The Names of Christ
Names have great significance in the Bible. A name was not just the label that differentiated one person from another, but often described something about the person. The name Abraham is translated "Father of a multitude", Jacob means "supplanter" and David "beloved". The most important names in the Bible, however, describe God Himself. He uses His names to help humanity understand the reality of who He is. God does not cloak His identity and distance Himself from His creation. Instead, we have a God who desires to be known:
"... But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:24)
As we rush through the Christmas season burdened with busy schedules, may we take time to seek the Man whose birth Christmas celebrates. Who is Jesus Christ? Was He simply a good man, a teacher, or a revolutionary? Through His names, the Bible gives us great insight into the identity of the baby that was born in Bethlehem in Judea over 2000 years ago.
Jesus: From the name Joshua, or Yehoshua, which means "Yahweh is salvation".
"And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
Emmanuel: From the Hebrew words Immanu: "with us" and El "God".
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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. (Matthew 1:22, 23)
The Word: Logos in the Greek - God's living, breathing message of who He is, by whom He created all things.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God .... All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1, 3)
"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." (John 1:14)
Son of David: The Messiah the King.
"Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:7)
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David:" (Luke 1:32)
"And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, 'Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.'" (Matthew 21:9)
The Lamb of God: Innocent, pure, and sent to die in our place.
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto Him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)
"But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world ..." (1 Peter 1:19, 20a)
I AM: The very name of the God of Moses, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator:
"Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." (Exodus 3:14)
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am." (John 8:58)
He is the Son of Man and the Son of God. He is the Rock, The Good Shepherd, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. May God be blessed for his goodness toward us, for "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17)
That is who Jesus is.
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
Taken from the K-House eNews for the Week of December 17, 2002, The Names of Christ.
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