The Son is the radiance of God’s glory
and the exact representation of his being,
sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Awesome verse! Come along as I break this down, k?
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory…”
Radiance = reflected brightness; in Christ in that he perfectly reflects the majesty of God; effulgence (the quality of being bright & sending out rays of light); shining forth, of a light coming from a luminous body; out-raying
Glory = splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence (high status importance owing to marked superiority), dignity, grace, most exalted state, belonging to God
“…and the exact representation of his being…”
Exact representation = an instrument used for engraving or carving; the mark stamped upon that instrument or wrought out on it; stamped on, an impression; the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e. facsimile
Being = that which has foundation, is firm; that which has actual existence (a substance, real being); the substantial quality or nature of a person or thing; the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution
“…sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
Sustaining = to carry some burden; to move by bearing; to endure the rigor of a thing, to bear patiently one’s conduct, or spare one (abstain from punishing or destroying), bring forth, produce, lead
Powerful = inherent power; power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts & puts forth; power for performing miracles; moral power & excellence of soul
Word = that which is or has been uttered by the living voice; any sound produced by the voice & having definite meaning; an utterance; subject matter of speech
So what I like to do is read the verse many times & insert the meaning(s) of each word in the appropriate places. One way to read it would be like this:
“The Son (Jesus) perfectly reflects God’s magnificence, the excellence that can only belong to God, and it shines forth from him. He is the precise reproduction of the substantial quality & nature of God in every respect. He brings forth all things by taking the burden on himself to do so, and he does this by his inherently powerful word, the power that can & will do miracles.”
What a powerful verse. I just cannot fully wrap my head around this one! I think this has even more special meaning at this time of year where I’m thinking of the Christmas story – the birth of Jesus. When Jesus was in Mary’s womb, when he was an infant, a toddler, a young child, a teenager, a young man, living, dying, working, laughing, etc. – He perfectly reflected God’s magnificence & was bringing forth all things by his powerful word. He is the precise reproduction of the nature of God in every respect. Whoa. As a baby. Think about it. Meditate on it. Let God speak to you today.