Names of Jesus: The Mighty God

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the coming Savior child to be born of a virgin, and said that he will be named Mighty God.  Isaiah is referring to two prophesies of different times – a child and a king.  We celebrate the birth of the child at Christmas, but we will celebrate again at the return of a mighty king who will restore and redeem.  Isaiah gives us a hint of this Mighty God in his earlier prophesy:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when diving spoils.
For You have shattered their burdensome yoke
and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor,
just as You did on the day of Midian. (Isaiah 9:2-4)

This Christmas, when you hang your lights, think of the great light that will overcome the darkness and will once again fill the earth with joy.  We have hope!

Names of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor

Another word for counselor is advocate, and that is just what Jesus is. He will fight for you. He will fight your battles. He even prays on our behalf to our Heavenly Father.

Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.”  Luke 22:31-32

Jesus is our wise and wonderful counselor. A true friend who never leaves us. He promises to protect us and guide us home. The prophet Isaiah recognized this 700 years before the birth of Jesus:

For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful CounselorMighty God,
Eternal FatherPrince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Names of Jesus: Alpha and Omega

It is the nature of God in its simplest form. Eternal. No beginning or end. Not bound by earthly time. Everlasting. The first and the last. The alpha and omega.

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

Jesus did not just come into the world as a baby, but He existed from the beginning.  In Genesis 1:29, it is written: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”  That is not simply a grammatical error in writing.  Every word in the Bible has meaning and purpose for us.  It is the only book which records the history of our world and mankind from beginning of time. It is the best seller of all time, the most debated and scrutinized of all time, and yet, it still cannot be disproven. When Moses wrote the book of Genesis thousands of years ago, he would not have known who the “Us” was in that statement, yet he wrote it anyway.

In Revelation 22:12, Jesus says, Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Only God Himself could make such a statement, and only Jesus has made this claim. He was there in the beginning, and He came humbly into this world as a baby to show the world who God is. God is in the first verse of Genesis and the last verse of Revelation. It is not by accident. God is everything. His Word is the beginning and the end.

Along with all the Christmas celebrations, gift-giving, and decorations, this is the time of year to find out just who Jesus really is and claims to be.

In Jesus’ Words: This is why I have come (Mark 1:21-39)

Mark continues writing his fast-paced account and concise words from Jesus.  He shows Jesus on the move with a mission.  Matthew wrote about Jesus’ compassionate sermons, parables and dinners with sinners.  Mark gives us a glimpse of the man who had a single, divine purpose for being here.  Even the demons recognized who Jesus was and why he was here.

~ Mark 1:21-28   Jesus in Capernaum ~

Jesus went into Capernaum and right away He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach.  They were astonished at His teaching because, unlike the scribes, He was teaching them as one having authority.

Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out, “What do You have to do with us, Jesus – Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!”

But Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit convulsed him, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him. Then they were all amazed and began to argue with one another saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” His fame then spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee.

From there Jesus went to Peter’s house where he healed Peter’s mother-in-law.  By the evening, the whole town was at his door.  Jesus healed many, but he would not permit the demons to speak.  The demons wanted to destroy his ministry.  They knew the truth but rejected it.  And by early morning, Jesus had gone out to a deserted place to pray.  The disciples found him and said, “Everyone’s looking for you!”

~ Mark 1:38-39  Jesus in Galilee ~

And Jesus said to disciples, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too.  This is why I have come.”  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Everything Jesus did had a purpose and a reason.  His healing was immediate.  His confirmation of people’s faith was immediate.  He didn’t require the people do certain rituals first or show their extensive knowledge of the Torah.  Jesus came to serve mankind, to teach them about life, and ultimately lay down his life as a sacrifice.  And  Mark is telling us: Exciting things are happening fast!

In Jesus’ Words: A new era of God (Mark 1:1-20)

Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!”  (Mark 1:14-15)

A new era of God’s relationship with mankind had begun, just as it had been promised to Abraham’s generation.  The time had come for mankind to make a decision.  The Old Testament sacrifices and laws were now represented through the long-awaited Messiah.  The Kingdom of God was present on the earth, and this certainly was good news!

The last prophet was John the Baptist.  He was the messenger sent ahead of time to prepare the people for a new era, a new way.  Mankind’s only required response to receive God’s salvation: Repent and Believe.  It sounds simple, and it really was.  Jesus would take the place of the sacrifice.  A new era had begun and it changed the world in a very short time-frame, unlike no other ever has.

But even in today’s more-sophisticated climate, repentance seems hard for people.  It requires admitting our faults, admitting there is a higher power than ourselves, and admitting that we cannot be our own savior.  But Jesus says this is Good News!  Take a look around at our world.  The probability of us doing very well in this life (and death) by our own power are not very high odds.  Every day I pass by car accidents, or hear of friends and family with sudden health problems, and I’ve lived long enough to see people at the top of the world one day only to fall so hard the next.  The good news is that we do have a higher power who is compassionate, merciful and only has our best interest in mind.  It would be very frightening to live in this world without having a stronger help than myself, someone I can call out to anytime.

“Follow Me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people!”  (Mark 1:17)  I imagine Jesus saying that with a smile and delight.

Jesus did not ask the people their qualifications, where they came from or what they had done.  He wanted to have a relationship with them, teach them, and show them what life was really meant to be.  Mark’s first recorded words from Jesus says almost everything we need to know about Jesus’ message in this new era of God: “Repent. Believe. Follow Me. It’s good news!”