In an L.A. Times article titled: A sea cruise on a boat made of kiddie pools and buckets — what could go wrong? Dated May 9, 2021, recounts this story.
Two college students in a homemade boat made from plastic kiddie wading pools, plywood, 20 5-gallon buckets and duct tape were rescued off the coast of Santa Barbara early Saturday.
The two male college students in their 20s set off from Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara sometime Friday evening or early Saturday. Fire personnel received an emergency call at 2 a.m. from someone on shore who saw strobe lights they carried on board.
They appeared to be drifting out to sea, said Mike Eliason, the Santa Barbara County fire spokesman. Fire personnel rescued them about 300 yards from the shore at 2:37 a.m.
The students did not explain why they were out at sea at that hour. Eliason said that alcohol was not involved and that the voyage may have been part of a school project. Their school was not identified.
“If this is happening at 1 p.m., I’m not sure there’s much commotion,” Eliason said. “When you’re going out in the middle of night in a pitch-black environment, the timing is odd.”
The students were not dressed in wet suits in the mid-50-degree weather. In photos, one student had on only swim trunks, while the other was in shorts and a shirt. They were in separate wading pools bonded to a single large piece of plywood and appeared to be paddling out to sea.
Eliason said the natural course and strength of the tides pulled the duo in a southerly direction against their efforts to navigate north.
“They didn’t seem to be in any distress, but they were just floating out there,” Eliason said. “We managed to bring them back to shore and they were grateful. I just wish they had planned whatever they were doing a little better.”
Hebrews chapter 2 contains the purpose in writing this letter. The author saw the great difficulty his readers were facing as he saw many of them were crumpling under the pressure, persecution, and doubt they were facing and he is writing to encourage or exhort the recipients of this letter to stay grounded or anchored in their faith in Jesus Christ
Hebrews 2: 1 - 4
Vs 1: This verse contains a warning to his readers. The writer states that since Jesus is the creator, the radiance of God’s glory, the exact imprint of God, the sustainer of the of the universe, he sits at the right hand of the Father, his name is more excellent than the angels and thus superior to the angels they need to pay attention to the message they received. They are to pay attention so that they do not “drift away” or lose sight of their salvation.
Drift away – The author warns to guard against drifting off course. The overtones to hold a ship toward port, or for to be anchored or fastened to the seabed so they will remain grounded and immoveable. The implication is that the recipients must keep a firm grasp on the truth, so they do not drift away from the faith out of carelessness or apathy. Drifting is subtle. You only need to go to the beach, go to the Gulf and sit in an inner tube or floating device and just float. If you do not pay attention or take measures to stay close to the shore, you are in danger of slowly drifting further from the shore. If you are not fully careful you could be in danger of drifting to a point where you are too far out and need rescuing. This is the picture the writer of Hebrews is painting. Be proactive in your pursuit, understanding, and planting yourself in the firm foundation of the truth.
Vs 2 – 3: “the message declared by angels…” is another way of saying the word of God was spoken through prophets. This message is reliable and proved to be legally valid because it was spoken by God.
There is no indication that Angels were present at the giving of the Law, however Deut. 33:2 does declare that “God came with ten thousand holy ones. Holy ones can be defined from the Hebrew word that means “Set apart ones.”
This critical demand to pay attention to what we have heard in verse 1 anticipates the warning that the message of salvation can be ignored, which resulted in devastating consequences or just retribution. A lack of concern and care for God’s word invites the “just retribution.” Just retribution is a fair payment that is proportional to the offense or crime according to God’s judgment.
“Such a great salvation” The question remains then, if one neglects the message of salvation then they will be faced with greater responsibility and greater consequence. How shall we escape is a rhetorical question and the response no escape is possible.
Hebrews 2:5- 8
Vs 5: ‘the world to come’ is the main subject both of this passage and the letter to the recipients of this letter; and therefore ‘hope’ is a recurring theme throughout the book. A good deal of the argument in Hebrews is that, in Jesus the Messiah, hope has come into the world already, and giving signs of the new world that will eventually come to be.
The continuing theme is that God from the beginning appointed his unique son to be superior to the angels, even to the angels through whom the Jewish law had been given. This time, though, he speaks of this superiority in terms of the future role that has been given to the son. In his coming world, God intends that the original order of creation should finally be realized: the world is to be ruled, wisely and creatively, by human beings who themselves live in trusting obedience to God himself
The author quotes Psalm 8:4 - 6
Psalm 8: 4 – 6
Vs 4: David realizes the “smallness” of man in comparison to the expanse of the universe. He is in awe to know that in our “smallness” God still remembers us. He is not a distant God who is far off. God doesn’t just acknowledge us, but we are on his mind, and He thinks about us.
