GOSPEL, FIRST READING & PSALM TRANSCRIPT (Subscribe or Login for Full Transcript):
In any case, the climax of this episode is of course God putting him into a deep sleep and then creating from his side the woman and bringing her to the man as his true companion. And in that episode, what Genesis says here is that when Adam encounters the woman he says she shall be called woman, in Hebrew ‘ishshah,
because she was taken out of man, in Hebrew ish.
So there's a pun there that works in Hebrew and in English, it’s kind of interesting. In English the word man and woman have a kind of overlap there that reflects the unity of the two, and the Hebrew is the same. ‘Ish,
man, and ‘ishshah
have an overlap that shows a certain unity to the human race that the man and the woman are created one for the other. Then in that context, Genesis says for this reason a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, the two become one flesh. In other words, the institution of marriage is rooted in the order of creation itself. That’s very important, the institution of marriage is not a human institution, it's not merely a human institution, it’s a divine institution which God himself has ordained from the dawn of creation. You can actually see that the author of Genesis is making that point because Adam doesn't leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, Adam is created directly and immediately by God, same thing for the woman. So when the author is describing a man leaving his father and mother he’s talking about contemporary marriage. Contemporary marriage goes back to the first union of the first ‘ish,
the first man, and the first woman, the ‘ishshah, i
t’s something that God does at the beginning of human history, it’s not just something that human beings make up. And for that reason, then Jesus responds by saying, if God makes two people into one flesh then that divine action cannot be undone by mere human will or a mere human action. We don't have the power to undo what God has joined together.
SECOND READING TRANSCRIPT (Subscribe or Login for Full Transcript):
So the context of the opening chapters of the letter to the Hebrews leads up to the verse for today is very significant, because it opens with basically an exposition of the fact, the basic fact, that Jesus the Christ — the Messiah, the Christos
, the Anointed One — is not equal with the angels. He’s above the angels.
Now you can imagine why that might be a problem in a Jewish context. It’s because one of the principal titles for Jesus in the Gospels and in His ministry is the Son of God. Jesus is called the Son of God in early Christian kerygma and the preaching of the Gospel. Well, any first century Jew familiar with the Jewish Scriptures and the Old Testament would know that Son of God — although it was known as a title for the Messiah (in Psalm 2, for example), a title for the Davidic king — it’s also a name for the angels. So the angels are also called sons of God in the book of Job chapter 1, for example.
So if Christians are going around preaching that Jesus is the Son of God, in a first century Jewish context, one potential misunderstanding would be that Jesus, as Son of God, is equal to or some kind of an angel … that’s He’s an angelic being. And to this day, there are different sects and heretical groups that actually confess that. They think that Jesus is one of the angels.
So Hebrews begins by correcting that error and making sure that its readers know that when we refer to Jesus as the Son of God, it’s very clear from a number of texts that He is “superior to the angels.” That’s Hebrews chapter 1, verse 4. He says...
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