“Having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
Superior to angels is one of the views in this book that presents Jesus as superior to all before him. This includes the angels who were, after all, created beings. We would suspect that Jesus would be superior to them since he is responsible for their creation. However, we must remember that to leave heaven and come to the earth as a man Jesus had to move down two steps. When he came as a baby, he became lower than the angels. Paul talks about that process in his letter to the Philippians. Jesus emptied himself of the equality with God and became a servant, the lowest servant, mankind.
This process was reversed when he sat down on the throne after his work as a man. God restored him to the level of God one step above the angels whom he created.
There is some discussion of the inherited name spoken of in this verse. Various ideas have been brought forth, but the next verse seems to me to indicate that the name being spoken of here is “Son.” This is highlighted by the references to father, son, and firstborn. This son term appears in the Bible in the Old Testament as a reference to occasions of a shadow of the type. David was God’s son but only in the sense of setting the type.
The name Son of God is certainly superior to the name given to angels. This grand name was never used for them as they are created beings and not the radiant Son. There is a vast difference between the Son and the servants or the Son and the messengers. All in all, this is just the first of ways in which the communication of the last days is superior to the former ones. The writer of Hebrews will not stop until he has pointed out all the ways in which the new word is superior to the old.
Task for Today: As we begin our walk through this book, do a personal catalog of the superiority of Jesus to all that came before. When we reach the near end, you will feel completely different about the work of Jesus as the last prophet and priest. Today may also be a good day to begin daily praise of God for the gift of the Son.