Hebrews 2

This devotional is written by Laura Hopwood.

Hebrews 2

Warning to pay attention
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Jesus made fully human
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honour
8 and put everything under their feet.’

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,

‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.’

13 And again,

‘I will put my trust in him.’

And again he says,

‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.


Hebrews is a book of encouragement to those who are struggling to persevere, for those whose context makes it difficult to keep the faith. In this chapter, the author acknowledges the tension between all things being subject to God when your circumstances feel very counter to that. Being a believer in the early church was dangerous, potentially life threatening. Although in our context we may not experience these same challenges, there are still many things that can make it feel difficult to have hope.

Hebrews was addressed to Jewish Christians and in Judaism salvation is a collective experience. The central narrative for God’s people was that God heard the cries of Israel (a nation) and delivered them. The author speaks of Jesus’ signs and wonders as testament to this salvation, and what characterised Jesus’ miracles? Consistently, they were radical acts of inclusion for the least, the last, the lost. As Jesus said himself, he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. His ministry wasn’t just about interactions with individuals, but these moments were to ripple through time to say: everyone is in! Jesus’ powerful demonstrations of love across all social, political and religious barriers simply furthered the message already flowing through the Tanach (Old Testament): God longs to be restored to all Creation.

This is the kind of salvation explored in this chapter. The author explains how God, through Jesus, sought to have all people crafted into the family of God by “sharing in their humanity” (verse 14). If you are a people who inhabit suffering, knowing your God too walked the hard earth, wept, truly felt the heavy burden of oppression all the way to death, you can trust your God knows you. In a life of suffering, with no hope, no apparent way out, no glimmer of salvation, you can start to believe that suffering is all there is. This was the reality for these early believers and it can sometimes be our reality too. But in a resurrected God, death is defeated. The fear that comes in the darkest part of the night is pierced with the light of the rising Son.

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