Hebrews Chapter 2 bases its argument upon the explanation about the supremacy of Jesus in Chapter 1 in warning those who are about to “drift away” from the Gospel of salvation. Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews is admonishing the recipients of the letter not to sway from the truth, lest there will be a great judgment.
Hebrews 2:1 tells us to pay closer attention to the gospel of salvation that we have heard so as not to drift away and get washed out by the currents of the water from the waves and the storms in the ocean and this is the danger we face in the end times. In Matthew 24 Jesus says one of the signs of the end times when he comes to judge the world is that people will stop worshipping God. They will drift away being misled and lose their faith.
Secondly, 2 Timothy 3:14 also tells us to continue in the things we have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom we have learned them. The word ‘learned’ here is in the past tense which means that we already learned it and we are convinced but we must know where the Word came from.
In the Old Testament, the Angels gave us the Law and if we transgress, we would receive a just penalty (Hebrews 2:2, Acts 7:35, Galatians 3:19). “Transgression” means to cross over the line/boundary. That line is drawn by the Law, but in the New Testament, it is drawn by the Word and our conscience. When we disobey it means that we are not carrying out the Word in our actions.
When we do not pay attention to the Word, our life will be like Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. They only sought God and His help or miracles when they were in need (physically). Likewise, why do church-going Christians still feel troubled or darkened? Why is their life aimless? It is because they did not pay closer attention to the Word. When they were not in need, in ordinary days, they did not seek God. In other words, they came to service, but the Word does not really enter their heart.
When this happens, then our life starts to drift like a blind man walking with no clear direction. Faith life will become boring and purposeless. And we end up living only for the immediate needs of this world but without satisfaction. If we have no purpose or clear direction, then there is dissatisfaction because we are not fulfilling anything. We live just taking it day by day and life becomes frustrating. This will cause us to just grab hold of other immediate joys and entertainments, whatever pleases us, and it is usually fleshly/physical. Next, doubts begin to enter our hearts and minds. The doubt satan sows in our hearts will start to grow and expand and turn into hostility in the heart against the church, against God and the Word. The heart gets so callused that it becomes difficult to receive grace and we become more prone to be tempted and tried (easily becomes dark), spiritually becoming dull.
However, when we pay closer attention to the Word, God will heal and soften our hearts and give us greater grace to save us. If we don’t, then the final thing that will happen to us is apostasy because satan wants us to give up our faith.
The Hebrews writer’s main argument here is for us to pay attention to the Word. But which Word do we pay attention to? We must hear, pay attention to, and obey (hold on to) the timely Word. In Hebrews 2:3, the writer emphasizes the superiority of the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the Old Testament Law which was delivered by the angels. The Gospel of Christ is referred to as “a great salvation.” If God’s judgment for those who neglect the Old Testament Law is severe, how much greater would the judgment be for those who neglect the Word of great salvation spoken through the Lord?
Hebrews 2:4 tells us that Jesus shows signs and miracles to prove the authority of this Word. Hebrews 2:5–6 tells us the reason why the Word became flesh (incarnate) is for the Word, because of the Word, and to give us the Word. He came in order to fulfil His promise and covenant and so that we can understand the Word. The Word comes to those who hold onto the Word of promise. Therefore, the only way for us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven is through receiving and holding on to the Word of Jesus Christ!
Hebrews 2:7-8 says that Jesus was made lower than the angels for a little while. This refers to His incarnation, coming into this world in finite and mortal flesh. So, it is saying pay closer attention to realize He came down for you and to you.
And verse 9 says that we have seen this suffering Jesus who died to take up our sins. The Cross was to fulfil salvation through His work of atonement.
We fallen humans fell so we became lower than angels. Thus, from the place that is lower than the angels, He came and took the way of the cross, so we can receive the Word (breath of life) again and be lifted up with Him to the place that is higher than the angels!
Hebrews 2:10-11, Jesus is not ashamed to call those who belong to Him “brothers” and allows us to enter into His glory with Him. The only way for Jesus (God) to call us sinful creatures “brothers” is for Him to lower Himself to come to us in the flesh. Therefore, incarnation was necessary. And Jesus absorbs all our sins to Himself and takes it to the cross. He takes upon Himself all the curses and punishments for us (Isaiah 53:4-5) and makes us into children of God, allowing us to live under His grace and mercy. So through incarnation, Jesus rendered powerless the devil who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and freed those who were subject to slavery under the fear of death.
Fear of death causes us to do what we do but God frees us from the guilt of sin, from trauma, and He helps the spiritual children of Abraham. However, verses 17-18 say we will still be tempted but now we are free to disobey the devil. Jesus understands our weaknesses and sinfulness and He freed us (Hebrews 2:15-16) so that we are no longer slaves to sin.