There is a good reason why people find it hard to understand many things about God. We can see and understand some things. But there is a reality that we cannot yet see. There are much greater things that we cannot yet understand.
The author wants to teach us that God the Father is like the Son in every way. People saw Jesus, but they could not see the Father. So the author chose two word pictures to describe the reality that people could not see.
(1) We may say that we see the sun. And what we see is too bright for us to look at, even for a moment. But really, we have only seen light that came from the sun. So Jesus came from the Father. For a short time, people saw Godís greatness in Jesus (John 14:9). And it seemed greater and more wonderful than anything that they could ever imagine (John 1:14).
(2) We may look at a picture on a coin. But again, there is a reality that we do not see. That coin came from a machine that contains the original picture. It pressed hard against the coin, so that the coin has a perfect picture. So Jesus came from the Father. And Jesus had a perfect character, like the Fatherís own character. There is no difference between their thoughts, their words, or their decisions. They are perfectly alike, because there is only one God.
Then the author adds two astonishing facts about Jesus. There was a reality about Jesus himself that people could not see on this earth:
(1) It is by Jesusí powerful word that all things continue to exist. They could not exist without him.
(2) Jesus has completed his work so that God can forgive peopleís evil deeds. So God has again given him the most important place in heaven (Philippians 2:8-9). And there he sits in the place of honour, on the right side of God the Father (Luke 22:69; Acts 7:55).
Next part: The angels and Godís Son (Hebrews 1:4)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.