Tag Archives: Jesus

THE GOSPEL OF LUKE – WHAT’S IN A NAME?

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

“When the eighth day arrived, the day of circumcision, the child was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived.

“Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took Him up to Jerusalem to offer Him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.” Luke 2:21-24.

What’s in a name?

In western culture we pay little attention to the meaning of the names we give our children. We like the sound of them; they have some family significance; or we name our children after some person who has meaning for us. Some people even invent names just to be different. In some cultures children are often named after the circumstances of their birth.

Both the parents of John the Baptist and of Jesus were careful to name their babies according to God’s instruction via the angel Gabriel.

In Hebrew thought, a name was a prophetic utterance of character. In the case of John and Jesus, their earthly mission was prophesied in their names. “John” – the anglicised form of the Hebrew, “Yochanan”,  means “Jehovah is gracious”. It was John’s task to be the forerunner of the one who would bring “grace and truth” (John 1:17) from the Father. Jesus (Yeshua) was to be the Saviour of the world.

Perhaps one’s mind immediately strays to a significant personality in the Old Testament – Jacob, Isaacs’ son. He was the second of twin sons. He was born clutching the heel of his brother and was given the name Jacob, meaning “one who follows”. His character, however, followed another meaning, “supplanter” or “cheat”, and he lived up to his name until his encounter with the angel of the Lord at Peniel when his name was changed to “Israel” meaning “prince with God”.

When Moses asked the Lord to show him His glory (Exodus 33:18), God responded by saying, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.” (Exodus 33:19 – NIV). What a moment for Moses! He was to be given a private and intimate revelation of the deepest depths of the heart of God.

“Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His name, the Lord. And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…” Exodus 34:6 NIV.

The angel Gabriel announced to the shepherds that a Saviour had been born in Bethlehem; “He is Christ the Lord.” If we recognise that it was to the second person of the Trinity that God the Father assigned the earth, then it was the pre-incarnate Jesus who revealed Himself to Moses. To Him was given the name above every name – Jesus – to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:11- NIV).

Enshrined in that name was everything that He was, everything He came to do and everything He was to be on the earth and in the lives of people who believe in Him. When we address Him as the Lord Jesus Christ, we attribute to Him and affirm all the offices He fulfils – absolute Sovereign, Saviour and Anointed One.

Jesus is the name in which we find salvation (Acts 4:12); shelter (Proverbs 18:10); forgiveness (Psalm 25:11); provision (Genesis 22:14); healing (Exodus 15:26); peace (Ephesians 2:14); righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21); and the comfort and nearness of God’s presence (Matthew 1:23).

JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

Jesus and the Holy Spirit were inseparable. They were “joined at the hip”. For the thirty three years that He was on earth, Jesus was the Holy Spirit’s assignment. The Holy Spirit was there, in the secret places of Mary’s body, supervising the selection of the ovum that was to become the infant Jesus. He was there, without the agency of a human father, energising the ovum to begin its mysterious journey from a single cell to a unique, complex human being who was both God and man.

He was there, the unseen companion of the child Jesus through His growing-up years. He was there at His baptism, descending on Him in visible form and remaining on Him to accompany and empower Him on His long and tortuous road to the cross. He was there during those forty days of relentless harassment by the arch enemy of God in the wilderness, watching, listening and prompting Him with wisdom and the Word.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Matt. 4: 1)

He was there when Jesus encountered every kind of suffering in the people around Him. He was there to pour power through the Son of God, releasing the captives, healing broken hearts and bodies, exchanging sorrow for joy and raising the dead to life.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. (Luke 4: 18-19)

He was there to fulfil the matchless prophecy about Messiah recorded by Isaiah:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – and He will delight in the fear of the LORD. (Isa. 11: 1-3a)

This is another one of those chiasms which appear all over the Scriptures. Did you recognise it?

A¹ The Spirit of wisdom

B² And of understanding

C³ The Spirit of counsel

  1. (The Servant of Yahweh)

C³ The Spirit of power

B². The Spirit of knowledge

A¹. And of the fear of the Lord

The centre point in this chiasm is not stated. The ancient rabbis called the focal point – D – the Servant of Yahweh. If one turns this chiasm on its side, it resembles a menorah, the seven-branched candlestick that gave light to the Holy Place in the tabernacle. How symbolic of Messiah – filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, the Light of the World and coming to earth as the Suffering Servant of the Lord!

The powerful work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus was the witness that the kingdom of God had come. At no time did Jesus use His divine power to do the works of God. It was the Spirit’s anointing that confronted the demonic intruders and sent them packing. The religious leaders accused Jesus of being in league with the devil. “How can that be possible?” He retorted. “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matt. 12:28)

The Holy Spirit was there in those terrible hours when all hell broke loose against Jesus, piling on Him every vicious and heinous thing that human beings could do to an innocent man. He was there when Jesus died. It was through Him that Jesus offered Himself up to the Father as an atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ who, through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death to serve the living God. (Heb. 9: 14)

He was there in the gloom of the tomb, awaiting the moment when He would breathe life into the lifeless body of the Son of God as He did into the clay form of the first man, Adam. The blast of His breath awakened Jesus and He rose up from death, the transformed, never-to-die-again, eternal Son of God.

