well as in what is earthly.
[2.] Christ is not ashamed to own this relation; he is not ashamed to
call them brethren, which is wonderful goodness and condescension in
him, considering their meanness by nature and vileness by sin; but he
will never be ashamed of any who are not ashamed of him, and who take
care not to be a shame and reproach to him and to themselves.
(2.) He illustrates this from three texts of scripture.
[1.] The first is out of
I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the church
will I sing praise unto thee. This psalm was an eminent prophecy of
Christ; it begins with his words on the cross, My God, my God, why
hast thou forsaken me? Now here it is foretold, First, That
Christ should have a church or congregation in the world, a
company of volunteers, freely willing to follow him. Secondly,
That these should not only be brethren to one another, but to Christ
himself. Thirdly, That he would declare his Father's name to
them, that is, his nature and attributes, his mind and will: this he
did in his own person, while he dwelt among us, and by his Spirit
poured out upon his disciples, enabling them to spread the knowledge of
God in the world from one generation to another, to the end of the
world. Fourthly, That Christ would sing praise to his Father in
the church. The glory of the Father was what Christ had in his eye; his
heart was set upon it, he laid out himself for it, and he would have
his people to join with him in it.
[2.] The second scripture is quoted from
And again, I will put my trust in him. That psalm sets forth the
troubles that David, as a type of Christ, met with, and how he in all
his troubles put his trust in God. Now this shows that besides his
divine nature, which needed no supports, he was to take another nature
upon him, that would want those supports which none but God could give.
He suffered and trusted as our head and president. Owen in
locum. His brethren must suffer and trust too.
[3.] The third scripture is taken from
Behold, I and the children which God hath given me. This proves
Christ really and truly man, for parents and children are of the same
nature. Christ's children were given him of the Father, in the counsel
of his eternal love, and that covenant of peace which was between them.
And they are given to Christ at their conversion. When they take hold
of his covenant, then Christ receives them, rules over them, rejoices
in them, perfects all their affairs, takes them up to heaven, and there
presents them to his Father, Behold, I and the children which thou
hast given me.
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14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that
through death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their
lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he
took on him the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto
his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high
priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for
the sins of the people.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is
able to succour them that are tempted.
Here the apostle proceeds to assert the incarnation of Christ, as
taking upon him not the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham; and
he shows the reason and design of his so doing.
I. The incarnation of Christ is asserted
Verily he took not upon him the nature of angels, but he took upon
him the seed of Abraham. He took part of flesh and blood. Though as
God he pre-existed from all eternity, yet in the fulness of time he
took our nature into union with his divine nature, and became really
and truly man. He did not lay hold of angels, but he laid hold of the
seed of Abraham. The angels fell, and he let them go, and lie under the
desert, defilement, and dominion of their sin, without hope or help.
Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels; as their
tree fell, so it lies, and must lie to eternity, and therefore he did
not assume their nature. The nature of angels could not be an atoning
sacrifice for the sin of man. Now Christ resolving to recover the seed
of Abraham and raise them up from their fallen state, he took upon him
the human nature from one descended from the loins of Abraham, that the
same nature that had sinned might suffer, to restore human nature to a
state of hope and trial, and all that accepted of mercy to a state of
special favour and salvation. Now there is hope and help for the chief
of sinners in and through Christ. Here is a price paid sufficient for
all, and suitable to all, for it was in our nature. Let us all then
know the day of our gracious visitation, and improve that
distinguishing mercy which has been shown to fallen men, not to the
II. The reasons and designs of the incarnation of Christ are
1. Because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he must
take part of the same, and he made like his brethren,
For no higher nor lower nature than man's that had sinned could so
suffer for the sin of man as to satisfy the justice of God, and raise
man up to a state of hope, and make believers the children of God, and
so brethren to Christ.
2. He became man that he might die; as God he could not die, and
therefore he assumed another nature and state. Here the wonderful love
of God appeared, that, when Christ knew what he must suffer in our
nature, and how he must die in it, yet he so readily took it upon him.
The legal sacrifices and offerings God could not accept as
propitiation. A body was prepared for Christ, and he said, Lo! I
come, I delight to do thy will.
3. That through death he might destroy him that had the power of
death, that is, the devil,
The devil was the first sinner, and the first tempter to sin, and sin
was the procuring cause of death; and he may be said to have the power
of death, as he draws men into sin, the ways whereof are death, as he
is often permitted to terrify the consciences of men with the fear of
death, and as he is the executioner of divine justice, haling their
souls from their bodies to the tribunal of God, there to receive their
doom, and then being their tormentor, as he was before their tempter.
In these respects he may be said to have had the power of death. But
now Christ has so far destroyed him who had the power of death that he
can keep none under the power of spiritual death; nor can he draw any
into sin (the procuring cause of death), nor require the soul of any
from the body, nor execute the sentence upon any but those who choose
and continue to be his willing slaves, and persist in their enmity to
4. That he might deliver his own people from the slavish fear of death
to which they are often subject. This may refer to the Old-Testament
saints, who were more under a spirit of bondage, because life and
immortality were not so fully brought to light as now they are by the
gospel. Or it may refer to all the people of God, whether under the Old
Testament or the New, whose minds are often in perplexing fears about
death and eternity. Christ became man, and died, to deliver them from
those perplexities of soul, by letting them know that death is not only
a conquered enemy, but a reconciled friend, not sent to hurt the soul,
or separate it from the love of God, but to put an end to all their
grievances and complaints, and to give them a passage to eternal life
and blessedness; so that to them death is not now in the hand of Satan,
but in the hand of Christ--not Satan's servant, but Christ's servant--has
not hell following it, but heaven to all who are in Christ.
5. Christ must be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a
merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to the justice
and honour of God and to the support and comfort of his people. He must
be faithful to God and merciful to men.
(1.) In things pertaining to God, to his justice, and to his honour--to
make reconciliation for the sins of the people, to make all the
attributes of divine nature, and all the persons subsisting therein,
harmonize in man's recovery, and fully to reconcile God and man.
Observe, There was a great breach and quarrel between God and man, by
reason of sin; but Christ, by becoming man and dying, has taken up the
quarrel, and made reconciliation so far that God is ready to receive
all into favour and friendship who come to him through Christ.
(2.) In things pertaining to his people, to their support and comfort:
In that he suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour those that
[1.] Christ's passion: He suffered being tempted; and his
temptations were not the least part of his sufferings. He was in all
things tempted as we are, yet without sin,
[2.] Christ's compassion: He is able to succour those that are
tempted. He is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, a
sympathizing physician, tender and skilful; he knows how to deal with
tempted sorrowful souls, because he has been himself sick of the same
disease, not of sin, but of temptation and trouble of soul. The
remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations makes him mindful of the
trials of his people, and ready to help them. Here observe,
First, The best of Christians are subject to temptations, to
many temptations, while in this world; let us never count upon an
absolute freedom from temptations in this world. Secondly,
Temptations bring our souls into such distress and danger that they
need support and succour. Thirdly, Christ is ready and willing
to succour those who under their temptations apply to him; and he
became man, and was tempted, that he might be every way qualified to
succour his people.