“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying:
‘What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have 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 do not yet see 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, might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:5-9
I am exhausted. My journey through the valley with my friend has been especially rough this week. Thankfully, Andrew Murray does an amazing job of teaching this lesson. We do not have to miss a beat in our study even though I can barely participate. I hope you find this as fascinating as I do.
The reference to the Psalm here is from Psalm 8. The following excerpt titled “The World Made Subject To Man, Not To Angels” is from Andrew Murray’s classic The Holiest of All:
As the Son of God Christ is more than the angels. As the Son of Man Jesus is more than the angels too. He was indeed, as man, made a little lower than the angels, and yet, because to man the world to come, of which the Spirit of Christ in the prophets spoke, had been made subject, he had a place of honor and dominion greatly excelling them. Not only the divinity but the humanity of Christ will prove how. infinitely superior the new dispensation is to that which was given by the ministry of angels.
For not unto angels did He subject the world to come, that world to which the Psalm looks forward, the kingdom of the Messiah, the kingdom of heaven upon earth. The Psalm does not speak directly of the Messiah, but of man and his destiny. But it is applied most justly to the Messiah, because in Him the Psalm and man find the fulfillment of what is promised.
The Psalmist first speaks of man's littleness and the wonder that God should notice him. What is man that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him? He then points out how high the place is which man occupies. His nature is little less than divine. Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honor. And universal dominion is assigned to Him. Thou didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet.
Our Epistle points out how this promise, though not yet true of man, has received its fulfillment in Jesus. Now we see not yet all things subjected to man, but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor. What was true of man in promise, we see fulfilled in Jesus: what we see in Jesus, will be made true of man.
What wonderful thoughts the Psalm suggests. How glorious is the destiny of man! Created in the image of God, he was to bear God's likeness in this too, that as king he was to be ruler of all. The whole world to come was made subject to him.
Man has received from God a life, a nature, a spirit, capable of partaking of His own life and spirit. His will and His holiness, capable of likeness to and fellowship with Himself, even to the sitting on His throne, and sharing with Him the dominion over all creation. What a destiny!