(He), through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 1: 4)

What made this rabbi unique?

Jesus did not ape the sages who went before Him, or His contemporaries, by simply piling His opinions on top of theirs, increasing the already top-heavy load on the common people and, as He said to the Pharisees, making them

Twice the son of hell (gehenna) as you are. (Matt. 23: 15)

Unlike any rabbi before or after Him, this rabbi not only reflected the truth and the spirit of Torah in His teaching as He received it from the Father, but He also supplied the power to His disciples to be and to do what He expected of them. He promised that the same Holy Spirit who had partnered with Him throughout His earthly life would come upon them in power and enable them to be what He was and to do what He did.

Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or Kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

Do you like this post? Then buy your own copy of my book, Learning to be a Disciple, which is also available from www.amazon.com or www.takealot.com in South Africa. You can also order a copy directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com

Watch this space!

My latest book, The Heartbeat of Holiness, will also soon be available.

The Power Of The Cross – The Blood Of Jesus Speaks A Better Word Than The Blood Of Abel

THE POWER OF THE CROSS

THE BLOOD OF JESUS SPEAKS A BETTER WORD THAN THE BLOOD OF ABEL

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire . . . But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Heb. 12: 18; 22-24)

Better, better, better! Have you noticed how many times the writer to the Hebrews uses the word “better”? Everything about the new covenant is better because it is based on better promises and mediated by a better high priest, one who offered Himself once for sin, rose from the dead to prove that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father, and sits at the right hand of God in the seat of authority and power.

Why does the writer single out Abel’s death as the contrast between the death of a murdered man and the death of Jesus? There were many murders that are recorded in Scripture. Why Abel? Is it because Abel’s was the first murder recorded in Scripture?

Both Abel and Jesus had their lives taken from them violently. Both Abel and Jesus died for doing the right thing. The perpetrators hated them because they were righteous and, instead of changing their ways and following their example, they killed them because of envy.

God demanded an explanation of Cain for what he had done, because He heard the blood of Abel crying out from the ground. Of course we don’t interpret those words literally. God didn’t need Abel’s blood to tell Him what had happened. It was His way of informing Cain that He knew what he had done. Cain hid Abel’s body in the ground, but nothing could hide the guilt of his crime. Sooner or later even his parents would know when Abel failed to appear.

But why was the killing of Abel different from the killing of Jesus? There are several reasons why the blood of Jesus speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Abel died violently but unwillingly at the hands of his brother. He had not part in his own death. Cain lured him into a field away from his home and rose up and killed him.

On the other hand, the Old Testament prophesied that Jesus would die. He was Yahweh’s Suffering Servant, whose coming was foretold by the prophets and whose death is described in detail. He was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Jesus’ life was focussed on His death. He came to die. He predicted His own death at the hands of the religious leaders. His own people would disown, reject and kill Him in the most violent and cruel way.

More than that, He made it clear that no one could take His life from Him. He would lay it down willingly as an atoning sacrifice for sin, and He would take it up again.

The reason the Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (John 10: 17-18)

Now that is amazing? It’s no wonder His opponents said He was crazy! He was either crazy, or He was speaking about an authority far about the understanding of human beings.

And even more than that, His death was the will of the Father.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer . . .  (Isa. 53: 10)

And more than that, His death had a purpose.

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in the flesh. (Rom. 8: 3)

And His resurrection had a purpose.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification. (Rom 4: 25)

He came back to life not only to prove that death could not hold Him because He was sinless, but also to confirm that the Father had accepted His death of behalf of sinners, that the debt of sin had been paid in full, and that the Father could declare all sinners justified, that is, not guilty.

Of what, then, does the blood of Jesus speak? While Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance, the blood of Jesus speaks of mercy.

“Abel, the first martyr of faith, is a foreshadowing of our Lord Jesus, whose “blood… speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). For though Abel’s innocent blood cried out for justice against sin, Jesus’s innocent blood cried out for mercy for sinners. Abel’s blood exposed Cain in his wretchedness. Jesus’s blood covers our wretchedness and cleanses us from all sin (Romans 7:241 John 1:9).”

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-dead-abel-speaks-to-us (- retrieved October 2015)

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

 

Jesus Did Not Say That He Didn’t Know When He Was Returning

JESUS DID NOT SAY THAT HE DID NOT KNOW WHEN HE WAS RETURNING

Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say that Jesus didn’t say it, full stop. I said that He didn’t say it in the sense that we understand it. Again we must look at the context to understand His meaning.

