The Epistle to the Hebrews is characterized by teaching and pastoral admonition-the writer is a teacher and a pastor. As a spiritual overseer he constantly admonishes his readers to listen attentively and obediently to God’s Word. He shows a genuine concern for the spiritual well-being of the recipients of his letter.
One of those readers perhaps asked if Jesus, the divine Son of God, is unacquainted with human nature. The answer is given in the form of a lengthy quotation from Psalm 8. Jesus “was made a little lower than the angels” but now, because of his death, resurrection, and ascension, is “crowned with glory and honor.” Jesus fulfilled the words of Psalm 8 and through this fulfillment has obtained salvation for his people. No angel could have fulfilled the task that Jesus accomplished by “tast[ing] death for everyone.” He is one with his brothers because together they constitute the family of God. Jesus, the Son of God, is truly human and fully identifies with his brothers. Because of this identity, Jesus has “become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God.” He sets his people free from sin and stands with them in their times of trial and temptation. Jesus sympathetically and at the same time intimately understands the problems believers face.