No branch of science proclaims God’s greatness and man’s insignificance more eloquently than astronomy. The simple fact that distances must be reckoned in light-years (the distance that light travels in a year) illustrates the point. Light travels 186,000 miles per second, and there are 31.5 million seconds in a year, so light travels roughly six trillion miles in a single year! Yet some stars are billions of light-years from the earth.
One would almost think God is too busy running the universe to take time to have any part to play in our lives. Sometimes we think of Him as a busy and distant father who is so involved in his work that he neglects his family (children).
David knows better though; God is not too busy for us. We are always on his mind.
“Son of man” – emphasizes the frail mortality of the human. David’s question is, “Why does an infinite God even care about mortal man?” The answer is found in Jesus… Jesus often referred to himself as the son of man.
This is Jesus' favorite self-designation, indicating the true meaning of his identity and ministry:
“care for him” – pay attention, to visit, to look after. God cares so much for humanity that he became human, the lowest of humans and gave his life a ransom so we could forever be in fellowship with our loving Creator.
Vs 8:5: “You have made him…” We are created by God. We are not an afterthought or an accident of nature, but we are a beautifully crafted creation of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)
“a little lower” … in the created order we are created a little lower than the divine beings (some translations would imply angels, but others say imply that we are lower than God). This is a position of distinction and honor. God has placed humanity in the highest position of honor over any earthly creature. We are a little lower than the heavenly beings, but God has put us in a place of honor. If we are not in awe of the fact that God cares for humanity, then certainly it is awe inspiring to know that we are exalted to a place of honor.
“crowned with glory and honor” … God has placed on our heads the right to be his Kingly representatives. We have the honor to bear the image of God since we are made in his likeness. We represent God… Let that sink in a bit. Maybe that will help you determine how you live your life.
Vs 8:6: “You have given him dominion…” God has appointed humanity to have authority and rule over His creation. This does not mean abusive, careless, and dictatorial authority but as one who is lovingly and carefully tending for someone else’s belongings. (Genesis 1:26-28)
If it wasn’t enough to be thought of and cared for by God, and placed in a position of honor, we are also given charge to care for His creation. He has entrusted us with all He has created.
Hebrews 2:8 - 9
Vs 8: This clearly hasn’t happened yet. Humans are not ruling the world, bringing God’s order and justice to bear on the whole of creation. Everything is still in a state of semi-chaos. The verse corresponds to the divine goal spoken in Gen 1:26–28. Humanity was created in God’s image; we were assigned with the obligation to care for and tend to the earth. This mandate was unfulfilled because of sin and death, but this promise has not been forgotten
Vs 9a: Jesus is the representative of humanity. His exaltation as Lord, after his earthly ministry, suffering and death (in which he was indeed ‘lower than the angels’) has placed him in the role marked out from the beginning for humanity. He has gone ahead into God’s future, the future in which order and justice—saving order, healing justice—will come to the world. The exaltation of Jesus, and the fact that we who follow him can celebrate this and live in the light of it, is one of the major themes of the whole book.
Vs 9b: The author of Hebrews sums up: in his suffering of death, Jesus has, by God’s grace, been enabled “to taste death for everyone”. A good deal of the remainder of this letter is devoted to describing how this comes about, and what it means. Until this day, we need to rejoice in the fact that in Jesus God has already conquered death on our behalf, and he is already ruling the world as its just and rightful Lord.
The world may see Jesus as a man crucified on a cross, dead, and buried… a martyr. Or the world may see him as a myth, legend, or antihero who had the courage to defy the powers of darkness and face his evil nemesis the devil in the boxing ring of hell. Or the world may not even consider Jesus, he is not real and he has no relevance to us to today or in history. He is just a made-up story because people need to believe in something.
But to us who believe, we see Jesus’ coronation and installation into the priestly glory and majesty as hope. Since Jesus tasted death for everyone by the grace of God, it is thus fitting that that he would bring salvation to humanity. God’s purpose is to bring people to glory, and this happens through Jesus. He was the perfect champion to bring this about. Jesus was never imperfect morally, but through his suffering, temptation, death, and exaltation to the right hand of the Father he is now adequate, complete, and fully qualified to carry out salvation and be proclaimed savior of all.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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