The Exact Imprint of His Nature

Hebrews 1:3a (MEV): He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of Himself, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

This is his Jesus is introduced in this epistle. Like the previous post, there is much to consider here. But as to this express image, we know that is a conveyed representation of God. Another translation puts it this way.

Hebrews 1:3a (ESV): He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature

If we want to know what God is like, we only need to look to Jesus. As it is communicated to us, He embodies the nature of God. (I am not saying that He isn’t God, nor that He isn’t human. Only what is being offered in the text here.)

In the same way the writer identifies that God is, he will also identify Jesus Himself as God. That is why it is important to understand, He is the exact imprint of His nature. He couldn’t be if He were any less than God.

He upholds all things by the word of His power. The Greek rhēma is here translated to word. It conveys the idea of something spoken. Not just the words spoken, but the ideas conveyed.

The idea that all things are sustained by the word is stunning. We know in Romans 1, the apostle Paul shows us that. He also tells us that all understand this revelation.

Romans 1:19–20 (MEV): For what may be known about God is clear to them since God has shown it to them. The invisible things about Him—His eternal power and deity—have been clearly seen since the creation of the world and are understood by the things that are made, so that they are without excuse.

In the way Jesus sustains all things by His spoken word, there is a clear revelation that is communicated. If one were to continue reading in Romans, the idea that some can deny this is a result of the suppression of truth by sin.

In like fashion, John introduces Jesus in much the same way.

John 1:3 (MEV): All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created.

It might be tempting to connect this by the usage of word. It won’t work in that sense. These are two differing Greek words. In John’s Gospel, the Greek Logos is translated as Word. Yet, it is used as another name for Jesus.

Think of it this way. Jesus upholds all things by His word. He spoke creation into existence and upholds it all in the same way. We understand this by Hebrews 1:2, “through whom He made the world.” When we consider what John offers in His Gospel as He introduces Jesus, we know the Word isn’t created. The only logical conclusion is He is eternal, existing as God before time. (John uses that personal masculine pronoun to show this Word to be a Person.) Remember, even time was created.

This Word, this Jesus, has spoken to us in the time of His ministry on Earth. Spoken to us as the exacting revelation of God Himself. He made all things and sustains all things. The creation reveals God and His nature. Jesus, too, is the spoken word of God to us. He is the revelation to us of God Himself!

He is God Himself.

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