For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. – Hebrews 2:5-9 (ESV)
Tom Schreiner writes:
Psalm 8, quoted in Hebrews 2, considers the majesty of God and the wonders of the created world. What role do apparently insignificant human beings have in a world so vast and magnificent? The psalmist answers, as he reflects on the creation account in Genesis 1-2, that God appointed human beings to rule the world for God. Even though they are now lower than angels, the whole world is destined to be subject to human beings. The author of Hebrews quotes this psalm (Heb. 2:6-8) and then comments on it. He acknowledges that presently the world is not under the control of human beings. The sway of death over all demonstrates that human beings suffer under the dominion of hostile powers. Human beings have failed, beginning with Adam and Eve, in their quest to domesticate the world for God’s praise. The world has become a wreck instead of a blessing.
The failure of human beings is not the end of the story. Jesus is the representative human being. He succeeded where the rest of the human race has failed. In that sense, he is the true human being, the only one who has genuinely lived the kind of life that humans were intended to live under God. Hebrews emphasizes in the strongest possible terms the true humanness of Jesus, both as the son of Adam (humanity) and as the son of David. As a human being, Jesus was temporarily lower than angels he is now “crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 2:9). Jesus now sits at God’s right hand as the exalted man (Heb. 1:3, 13) since he has fully atoned for sin and his work is completed. The rule always promised to human beings has commenced with Jesus’ exaltation.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 76
Q. 76. Which is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.