Names Of Jesus ~ 20160327 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
03/27 Names of Jesus; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20160327_names-of-jesus.mp3
This is Resurrection Sunday. It is a day to celebrate Jesus, the victory Jesus accomplished on the cross, the triumph of the empty tomb. As we have been studying who God is, and last week we looked at some of the names of God, I thought it would be fitting this week to look at some of the names of Jesus. Who is Jesus? This is such an important question. This is an eternity altering question. Who is Jesus? Paul warned in 2 Corinthians 11:4 of those who preach another Jesus, a different spirit, a different gospel. Jesus himself warned of false christs who would lead others astray (Mt.24:24; Mk.13:22). We want to know Jesus, Jesus as he really is, as he reveals himself to be. One way to learn about Jesus is to look at the names he is given. There are something like 200 names and titles given to Jesus in the Scriptures. We will only scratch the surface of who Jesus is today, but it is my prayer that by looking at Jesus, we will deepen in our affection and appreciation and worship of him.
The Word, The Only Son, Immanuel
At the beginning of John's gospel, Jesus is introduced to us by a different name.
Jesus is the Word. The Word, The Logos, the Divine expression, divine reason. Before anything was made, Jesus the Word was in the beginning with God. He was distinct from God, in relationship with God the Father; 'the Word was with God.' And Jesus is of the same Divine nature as his Father; 'the Word was God.' Jesus, the Word, is the Creator of all that is. Jesus the Word has life in himself; he is the living one.
John continues in verse 14:
Jesus the Word was not flesh. He was invisible Spirit from all eternity with his Father. He became flesh at a moment in history and dwelt among us. He became human. He is the only God who is at his Father's side. He is the Word, the self-expression of God. Jesus is the one who makes God known.
The Only Son [μονογενής]
Jesus is the only Son from the Father. Jesus has an exclusive unique relationship with his Father. The word in John 1:14 and 18, and John 3:16 and 18, as well as 1 John 4:9 is μονογενής - the only Son, or only begotten, the one and only, the unique Son. John 3:16 says:
1 John 4:9 says
Jesus is the μονογενής, the one and only. He is the Son, in unique, eternal, and unparalleled relationship with his Father.
Immanuel - God With Us
In Matthew 1 we find another name, this one drawn from the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14
Jesus is the virgin born Son, and his name is Immanuel, God with us.
Alpha and Omega
In Revelation 22, when Jesus says he is coming soon, he claims:
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, or the A to Z, in the words of Isaiah 43:10 “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” and 44:6 “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
These names speak of who Jesus is, his nature, his essence. He is the Word who was with God and was God, the Creator, the Eternal One, the Alpha and Omega, the One and Only Unique Son of the Father, Immanuel, God with us.
Anointed, Messiah, Christ
Psalm 2 tells us of YHWH, the Lord, and his Anointed.
In Acts 4 the disciples apply this title, the Anointed, to Jesus. In Hebrew this is Meshiak, or Messiah. In Isaiah 61, we see the verbal form of this word:
Jesus applies this Scripture to himself in Luke 4. In John 1, when Andrew persuades his brother Simon to follow Jesus, he says “We have found the Messiah (which means Christ)” (Jn.1:41). When Jesus is speaking to the woman in Samaria,
In Matthew 16, Peter responds to Jesus' question 'who do you say that I am?' with the confession “you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt.16:16). In Acts, the disciples 'did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.' (Acts 5:42). Jesus is God's Anointed one, the Messiah in Hebrew, the Christ in Greek.
Son of David
God made a promise to David in 2 Samuel
This sounds a lot like Solomon, David's son, who built the temple in Jerusalem, but if you read this carefully, this is much bigger than Solomon. Solomon's kingdom was not established forever. In fact, as a consequence of Solomon's idolatry the kingdom was torn from him and divided under his son Rehoboam, (1Ki.11-12).
In Isaiah 9, we find the promise of a child to be born, a son to be given who will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The government will be on his shoulder, and we are told:
And when the angel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary he used the language of this promise to point to Jesus.
When the people saw the miraculous signs done by Jesus, they asked “Can this be the Son of David?” (Mt.12:23). When Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds were shouting ““Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mt.21:9). Jesus affirmed their ascription of this title to himself, but it is worth noting that he pushed on their expectation and understanding of this title. In Matthew 22, Jesus challenged their thinking,
Jesus is not denying that the Christ is the physical descendant of David. But he is challenging their thinking that the Christ is merely another human king in the lineage of David. If this were the case, why would David refer to him in Psalm 110 as 'my Lord'? It would be awkward for David to refer to Solomon or Rehoboam as 'my Lord'. Jesus is physically descended from the blood line of David, but the Scriptures indicate that he is greater than David; he is David's Lord.
