Many of these are cliché, I know, but the other day, I stumbled across this mildly amusing list of the top six things you'll never hear a husband say to his wife:
6. "Here honey, you use the remote."
5. "Ooh, Antonio Banderas and Brad Pitt? That's a movie I gotta see!"
4. "I'd love to drink chai tea and talk about my feelings with you and your girlfriends."
3. "Let me hold your purse while you try that on."
2. "Why don't you come to the mall with me and help me pick out a pair of shoes."
1. "Forget Monday Night Football, let's watch Supernanny."
For the record, I will hold my wife's purse while she's trying something on. I won't watch Supernanny instead of Monday Night Football.
The book of Hebrews, which we begin reading today, isn't a book per se, but a sermon. We do not know who preached this sermon, but he begins with a list of the top six things you'll never hear God say to one of his angels. They are:
6. "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." (verse 5)
5. "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son." (verse 5)
4. "Let all God's angels worship him." (verse 6)
3. "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (verses 8-9)
2. "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." (verses 10-12)
1. "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." (verse 13)
This list of top six things, cited from the Old Testament, is meant to argue that, because God has said these things to Jesus while refusing to say these things even to his angels, Jesus is "superior to the angels" (verse 4) and is "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being" (verse 3). That is, he is God Almighty himself. In other words, this sermon argues that Jesus isn't just one divine being among many; rather, he is the divine being who created the very heavens and the earth. No one can compare to him. As such, God says things to Jesus that he would never say to any other divine being.
For the two millennia since he walked this earth, many people have said many things about Jesus. Some have talked about Jesus as a great prophet, others have called him an enlightened teacher. Still others have tried to deny, futilely and unsuccessfully, that Jesus ever existed. He was simply a figure, these scholars would say, of sectarian Jewish Messianic expectations.
In the midst of a world where so many things are said about Jesus, it is important, the preacher of Hebrews argues, to listen to what God has said to Jesus. For it is in the voice of God that we hear a true description and depiction of who Jesus really is. And Jesus, according to God himself, is superior over all. He is superior over all the angels, he is superior over all the earth, he is superior over every problem and every pain and every worry and every care. Jesus is superior over all - even you.
Every day, we face things which, frankly, are superior over us. A sickness, a tragedy, a loss - these things are unstoppable by us because they're superior over us. There are many things in this world over which we have no say or sway. But as superior as those things might be over us, they're not superior over Jesus. For Jesus is superior over all. And this means that Jesus can work out even the most gut-wrenching problems of this world, which are all too gleeful to sink their sadistic claws into our souls. They may be superior over us, but they're not superior over Jesus. So whatever superior problem you might face today, take it to Jesus. For there is nothing he can't handle.