Being made so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.…
I. THE FIRST THING WHICH THE TEXT TEACHES IS THAT CHRIST IS A PROPER OBJECT OF DIVINE WORSHIP. We know who has said, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10), and we know also, from St. John's description in the Apocalypse, of the worship of heaven, that the Church universal, saints and angels, will pay Divine honours to Him who appeared upon earth as the gentle Babe of Bethlehem (Revelation 5:13). Thus speaks the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity (Isaiah 42:8). If Christ Jesus be not God, how can the Almighty Father contradict Himself, and say even to the bright intelligences that minister about His throne, "Let all the angels of God worship Him?" If Christ be not a proper object of Divine adoration, how is it that we hear the meek and lowly Son of Mary declare, without hesitation or reserve, that "All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father"? (John 5:23). If Christ Jesus be not one with the Father and the Blessed Spirit, in the glory of the Eternal Trinity, why did the disciples who met Him after the resurrection bow themselves down and worship Him? (Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:52).
II. The text suggests another point — THAT THE INCARNATION AFFORDS A SPECIAL CALL UPON ALL IN EARTH AND HEAVEN TO ASCRIBE UNTO HIM THE HONOUR WHICH IS DUE UNTO HIS NAME. During the reign of Theodosius the Great, in the fourth century, the Arians put forth their strongest efforts to undermine that all-important doctrine of the divinity of our blessed Lord. The interesting event of making his son Arcadius the sharer with him of his throne was happily overruled to his discovering the fearful error which was thus sapping the foundations of the faith. Among the bishops who came to congratulate Theodosius on the occasion was Amphilochus, Bishop of Iconium, a man most highly esteemed. Approaching the emperor, the bishop addressed him in fitting words, and was about to withdraw from the presence. chamber, when the angry father exclaimed, "Do you take no notice of my son? Have you not heard that I have made him a partner with me in the empire." The good old bishop gave no direct answer, but going up to Arcadius, a lad of sixteen, he laid his hands upon his head, saying, "The Lord bless thee, my son!" and once more turned to depart. Even this did not satisfy the emperor, who inquired, in a tone of surprise and displeasure, "Is this all the respect you pay to a prince that I have made of equal dignity with myself? " The bishop indignantly answered, "Do you so highly resent my apparent neglect of your son, because I do not treat him with equal honour with yourself? What, then, must the eternal God think of you, who have allowed His co-equal and co-eternal Son to be degraded from His proper divinity in every part of your empire?" Theodosius felt that the withering rebuke was well deserved, and he ceased from that moment to show the least indulgence to such as ventured to cast dishonour upon the Son of God. It is not only our duty, but our precious privilege, to worship our Divine Saviour.
(L N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.