Bible Q&A: Two-For-One About Angels

Why did God make the son of man a little lower than the angels? How is man lower than the angels if we are made in the image of God?

Humanity, while being made in God’s image, is also flesh and blood with all the limitations that come with that such as limited age span, wisdom, and strength, as well as lacking any inherent supernatural ability.  Celestial angels are also created beings, but the Scriptures show them to be of a different nature than humanity with different attributes.  For example, they are spirit beings (Heb. 1:14) who are incapable of death (Lk. 20:36) with implied greater wisdom and power than mankind (2 Sam. 14:20; Matt. 24:36; 28:2).  In those ways we are “lower” than the angels (cf. Heb. 2:6-7).

Hebrews 2:7-8 seems contradictory. Does it mean that while Christ was on earth He was lower than the angels, but now there is coming a time when all will be under His feet? Or did that occur as soon as He died?

Jesus is described as “the Word” who “was with God” and “was God” and yet “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14).  As Paul described it, Jesus “was in the form of God, (and) did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7).  By making himself human, Jesus was “made…lower than the angels” (Heb. 2:7) for the reasons described in the last question.  This took place “for a little while” (v. 7), specifically the 33 years of life he spent here on earth as human.

At the end of that period of time in which he lived, died, and was resurrected from the dead, he then ascended back to the throne of God (Mk. 16:19; Dan. 7:13-14, who at that time “crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:7-8; cf. Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-22).

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