Note: In honour of our Messiah and for our meditation and reflection, I will post each of the 5 part series every Wednesday until the Wednesday of week of Renewal Monday (which is the day after resurrection Sunday 27th March 2016)
Part 1: What’s in the name Jesus? Honouring the Messiah’s Identity & Purpose.
We are first made aware of what name the Messiah was to be called according to the will of the Most High God when the Angel appeared to Mary to tell her she was chosen by God.
In Luke 1:31-35 we read the words of the Angel as follows “31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel[a] forever; his Kingdom will never end!”34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”
As most Christians know, Jesus is the English name of the Messiah, our Lord and Saviour, who is central to our Christian Faith. Jesus is the name derived from the Latin form of the Greek name Iesous that is a rendition of the Hebrew name Yeshua which also has variants Joshua or Jeshua.
In Wikipedia we read that
-the name Yeshua is related “to the Hebrew verb root “rescue, deliver” and one of its noun forms, yešuaʿ “deliverance”.”
– “There have been various proposals as to how the literal etymological meaning of the name should be translated, including YHWH (God)saves, (is) salvation (is) a saving-cry (is) a cry-for-saving (is) a cry-for-help, (is) my help.
Yeshua was an early Biblical Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yehoshuaʿ which underwent a shortening into later Biblical יֵשׁוּעַYeshua`, as found in certain Hebrew texts”
Isaiah (9:6) was compelled by God to tell us the identity and purpose of Jesus in this manner:
“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.”
So when you say “Jesus” or “Yeshua” (God is Salvation) referring to our Messiah, you are actually coming in agreement with his identity and purpose as spoken by God through certain Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah.
You are also proclaiming his identity and purpose as mentioned in the New Testament as follows:
1.His oneness with God the creator.
Let us remind ourselves of scriptures that speak of the fact that Jesus and God are one
i. Jesus said (John 10:30) “I and my Father are one”.
ii.Jesus referred to himself as the “I Am” when he said “Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58) in the same way God did (Exodus 3:14)
iii. Jesus “who being the brightness of [his] (God’s) glory, and the express image of his (God’s) person…(Heb. 1:3 KJV).
iv. Jesus “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature..”(Col. 1:15 KJV)
2. You are in agreement with what the following said about Jesus as they received from God or under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
i.The Angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary and said “31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.32He 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:33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33 KJV)
ii.The Angels who appeared to the Shepherds watching their flock at night:
” 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:10-14 KJV).
iii. Simeon a just and devout man who was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” saw Jesus and “28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:28-32 KJV) 34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.(Luke 2:34-35 KJV).
iv. Anna the prophetess who had been fasting and praying awaiting Jesus, when she saw him “she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38 KJV).
v. The Magi (wise men) from the east who came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus said “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matt.2:2 KJV).
vi. John who said of Jesus:
– “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2The same was in the beginning with God.3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.(John 1:1-5 KJV)
-He also said that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:9).
vii. Nathanael was impressed and surprised that by his words Jesus appeared to know him before he met Nathanael and so he said to Jesus “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel”(John 1:49 KJV).
viii. Peter who replied to Jesus’ question (“Who do you say I am?”) as follows “You are the Messiah, son of the living God”. (Matt 16:15-16 KJV)
As we can see our Messiah’s purpose and identity summed up in His name “Jesus” or “Yeshua” are expressed in scripture in various ways. I summarise above as follows:
God’s Salvation, Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, The Messiah, Son of the Living God, King of Israel, Light to the Gentiles, Glory of God’s people Israel, Lamb of God, the Word of God who became flesh, the awaited redeemer & consoler. A revealer of the thoughts & hearts of many as well as their rising or falling.
The significance of the name, Jesus cannot be under estimated. This is why the apostle Paul wrote “8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;11And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:8-11 KJV).
Christ is the English translation of the Latin Christus and Greek Khristos from the Hebrew word (Masiah) for Messiah meaning anoint. It was used as a title for Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus was anointed. He was the one whom the Spirit of God descended during His baptism and identified him as the beloved, well pleasing son of God (Matt.3:17)
Jesus spoke of His purpose many times affirming that indeed “God is salvation” but I highlight here one occasion, in the temple when he quoted Is. 61:
” Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 2:18-19 KJV).
A Poem I wrote in Honour of the Lord:
The Son of Man
a child born unto us
accursed for us.
A Lamb slain
with blood drained
on our sin
to set us free.
Fait accompli on a tree.
The Son of God
One with God
given unto us.
The Way for us
abide in God
become one with God.
Eternal life guaranteed.
Next Wednesday 9th March 2016 to post Part 2: Jesus, one with Father -The Good Shepherd, Jehovah Rohi.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 6/12/2015
(Posted 6/12/2015 & 2/03/2016)