Names of Jesus – Introduction
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
There are many names and titles of Jesus throughout both the Old and New Testament. This study will not be an exhaustive list, but instead a sampling of some of my favorites. My goal is to give us an opportunity daily to stop and behold the wonder of our Savior as we prepare to celebrate His birth. That we will know Him more each day, (John 17:3) and that we’ll grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. (2 Peter 3:18) Even though He wasn’t born in December and I’ve written before about giving back Christmas, it’s still true that the majority are still preparing to celebrate it now. Let’s use the opportunity to give the Lord the awe and worship He is due all year long.
Note from 2015: Jack was writing these devotions when he passed away in October, and they were all in various stages of completion. Knowing that some would need to be finished, instead of leaving them out, I’ve done my best to complete/edit them. I’ve asked the Lord to give me the words and intent Jack would have used… that He would give me a double portion of Jack’s gift of teaching in the spirit of 2 Kings 2:9. I pray that I did so successfully and seamlessly. And I hope that as we read them together each morning until Christmas, we will fulfill Jack’s goal stated above to know our Savior more each day and give Him the awe and worship He deserves. May God bless you abundantly this Christmas season, Samantha
Before we begin, I want to make sure we’re all talking about the same Jesus. Here’s where our knowledge of Scripture becomes really important, because in order to be all the Bible claims, Jesus has to be both 100% man and 100% God.
If He isn’t a man He couldn’t have been made like us in every way and suffered our temptations as Hebrews 2:17-18 claims. He couldn’t be our High Priest as Hebrews 4:14-15 asserts, and he can’t be our Redeemer because he wouldn’t be our next of kin as required by Leviticus 25:47-48 and explained in Romans 5:18-19.
If He isn’t God He couldn’t be King David’s Lord (Matthew 22:41-45) He couldn’t be sinless (Romans 3:20) and He couldn’t be our Savior (Mark 2:6-12 and 1 Peter 1: 18-21).
He is not a created being like mankind and the angels. He is our Creator:
By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)
Jesus said He was God in human form (John 10:30 and 14:9). Men who knew Him agreed. Paul taught the deity of Jesus in Colossians 1:15-16. John did as well (John 1:1-3). The writer of the Book of Hebrews also agreed (Hebrews 1:3) and included a quote from Psalm 45:6-7 that shows God Himself addressing Jesus as God (Hebrews 1:8). This is not just a New Testament idea. In his prophecy of the Messiah’s birthplace, Micah said He was an eternal being whose goings forth were from days of eternity. Literally from before time and perpetual. (Micah 5:2) He is the eternal God.
Many deny His deity. They portray Him as a great man and role model, a great teacher, a prophet, even a social revolutionary, but certainly not God.
In truth Jesus was all of that, but He is also so much more. He was God in the form of man, the Father dwelling in the Son (Colossians 1:19). Our minds cannot comprehend the magnitude of His greatness. To think of Jesus as anyone other than God is to reject the truth concerning Him revealed throughout His Word.
In my decades as a Bible teacher, I have seen proof of the adage I first heard from Chuck Smith, that we become like the God we worship. If we see God as one waiting for us to mess up so that he can dole out punishment, we will view others with the same eye of judgment. Instead of being known for our love, (John 13:35) we’ll be known by what we’re against. Instead of drawing others to our Savior who is infinite love and infinitely kind (Romans 2:4) we will push them away, trying to make them live up to standards we could never achieve ourselves. When we were still His enemies, He died for us. (Romans 5:10) When we view God for who He truly is, we will become more like Him.
God himself is love, (1 John 4:8) and we all know what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love. The same word is used in both: agape. Let’s read the following verses together now, remembering that it is God who is love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
When we think we are beyond His love, we must remember that God is patient and kind toward us, that He is not easily angered and He keeps no record of the wrongs we’ve done. We can do nothing to earn this love, and nothing we do can cause it to cease. We can do nothing to surprise or disappoint Him, because He knew every sin we would ever commit before going to the cross and giving His life to cleanse us completely. (Hebrews 10:14)
I cannot imagine a more awesome, more generous God than the One we are privileged to call our Savior. As we begin this series, and throughout this whole season, let’s keep Him as our focus. Selah