Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus, the Same Yesterday, Today and Forever


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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. — World English.

Hebrews 13:8 is often cited as proof of the deity of Christ; by deity the thought is meant to say that Christ is the Most High Yahweh (Jehovah) Himself. Obviously, since there is nothing in the verse that says that Jesus is Yahweh, what is expected is that one should read such a thought into the verse.

The question was asked concerning Hebrews 13:8, “How can Jesus be created, since he was the same yesterday?”

Additionally, Hebrews 13:8 is often quoted as proof that Jesus has what they claim is an immutable nature of God, possessing a nature (by which they mean the plan of existence as God Almighty) which never changes. Is Hebrews 13:8 talking about an unchangeable “nature”, as that word is defined by trinitarians and many others? Has there been absolutely no change at all in Jesus as far as plane of existence is concerned? Could it mean that Jesus has always been and always will be of a “human nature” and a “God nature” (We speak in terms of those who believe that Jesus had two “natures” at once)? Although many sometimes use this scripture and speak of his having unchangeable “nature”, the scripture does not specify anything about such a matter.

Actually we have no reason to think that Paul is speaking of not having any change in plane of existence, as some seem to wish to have this verse say.

Paul, in context, is talking about imitating the faithfulness of the those taking the lead in faith. Jesus *is* our leader; his example of faith is the same yesterday, today and forever. Of course, Jesus has proven himself unchangeable in doing the will of his God. It is this quality which makes him so reliable and so completely trustworthy. His promises never fail, his word is steadfast, and his abiding assistance can always be counted on by his followers.

Hebrews 13:8, however, is not saying that Jesus did not leave the glory he had with his God and become flesh, which was indeed a “change” from one glory to another glory. (1 Corinthians 15:40) Jesus, while in the days of his flesh, did not have his former heavenly glory. (John 17:5; Hebrews 5:7) God Almighty did not become flesh. (John 1:14) It was the son of God Almighty that became flesh, having the glory of the earthly body, a little lower than the angels. (John 10:36; Hebrews 2:7). If God Almighty became flesh, that would mean that God Almighty became physical flesh, that Jesus’ body itself was God Almighty, that therefore God Almighty has given God Almighty in sacrifice to God Almighty, and thus Almighty God was dead. — John 6:51; Ephesians 5:2.

One must take this verse in context. We know that Jesus did change, as far as plane of existence is concerned. He was “made” or “became” flesh — a little lower than the angels. The contextual point the author of Hebrews is making here is that the teachings of Jesus Christ are now the same as when they were first taught, and will continue the same forever, and we most certainly should imitate his faith. Read verses 7-9 carefully. We are told to “Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God, and considering the results of their conduct, imitate their faith.” Then, suddenly, we are reminded: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is a reminder of a greater exemplar than the ones just spoken of.

Yes, Jesus proved himself unchangeable, not only in his faithfulness to his God, but in full and total obedience to God in every detail. (Hebrews 3:2; 4:15) Jesus was not only faithful, however, as a human, but also before his becoming a human. (Proverbs 8:22-30) This does not mean that Jesus was/is his God to whom he was faithful.

Did not Jesus “change” from one glory to another glory so as to become a human? When he became a human, this was certainly a change, even if the change was in trinitarian terms where he supposedly added the “human nature” to his “God nature”, for he would have “changed” from one “nature” to two “natures”. Therefore, we have no reason to think that Paul is speaking of not having any change in plane of existence, as some seem to wish to have this verse say.

Paul, in context, is talking about imitating the faithfulness of the those taking the lead in faith. Jesus is our leader; his example of faith is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Of course, Jesus has proven himself unchangeable in doing the will of his God. It is this quality which makes him so reliable and so completely trustworthy. His promises never fail, his word is steadfast, and his abiding assistance can always be counted on by his followers.

Hebrews 13:8, however, is not saying that Jesus did not leave the glory he had with his God and become flesh, which was indeed a “change” from one glory to another glory. (1 Corinthians 15:40) If God Almighty became flesh, that would mean that Jesus’ flesh itself was God Almighty, and that therefore God Almighty has given God Almighty to God Almighty, and thus Almighty God was dead. — John 6:51; Ephesians 5:2.

This verse is not saying that Jesus never changed from spiritual body to physical body and then again to spiritual body; we know that he did go through those changes. While he was in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), Jesus did not possess the glory of the spiritual body that he had when he was with his God and Father before the world of mankind was made through him. (John 1:1,10; 17:1,3,5; 1 Corinthians 15:40) While in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7); he did have the bodily glory of a sinless human being who never once sinned. (John 1:14; Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:9; 10:5; 1 Peter 2:21,22) Since he sacrificed his glory as a human for sin, he is no longer a human being, a little lower than the angels, but now possesses he bodily glory that is above the angels. — Colossians 2:9,10; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; Hebrews 1:4; 1 Peter 3:22.

