Holy brethren.--United in one brotherhood in virtue of a common sonship (Hebrews 2:10) and of a common brotherhood (Hebrews 2:11) with Jesus, Him "that sanctifieth" (Hebrews 2:11).
Partakers.--Through Him who "took part" of our earthly nature (Hebrews 2:14) we are partakers of a "heavenly calling" (Hebrews 2:10) as God's sons.
The Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.--The best MSS. omit "Christ"; and it is impossible not to feel how fitly the personal name "Jesus" is used after the later verses of Hebrews 2. Here only is the name Apostle directly given to our Lord; but the thought is present in Hebrews 2:3, and in the many passages in which Jesus designates Himself as the Sent of God, using the word from which Apostle is derived (John 3:17; John 5:36, et al.; especially John 17:18; John 20:21). There is very little difference between Apostle and Prophet, thus applied; but the one brings into relief the mission, the other the office and position. Each presents a thought complementary of that contained in high priest: "as Apostle Jesus pleads the cause of God with us; as High Priest He pleads our cause with God" (Bengel). The next verse renders it probable that the two terms contain a reference to the special mission of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron; our Christian confession looks to One mediator.
partakers of the heavenly calling; by which is meant not any business, or employment of life; nor a call to any office in church or state; nor a mere external call by the ministry of the word; but an internal special call of grace, to the enjoyment of the blessings of grace here, and to glory hereafter; and which is not according, to works, but according to the grace of God, and is by powerful, efficacious, and irresistible grace: and this is said to be "heavenly", because the grace by which the saints are called is from heaven, and it is to heaven they are called; and the means of their calling, the Gospel, is from heaven; and this epistle epithet is used to show the excellency of their calling, and to distinguish it from all others: and this the Hebrews are said to be "partakers of"; which shows, that God had not utterly cast off that people, and yet that they were not the only persons that enjoyed the grace of the effectual calling, they were but partners with others; and that the saints are alike sharers in this blessing, they are called in one hope of their calling; and it denotes the truth and reality of it: the duty they are exhorted to is,
to consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, read, only "Jesus"; who is called "the apostle", because he was sent of God to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and do the will of God, particularly to obtain redemption and salvation for his people, which mission does not suppose any inequality of persons, or change of place, or any compulsion or disrespect to Christ, but love to men; and is to be understood of him as in office as Mediator, and shows his authority, and that he was no impostor. The high priest among the Jews was, on the day of atonement, considered as "an apostle", or "messenger" (s); for so the elders of the sanhedrim address him on that day, saying,
"Lord high priest, we are the messengers of the sanhedrim, and thou art "our apostle", or "messenger", and the messenger of the sanhedrim.''
And it follows here, and "the high priest of our profession"; which may be understood either objectively, whom they professed, both by words or deeds; for a profession of him should be public, visible, and sincere; or efficiently, he being the author, sum, and substance of the religion, faith, and Gospel which was professed by them: and he is to be "considered" in the greatness and dignity of his person, as the Son of God; and in his wondrous grace and love in assuming human nature, and dying for his people; and in the relations he stands in to them as a Father, husband, brother, friend; and in his several offices, as Mediator, and particularly as sent of God, to be the Saviour of sinners; and as the high priest, who has offered himself a sacrifice, and ever lives to make intercession; and all this to encourage the saints to hold fast their profession of him.
(s) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 5.