5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
Verses 5–18 set forth the sacrifice of Jesus as High Priest for our sins. As risen and enthroned in His humanity, He has superior glory. We see in this section God’s eight purposes for Jesus becoming a human being:
—to fulfill His theocratic purpose for man, 2:5-9a
—to experience substitutionary death for mankind, 2:9b
—to destroy the devil, 2:14
—to deliver people from bondage, 2:15
—to become a high priest to personally represent believers in heaven, 2:16-17a
—to satisfy God about the sin question, 2:17b
—to afford help for those tested, 2:18
If the readers understood that Jesus was clearly a human being and died a humiliating death in His body, why should they believe that He was superior to angels? The following argument shows how He is superior to even higher creatures (vv. 5-19).
The word “for” explains how the word spoken by the Son and the apostles will come to pass (He 2:3-4). It also shows how the Son as the Mediator of revelation transcends angels as mediators and how the saints will inherit the kingdom (He 1:14; 2:6-9).
He [God] has not put the world [inhabited world or humanity] to come,
This phrase speaks about the future reign of Christ, not heaven (Mt 24:14; Ro 10:18). His Millennial Kingdom will begin at His Second Coming. This is the age of the Messiah’s rule. The world here is not the world as a system (kosmos) but the inhabited world or humanity (He 1:6).
The Jews in the Old Testament and gospels looked forward toward an earthly and glorious reign by one of David’s progeny (Ac 1:6). This would be the time when Jerusalem would no longer be “trodden down by the Gentiles.” The earth according to Old Testament promises would be filled with “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.” This would be as extensive as waters covering the sea.
of which we speak,
The writer of Hebrews spoke about the dominion of the world in chapter 1 (He 1:5-14). King Jesus will one day rule the world. “We speak” refers to the time the author and his hearers were receiving verse 5.
in subjection to angels.
God will not put the future kingdom in the charge of angels. He previously gave angels degrees of administration in the world (Deut 32:8). However, when it comes to the Son, they will be in subjection to Him. The messianic kingdom will not be ruled by angels.
God’s plan for man was to gain dominion over the created order (Ga 1:26-28). He was to rule as a theocratic (theo = God; cratic = rule) king, to rule on God’s behalf on earth. Jesus one day will be the ultimate Theocratic King.
King Jesus, not angels, will have dominion over the Millennial Kingdom.
There will be a new, inhabited earth in the future. Angels will not administer the world at that time. King Jesus and His followers will then rule on earth (Re 3:21). God commanded Adam to gain dominion over the earth as a theocratic king, but he failed due to his sin (Ge 1:26-31). In the future kingdom, Jesus and believers will succeed in gaining dominion where Adam failed. God made man the crown of His creation: He made him to dominate creation.
Jesus became temporally subject to the realm of earth when He became a man. He did this to gain dominion over earth as man. When He becomes exalted above angels in His kingdom, they will be subservient to Him. This is His destiny on earth. He will sit as David’s son on David’s throne to rule over the entire earth. He clearly has superior destiny to angels.
God will one day crown the saints (2 Ti 4:7-8; Ja 1:12; Re 2:26). He will manifest our joint heirship with Christ in the age to come (Ro 8:17; Ga 4:1f).