One of the images God used to symbolise His relationship with His people was a marriage. The Bible is full of wedding talk, Hebrew style. Hebrew courtship between a man and woman was conducted in five stages, and specific Hebrew words or expressions were used which the prospective bride would understand and with which the prospective bridegroom would communicate His intentions.

The first step was called lachah – which meant “I want to make you mine.” The young man, after getting to know the girl, would let her know that he was serious about his intention with her. God signalled His intention with Israel, using the very word in Ex. 6:7:

I will take (lachah) you as my own people, and I will be your God.

The second step was segulah – “I want to make you my treasured possession”. Listen to God’s words before He made His formal proposal to Israel:

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations, you will be my treasured possession (segulah).

The thirst step was a preparation for the proposal and took place three days before the formal proposal. It was called mikvah – “Go and wash.” It was more than just cleaning up. It was a ritual bath that signified leaving the old life behind and stepping into a new one.

And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’ (Ex. 19: 10-11)

The fourth step was the drawing up of the ketubah – the prenuptial marriage contract, witnessed by the fathers, and the formal proposal. In the presence of their fathers, the young man would propose marriage to the young woman. Included in the proposal was the promise, “I am going to prepare a place for you and I will come again to receive you to myself that where I am you may be also.” Does this sound familiar?

Her response would be, “When will you come to receive me?” and he would reply, “I do not know the day or the hour, but when my father is satisfied with the bridal chamber, I will return for you.”

The final step was the wedding ceremony. When the father was satisfied with his preparation, the bridegroom would return without warning. It was the bride’s responsibility to be ready for his return. She had two duties to perform while he was away preparing the bridal chamber at his father’s house. She had to separate herself from all other men, and she had to prepare her bridal gown.

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

‘Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints). (Rev. 19: 6-8)

The wedding ceremony was conducted under the chuppa – the canopy usually constructed by suspending a talith – a prayer shawl – on four posts. God came down on Mount Sinai under a canopy – chuppa – of smoke and gave His people His ketubah – the “Ten Words” which was the declaration of how they were to live in fellowship with Him in a marriage relationship.

After the wedding ceremony, the bridegroom, accompanied by the wedding party, would lead his bride to the bridal chamber, pick her up and carry her (rapture her!) over the threshold where they would consummate their marriage. After that would come the wedding feast.

God’s people proved their unfaithfulness to their betrothal to Him by going after other gods and by their disobedience to His covenant. Jesus renewed His proposal to His people and, on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to indwell them forever, the church was born which is the bride of Christ.

Now can you fit Jesus’ words into the whole courtship and marriage symbolism? He was not telling them that He was not God or that He was not omniscient in His divine nature. As a man, He deliberately set aside His rights as God in order to be a perfect Son under the power of the Holy Spirit. He was under the authority of His Father and, as a Son, He would return for His bride, the church at the Father’s instruction.  

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

To order your 0wn copy of either book, contact

Toll free – 0800 990 914 (South Africa)

orders.africa@partridgepublishing.com

www.partridgepublishing.com/africa  or

+44 20 314 3997 (outside South Africa)

ISBN: Hardcover – 978-1-4828-0891-9                                                                                     Softcover 978-1-4828-0890-2                                                                                                              eBook 978-1-4828-0889-6

Check out my Blog site – www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Learning To Be A Son – Chapter Three – Jesus The Authentic Son

CHAPTER THREE

Jesus the Authentic Son

Although the Father chose sonship as His model for the relationship He desired between Himself and mankind, and sent the second person of the Trinity, whom He named Jesus (Yeshua), to be the human model for us, it was not cut and dried that Jesus would be the perfect Son. He had to learn to be a Son by going through all the experiences of humanity, from birth to death without failing in His submission and obedience to the Father. He had to be a perfect Son where Adam failed.

He had to be a Son in the Hebrew culture and religion into which He was born. To be a son in the Hebrew language and understanding was to “continue the house”. It was His role to continue God’s house through reproducing Himself in His disciples so that they in turn would reproduce Him in those they taught to be disciples.

Through thirty years of growing up in a Jewish home and three years of public ministry during which time He was under constant harassment from His arch enemy, the devil and those of His own people who opposed Him, Jesus never faltered. He passed every test; His love, loyalty and commitment to unity with the Father remained intake in the wilderness, during three years of scrutiny by His disciples, the common people and the religious leaders and received the Father’s wholehearted affirmation at every step along the way.

His final test was the cross. Gethsemane was the ultimate expression of His submission to the Father’s will. He passed the test and was resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit to authenticate Him once and for all as the perfect Son and fully qualified to be the sinless lamb who was sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.

Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

To order your 0wn copy of either book, contact

Toll free – 0800 990 914 (South Africa)

orders.africa@partridgepublishing.com

www.partridgepublishing.com/africa  or call

+44 20 314 3997 (outside South Africa)

ISBN: Hardcover – 978-1-4828-0891-9                                                                                     Softcover 978-1-4828-0890-2                                                                                                              eBook 978-1-4828-0889-6

Check out my Blog site – www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com