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The Lord Jesus Christ - Creator, Custodian and Consumator of this World (3)

H Barnes, Westhoughton

Hebrews 1

The last passage that expands on the creatorship of the Lord Jesus is the beginning of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where we read about God’s Son whom He has "appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…and upholding all things by the word of his power" (Heb 1.2-3). Once again, but in a different order, we read about His relationship to creation past, present and future. Once more the Lord Jesus is seen as the chosen active agent of creation: "through whom…he made the worlds" (RV, cp. 1 Cor 8.6). Some have translated this word "worlds" as "ages", but William Kelly, in his commentary on Hebrews, explains it as "the universe (perhaps as the theatre of the divine dispensations or ages)". Jamieson, Fausset and Brown similarly say: "Literally, ‘ages’ with all things and persons belonging to them; the universe, including all space and ages of time, and all material and spiritual existences". This greatly enlarges our understanding of the scope of the work of the Lord Jesus in creation.

As to the activity of the Lord Jesus at present, He is "upholding all things by the word of his power" (1.3). "Upholding" is from the same Greek word as that used of Simon of Cyrene being forced to "bear" the cross of Jesus (Lk 23.26), and also of the servants at the marriage feast at Cana of Galilee (Jn 2.8), being told to "bear" the water made into wine to the governor of the feast. Indeed the old Rheims translation of the New Testament (1582) renders the phrase as "carrying all things by the word of his power". So the Lord Jesus "holds up" all things in the same way that He "holds them together", the result being that creation (metaphorically) neither falls nor flies apart. The worlds that were originally "framed by the word of God" (Heb 11.3), are now upheld by "the word of his power", i.e. the Son’s power. His deity is certain since we also read here that He is the outshining of divine glory, and the exact representation of divine personality. In the Bible sonship and heirship go together, so the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, is the established heir of all things. This is equivalent to what we read elsewhere, that all things are to and for Him.

Lastly, we note that the creative work of the Son is spoken of again in Hebrews 1. The sixth of seven quotations from the Old Testament used in chapter 1 to prove the deity of Christ, Psalm 102.25, a Messianic Psalm, states: "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands" (Heb 1.10).


By divine activity relative to this earth, we see that the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, is its originator, its overseer, and its objective. This exalted view of Him calls forth our praise and thanksgiving, especially when we think of our salvation procured by Him coming into this world, when "The great Creator became my Saviour".1 Until the dawn of the day of the new heaven and the new earth, He remains the One from whom, through whom and to whom are all things.


1 Down from His glory by William E Booth-Clibborn, 1921.


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