We know that Jesus did change, as far as plane of existence is concerned. He was “made” or “became” flesh — a little lower than the angels. The point the author of Hebrews is making here is that the teachings of Jesus Christ are now the same as when they were first taught, and will continue the same forever, and we most certainly should imitate his faith. Read verses 7-9 carefully. We are told to “Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God, and considering the results of their conduct, imitate their faith.” Then, suddenly, we are reminded: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is a reminder of a greater exemplar than the ones just spoken of.

Yes, Jesus proved himself unchangeable, not only in his faithfulness to his God, but in full and total obedience to God in every detail. (Hebrews 3:2; 4:15) Jesus was not only faithful, however, as a human, but also before his becoming a human. (Proverbs 8:22-30) This does not mean that Jesus was/is his God to whom he was faithful.

What about the claim that the expresson “the same yesterday, today, and forever” means that Jesus was not created, that he was “begotten in eternity”? The word ‘yesterday” actually contradicts the idea of duration without beginning, or existence outside of time. A yesterday simply reflects a day before the present day. But a day has a beginning; so has a yesterday. A day, in the Bible as well in everyday speech, does not always mean a 24-hour day based on the rotation of the earth. The word “day” sometimes signifies an indefinite time, or a set period of time. (Genesis 2:4; Isaiah 22:5; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:8, etc.) The yesterday, and today spoken of in the verse are periods of time.

The Greek word translated “forever” literally means “to the ages” (Young’s Literal Translation). This latter expression relates to all ages to come, and does express future eternity in that sense. But in relation to the ages to come, “today” would refer to the Gospel age, the age we are now in, the day of salvation for the church. (2 Corinthians 6:2) Earlier in the book of Hebrews Paul contrasts the present “day” with that of the Israelites. (Hebrews 3:7,13; 4:7) Thus “yesterday” in this context would refer to the Jewish Age. (Isaiah 65:2; Romans 10:21; Hebrews 4:7-10) Whether is application is correct or not, there is nothing in the word “yesterday” that means an eternal past. Indeed, many trinitarian scholars reach similar conclusions regarding Hebrews 13:8.

Jesus never changed in his faithful obedience toward his God, and this is what is being discussed in context. Jesus is our greatest exemplar of faith, since he never once disobeyed God, and he always was faithful to his God and Father, the only true God, even more so than was Moses, who is listed amongst the men of faith that we are to imitate in faith. — Hebrews 3:2; 11:4-12:3; 13:7-9.

What we do not find is anything in the verse that designates Jesus as being uncreated; we certainly find nothing that designates Jesus as being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob exists as more than one person, etc. Indeed, such ideas have to be added to, and read into, what is stated.

         
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1 comment to Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus, the Same Yesterday, Today and Forever

  • Todd Rosvold

    Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
    Gen 3:9 ¶ And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
    Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

    Gen 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

    Isa 45:18 ¶ For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
    Isa 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
    Isa 45:20 ¶ Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
    Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
    Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
    Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
    Isa 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
    Isa 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

    Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
    Isa 53:1 ¶ Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
    Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
    Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    Isa 53:4 ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
    Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
    Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    Isa 53:7 ¶ He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
    Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
    Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
    Isa 53:10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
    Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
    Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

    Mat 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

    Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
    Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
    Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    Jhn 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    Jhn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    Jhn 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    Jhn 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    Jhn 1:14 ¶ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    Jhn 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
    Jhn 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
    Jhn 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

    Heb 1:5 ¶ For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
    Heb 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
    Heb 1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
    Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

    Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

    Heb 7:1 ¶ For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
    Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
    Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
    Heb 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

    1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

    Phl 2:5 ¶ Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    Phl 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    Phl 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
    Phl 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Rev 5:1 ¶ And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
    Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
    Rev 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
    Rev 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
    Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
    Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
    Rev 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
    Rev 5:8 ¶ And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
    Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
    Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
    Rev 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
    Rev 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
    Rev 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
    Rev 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

    Rev 19:11 ¶ And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
    Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
    Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
    Rev 19:14 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
    Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
    Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

    The Bible declares God is love (1 jhn 4:8,16) – Jesus is the amazing manifestation of God’s love to us.

    So we se that there is only one God and Saviour, He is the creator of both heaven and earth. He alone is worthy. He alone is Holy. He has forgiven our sins and purchased us by his very own blood.

    God walked with man in the beginning and his plan is to be with us always.

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