Names of God: Master and Servant

Jesus: Master & Servant
by Pastor Bert Hitchcock

One has only to look in a thesaurus to realize these titles are opposites. “Master” is listed as an antonym for “servant”; and “servant” is an antonym for “master”. But both of those titles are attributed to Jesus – indeed he uses both to refer to himself. This is surely one of the great paradoxes of God’s Word; but it also unfolds the greatness of the gospel.

In Biblical Greek, there are at least seven words that could be translated “master”; and all but one of them is used in the New Testament to refer to Jesus. But most impressive is the fact that Jesus was called kurios or Lord. That is the word used as a title for the One who exercises supernatural authority over everything. Jesus is not just a master; he is The Master!

But according to Philippians 2,
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges,
and took the humble position of a slave,
being born as a human being.

And throughout his life on earth, Jesus lived-out that servant attitude. He publicly declared that he had not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for us. And serve he did: ministering hope and healing to the sick, the unclean, public sinners, and social outcasts.

Most notably, in the evening before he was betrayed, he washed his disciples feet – a task only a slave would ever be asked to do. But that foot-washing was a token of the ultimate washing he came to accomplish: The next day he was hung on a cross where he was punished for sins he never committed – our sins – in order that we might be made clean, without sin before the Father.

Because of his faithful service, God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him to his throne, and gave him the name above every name: Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the one we now worship; and he is the pattern of our discipleship – our Servant King.

The Servant King

 

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Names of God: Jesus the Righteousness

JEHOVAH TSIDKENU “The Lord our Righteousness “[yah-way- tzid-kay- noo]
from Nick and Diana Laninga

 

God from the very beginning saw our desperate need when our parents Adam and Eve sinned and tried to cover their nakedness with self-effort, they covered themselves with leaves.

How inadequate; yet God in His mercy provided for them by killing an animal and covering Adam & Eve. His doing, His provision. Like Adam & Eve we can never do enough to cover our sins and be right before a Holy God.. We need the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

Let us look to Scripture.

Jeremiah 23: 5-6. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth, In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name[ not an attribute] by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Isaiah 61:10 tells us of our new condition in Christ.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” {Put off the old man of self & put on Christ. Eph. 4: 25-42.]

Zechariah 3 gives us a great picture of this.

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan. “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” — — So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put clothes on him.
8 “Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the branch. 9b. and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

{God will take away His people’s sin through the Branch. The priestly system could not do this it pointed to Christ who would truly deal with man’s sin.]

In one day, Christ, on a single day [Good Friday ] once for all made atonement for the sins of God’s people.

II Corinthians 5:21- For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.The question must be asked, am I, are you, in Him. We need to be dressed in the righteousness of Christ alone.

Matthew 22: 11-12 tells the parable of the wedding feast and how one of the guests was found without a wedding garment and was thrown into hell. Not good!

Horatius Bonar wrote these words in verse 4 of “THY WORKS, NOT MINE, O CHRIST.”

Thy righteousness, O Christ, alone can cover me;
no righteousness avails save that which is of thee.
[ Chorus]
To whom, save thee,
who alone for sin atones,
Lord, shall I flee?

A close friend of Horatius Bonar was Robert Murray M’Cheyne. who wrote the following poem:

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree J
EHOVAH TSIDKENU seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not my sins had nailed to the tree
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU—‘twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU is all things to me.

JEHOVAH TSIDKENU ! my treasure and boast,
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU ! I ne’er can be lost.
In Thee I shall conquer by flood and by field—
My cable my anchor, my breastplate and shield. !

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This” WATCHWORD” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU my death-song shall be.

AND THOSE WHO KNOW YOUR NAME WILL PUT THEIR TRUST IN YOU;
FOR YOU, LORD, HAVE NOT FORSAKEN THOSE WHO SEEK YOU. Psalm 9:10

 

Blessings from the Laninga’s.

 

Names of God: Jesus

Names of God: Jesus
by Emily Gibson

 

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
Luke 1:31

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

hebrew350

What did Jesus’ name actually sound like when pronounced?  The name Jesus is an English translation of the Greek  Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sus). Yet Jesus grew up Hebrew, not Greek, so his Hebrew name would  have been pronounced differently and certainly not with a J sound as there is no J in the Hebrew alphabet.  His Hebrew name before translation to Greek was written as above:  Yeshua,  roughly translated: “God is a saving cry” or more precisely “shout to God when in need of help.”     It simply means “he saves”.

I’m not too troubled that we pray a name that is pronounced differently than what his original name may have sounded like.  I’m reassured that his name, however it sounded,  was provided by the Father for the Son, with both earthly parents clearly instructed on what to name the baby.

It was God’s message to them, it was God’s message to His Son, and most of all, it was His message to us:  “Shout to me when you need help–I will come to save you.”
~Emily Gibson

Names of God: Jesus as Lamb

Jesus…The Lamb of God
by Bonnie Patterson

lambpatterson

Cold winds whipped across the frozen South Dakota Badlands as I experienced my first early Easter sunrises. Ranchers and their families stood huddling around as my minister dad gave a brief sunrise meditation.  I remember the golden sun popping over the unearthly horizon of the Badlands as we headed back to the parking lot within the boundaries of the Badlands National Monument.  Soon we all rejoined in the basement of the Interior, South Dakota Presbyterian Church to thaw out over mugs of hot chocolate and fill up on pancakes the church women cooked.  Many of those ranchers raised Hereford cattle but there were some sheep in the mix, too. So I was familiar with the characteristics of little lambs.

Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God in Scripture:

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ ”    —John 1:29

“…God paid a ransom…it was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”
—1 Peter 1:18, 19

“…They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made—the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered.”
—Revelation 13:8

From these verses what do we derive about the characteristics of Jesus as the Lamb of God?

*Sinless
*Spotless
*Precious
*Takes away the sin of the world
*Substitute/sacrifice
*Slaughtered
*The Book of Life belongs to the Lamb of God

The word John used in “Behold!” is a term expressing awe, wonderment, and exclamation.  Charles Spurgeon wrote that “There was nothing of greater wonder ever seen than that God Himself should provide the Lamb for the burnt offering….that He should provide the delight of His heart to die for us.”

Look steadily at, behold, this Lamb of God…look at Him in wonder and with eternal gratitude!  Nothing else in all the world compares to beholding Jesus, the Lamb of God!

 

None Other Lamb

None other Lamb, none other Name,
None other hope in Heav’n or earth or sea,
None other hiding place from guilt and shame,
None beside Thee!

My faith burns low, my hope burns low;
Only my heart’s desire cries out in me
By the deep thunder of its want and woe,
Cries out to Thee.

Lord, Thou art Life, though I be dead;
Love’s fire Thou art, however cold I be:
Nor Heav’n have I, nor place to lay my head,
Nor home, but Thee.
—Christina Rossetti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5HjKRgqrh0

Anticipating Advent: Holiness Descended

Excerpt from “Descending Theology: Christ Human” by Mary Karr:

Such a short voyage for a god,
And you arrived in animal form so as not
To scorch us with your glory.
Your mask was an infant’s head on a limp stalk,
Sticky eyes smeared blind,
Limbs rendered useless in swaddle.
You came among beasts
As one, came into our care or its lack, came crying,
As we all do, because the human frame
Is a crucifix, each skeleton borne a lifetime.
Any wanting soul lain
Prostrate on a floor to receive a pouring of sunlight
Might—if still enough, feel your cross buried in the flesh.
One has only to surrender,
You preached, open both arms to the inner,
The ever-present hold,
Out-reaching every want. It’s in the form
Embedded, love adamant as bone.

Amidst the peppy Christmas carols and scents of pine and peppermint, it’s easy to ignore the fact that the very first Christmas sounded and smelled very different from our festivities. I’m sure that the stable smelled pungently of manure and other body odors and was filled with the grunts and rustles of weathered animals. Jesus’ entrance into our midst was messy and raw and corporeal. He lacked the human trappings of royalty but was holiness descended. Mary Karr’s poem reminds me of both the earthiness of Christ’s birth and the phenomenon of his presence among us.

May we see Immanuel, God with us, the babe whose love is as “adamant as bone.”
~Hilary Gibson

Anticipating Advent: So None Can Boast

Micah 5:2 –

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

Stories about people who lived at the time of Jesus’ birth have always fascinated me. One of the reasons I loved Max Lucado’s book God Came Near is because it starts with wondering about what a Bethlehem innkeeper may have said or thought the morning after Jesus was born in the stable. It always surprises me that such a momentous event as the birth of the long-promise Messiah was just … missed – missed by so many people who were right there.

For some reason, as soon as I was approached about the Advent writings for this year, the town of Bethlehem and the above prophecy about it were the first thing that came to mind. Maybe it’s because I know the verse notes that Bethlehem was so small. Maybe it’s because I have been feeling “small” and hang onto the fact that God uses “small” to do His work.

Probably, it was because I needed to read John Piper’s comments about why Jesus was born in Bethlehem:

“God chose a stable so no innkeeper could boast, “He chose the comfort of my inn!” God chose a manger so that no wood worker could boast, “He chose the craftsmanship of my bed!” He chose Bethlehem so no one could boast, “The greatness of our city constrained the divine choice!” And he chose you and me, freely and unconditionally, to stop the mouth of all human boasting.”

It’s true that God honored Bethlehem by using it. It’s true that an insignificant town got to play a part in changing history. And it’s true that God chose that small, unimportant town not to make it “feel” important, but to show that His actions really were all about His MERCY. And it worked! Because of the way God worked this miracle, the people of Bethlehem not only didn’t claim fame, most of them missed the event altogether. None could boast.

And so it is with us. Any significance God chooses to work through us is His business for His glory. So that none can boast.

~Tricia Hitchcock

Advent 2015: Jesus as Jesus

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
Luke 1:31

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

hebrew350

What did Jesus’ name actually sound like when pronounced?  The name Jesus is an English translation of the Greek  Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sus). Yet Jesus grew up Hebrew, not Greek, so his Hebrew name would  have been pronounced differently and certainly not with a J sound as there is no J in the Hebrew alphabet.  His Hebrew name before translation to Greek was written as above:  Yeshua,  roughly translated: “God is a saving cry” or more precisely “shout to God when in need of help.”     It simply means “he saves”.

I’m not too troubled that we pray a name that is pronounced differently than what his original name may have sounded like.  I’m reassured that his name, however it sounded,  was provided by the Father for the Son, with both earthly parents clearly instructed on what to name the baby.

It was God’s message to them, it was God’s message to His Son, and most of all, it was His message to us:  “Shout to me when you need help–I will come to save you.”
~Emily Gibson