Mark begins his gospel introducing
John is the fulfillment of Isaiah 40, preparing the way of the Lord. What is interesting about this name “Lord” is that when we look back at Isaiah, we read “prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Is.40:3). Prepare the way of YHWH; make straight a highway for our Elohim. This title 'Lord' is connecting the Old Testament terms YHWH and Elohim to Jesus.
When Saul is blinded and knocked down and hears a voice from heaven, he said:
The Lord from heaven is Jesus. In Acts 2, Peter declares:
Peter is quoting Joel 2:32, 'everyone who calls on the name of YHWH'. This is the basis for Paul's statement in Romans 10
Jesus is YHWH, the Lord, the Son of David, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. He is the prophet who is to come, who will speak the words of the Lord (Acts 3:22-23; Deut 18:15-19; Jn.6:14; 7:40). He is our Great High Priest, our one Mediator between God and man (Heb.4:14; 1Tim.2:5). He is our King, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1Tim.6:15; Rev.19:11-16).
Son of Man
Out of all the names of Jesus, the way Jesus most often referred to himself is 'the Son of Man'. This title is found 81 times in the gospels, always on the lips of Jesus. In comparison, the title 'Son of God' is used 26 times, and all but 4 of those are someone else referring to Jesus; Satan, demons, the Pharisees, the centurion, an angel, or his disciples.
In response to the interrogation of the high priest asking if he was the Christ, the Son of the Blessed, the Son of God, Jesus responded:
This name is taken from Daniel's vision of the Ancient of Days seated on his throne of judgment at the end of time in Daniel 7
Then in verse 13,
This one like the Son of Man was given everlasting dominion by the Ancient of Days to rule over all the peoples of the earth. He came with the clouds of heaven. This is how Jesus describes himself under oath to the high priest; “the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” This one like a Son of Man speaks of his kingdom authority seated at the right hand of his Father on high, ruling all the kingdoms of the earth, but it also speaks of his humanity, his humility, his identity with mankind. Jesus is God from all eternity, but he became a man. He became one of us. He stooped down to identify with us. Remaining what he was, he became what he was not; being very God, he took on flesh and became a man.
Jesus of Nazareth; Nazarene
In Matthew 2, we are told:
In the ancient world, people were often distinguished from other people of the same name by their hometown. Although born in Bethlehem, Jesus grew up in the town of Nazareth in Galilee.
Nazareth apparently had a reputation. Nothing good comes out of Nazareth. No prophet arises from Galilee (Jn.7:41, 52). Jesus was despised and rejected. Jesus came to the outcasts. Jesus identified with the nobodies.
Cornerstone, Stone of Stumbling, Rock of Offense
Jesus quoted Psalm 118:22 to the chief priests and Pharisees.
Jesus is the cornerstone, but he is also a rejected stone. Peter connects this imagery with Isaiah 8 and 28.
Paul writes to the Corinthians:
Peter declares before the Jewish leaders:
There is no other name but the name of Jesus by which we must be saved.
Savior / Jesus
The angel announced to the outcast shepherds in the hills outside of Bethlehem:
Jesus is a savior to outcasts. In Matthew 1, the angel connects this role with his name Jesus.
Jesus means YHWH Saves. He came to rescue sinners. Broken. Needy. To those who think they are fine on their own, they find him to be a Stone of Stumbling, a Rock of Offense, nothing good, despised and rejected. But to those who know they need him he is a Rock, a Sure Foundation, the Cornerstone, Salvation.
The Resurrection / Firstborn from the Dead
Jesus tells a dear friend grieving the loss of her brother:
Jesus claims to be the resurrection. He told his disciples on multiple occasions that he would be betrayed, suffer, be crucified, and that he would rise again. Colossians 1 and Revelation 1 calls Jesus the Firstborn from the Dead. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul ties the resurrection of Christ the Firstfruits to our hope of resurrection
The Name Above All Names
Jesus humbled himself even to the humiliation of death on a cross.
Jesus is the name above every name. Every knee will bow one day to Jesus.
Do You Know Him?
I want to close today with a story from the book of Acts. In Acts 19, extraordinary things were being done in the name of Jesus.
We have looked at a few of the many names of Jesus today. We have seen something of who he is. But it is very dangerous to know something about Jesus, and not know Jesus. These Jewish exorcists knew of Jesus, and attempted to use his name. But they didn't know Jesus, and it didn't end well for them. There is power in the name of Jesus, but you must know Jesus, you must be known by him, you must be in relationship with him. Do you know him? You must know him as Lord and God, as the Only Son of the Father, as King of kings, as your Anointed Prophet, Priest and King. You must experience him as Rock and Redeemer, as your Savior, as your Resurrection and your Life. To know of Jesus and not to know him is probably the most tragic place to be. I pray that none of us will ever hear those terrible words from the mouth of our Lord: 'I never knew you'.
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org