Wednesday, 22 August 2018
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. Hebrews 2:8
The author now finishes his Old Testament citation with words from Psalm 8:6 –
“You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet.”
This is, like Psalm102, written by David. Here as before, David may simply have been thinking of the state of man in general. He has been given authority over the earth, and all things in the earth are in subjection to him. The reason this is probably what was on David’s mind is because of what he continues to say in the psalm –
“All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.” Psalm 8:7-8
David stood in awe of the fact that the Lord had given man – disobedient man – the authority over such a marvelous part of His creation. However, as already seen in the previous verses, there is an immediate context, and there is a future context. Whether David was also thinking of the Messiah to come or not, the Spirit spoke through David with this intent. And the author of Hebrews clearly presents his citation as such.
Jesus came under the authority of the Law of Moses, but He prevailed over it (Colossians 1:15). In this, all authority and power were given to Him. In one sense then, God “put all things under his feet.” After citing this, the author then says what that means in the context of Messiah. David intended his words to mean all creatures of the earth; however, the Spirit looked to a greater fulfillment in Christ Jesus. The author shows this by saying, “For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him.”
It is revealed that the actual intent of the psalm is that “all” is in the complete sense. Everything, without exception, is put in subjection to Jesus Christ. This includes man, the heavenly powers, etc. Everything that exists in creation has been put in subjection to Christ by God. However, the author next contrasts the current state of things concerning the authority of Christ, and what is actual in regards to that authority at this time by saying, “But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” As of now, that ideal which is proclaimed has not yet been become reality.
Though God has granted full authority to Christ, with all things put under Him, that has not yet been fully realized in its totality. Man continues to rebel against Him. The devil and his demons continue to fight against Him. Death, though conquered in Christ, still has power over man. Someday, the devil, death, and Hades will be cast into the Lake of Fire, but that has not yet occurred. It is 100% assured that these things will come to pass, but they have not yet come to pass.
Life application: We need to be able to differentiate between things that are potential and things that are actual. Likewise, we need to understand the idea vs. the reality concerning Christ’s authority. Though something is stated as an accomplished fact, it does not mean that it has actually been realized yet. The reason this is important is because we are still living in a fallen world where bad things continue to occur. If we inappropriately apply verses which actually only apply to the future to our theology concerning the current state of things, we will have an unbalanced view of the world in which we live. In this, when bad things do occur, our faith can easily be shaken. This is the problem with the doctrine of some. They take ideals which are not actualized, and they apply them in a careless manner to our current world. In this, they set themselves up for a certain fall concerning their walk with the Lord. Jesus tells us that in this world we will have tribulation. Paul’s writings continue to confirm that. This is what we are to expect until Christ comes for us.
Lord God Almighty, You have granted Christ full authority over all things, but all things are not yet in subjection to Him. Help us to see the difference between the two, and to not make unfounded assumptions or conclusions in our present walk. We are bound to have troubles, trials, and tribulations because the devil is still actively working out his evil schemes. Help us to live by faith, and to understand that the better life You have promised is yet ahead. Until then, may our faith not falter in times of difficulty. Amen.