bits from bob....

Jesus: There's Something about that Name!

by Bob Young
©, 2002, Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

I am constantly intrigued by the varied identifications of Jesus as recorded in the early chapters of each of the gospels. For example in the Gospel of John, the "cosmic Christ" who transcends everything we know about time and space is simply the One who was in the beginning. As continuing existence he is life, and can enter this world from an existence apart from this world.

It is in Matthew's identity statements that we find the name Jesus, "because he will save...." Within a few verses in Matthew 1-2, we find our Savior identified as Jesus, Emmanuel, and Christ. Jesus is Savior, God with us, Anointed Messiah King. With such a royal lineage, King Jesus certainly had access to all of the power of the Father in the Kingdom. Such a one can travel anywhere with dignity and royalty.

Against this backdrop, Matthew's account of the "triumphal entry" is interesting (Matt. 21:1-11). Perhaps we should expect King Jesus to enter Jerusalem triumphantly on a mighty steed as his ministry draws to a close, but we read that he rode a donkey. Perhaps we should expect the leaders of the kingdom to pay homage, but it was the common people who sang his Hosanna praises as Savior. Perhaps we should expect that he would begin a triumphant reign on a royal throne, but we read that he came as a Savior to die. At precisely the time we might expect Jesus' divinity to be in full view, we find his humanity apparent.

The contrasts which define the life of Jesus are reflected in this anonymous piece: "He who is the Bread of Life began his ministry hungering. He who is the Water of Life ended his ministry thirsting. Christ hungered as a man, yet fed the hungry as God. He was weary, yet he is our rest. He paid tribute, yet he is the King. He was called a devil, but he cast out demons. He prayed, yet he hears prayer. He wept, and he dries our tears. He was sold for 30 pieces of silver, yet he redeems sinners. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, yet he is the Good Shepherd. He gave his life, and by dying he destroyed death."

Hosanna praise, Jesus is Savior. Sovereign Lord of the universe, Jesus is God with us. Jesus is the Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lord. Jesus deserves our praise. Have you praised today?

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Last updated April 7, 2017