How is Jesus a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7)?

Psalm 8:5 is a messianic prophesy fulfilled by Jesus. It says, "Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:5). The writer of Hebrews refers to Psalm 8:4–6 in talking about Jesus.

Hebrews 2:5–9 says, "For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, 'What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.' Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

These Psalms and Hebrews verses refer to Jesus as incarnate, as man. Jesus, existent since before creation, came to earth as a man, lower than the heavenly beings for a time. Philippians 2:7 says that Jesus "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."

Paul goes on to summarize Jesus's mission and eventual place in heaven, above all. "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:8–11).

Jesus being made a little lower than the angels and taking on a physical body eternally does not diminish His divinity. He is fully God, yet chose to humbly take on human flesh so that He could make a way of salvation for us (Luke 19:10; John 3:16–18; 14:6). Jesus is now in heaven interceding for those who believe in Him (Romans 8:34) as He prepares a place for those who believe (John 14:1–3).


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