What is the Relationship Between Jesus and Angels?
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God's angels worship him.” - Hebrews 1:5-6, ESV
When Billy Graham wrote a book on angels in 1975, more than a million copies sold in the first three months. Books, movies, television shows, and works of art all testify to the same reality: Many people are clearly fascinated by angels. It's no wonder because angels are fascinating beings, mysterious and powerful messenger-warriors of God. In fact, throughout history, many in the church have been tempted to worship angels, to give them the veneration and honor due to God alone.
Clearly, some of the people who originally received the book of Hebrews were confused about the relationship between Jesus and the angels. The Jehovah's Witnesses today teach that Jesus and Michael the Archangel are the same person, that Jesus is the lead angel. Is that what Scripture teaches? No. Hebrews 1 could not be more clear that Jesus is far greater than the angels. Here's what we see:
1. Jesus alone is the Son of God. No angels are ever called the Son of God. This title belongs to Jesus alone, indicating His full deity and superiority to angels.
2. The angels of God worship Jesus. Worship is something which belongs to God alone. Psalm 29 tells us, "Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness." In Isaiah 48, God tells us, "My glory I will not give to another." Think about this reality: The God who calls us to worship Him alone and tells us He will not give His glory to another (because He cannot, because he alone is God) tells His angels to worship His Son, giving Him glory. This clearly puts Jesus in a different category from angels. Jesus is not a creation of God, but He is God Almighty.
3. Jesus is God. If we didn't pick up this truth from the fact that God calls His angels to worship the Son, we're told explicitly about the Son in verse 8: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom." God the Father is the God of Jesus, but Jesus is also fully and truly God.
4. Jesus is the Creator. Jesus' position as God is unfolded more in verses 10-12. He is definitely not a creation of God because He is the Creator of all things:
You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.
5. Jesus is enthroned in victory at the Father's right hand forever. Jesus alone sits at God the Father's right hand on the throne of the universe, waiting until the final conquest of His enemies.
Angels are fascinating creatures. We'll learn more about them next time, but for today we can conclude confidently that, however great angels are, Jesus is far greater than angels! He is the eternal, uncreated Son of God enthroned in glory and worshiped by angels. He alone deserves our worship and obedience.