“Thou shalt call His name Jesus”
Dear Readers, As we pass through this last month of the year, we at The Association of the Covenant People sincerely thank you for your support of our magazine, Thy Kingdom Come. It is a particularly good time to keep friends and family close, and as you are our great friends, we offer our good wishes and end the 2019 year with this:
Once again, the bells will ring out to remind us of the gladsome words: “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10,11.) These words announced the birth of the Saviour to representatives of the common people who, in later years were to hear Him glady.
Many vitally important announcements have been made over the centuries by spokesmen who received their knowledge from God. But no human agency was entrusted with the present message. As in the case of the earlier announcement to Mary, it came through an angelic messenger. To Mary he foretold, among other things, that the “holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”( Luke 1:35.) That particular confidence was placed in the care of Gabriel, who stood “in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). Once before Gabriel had stepped into human history in the same connection, when he had been commissioned to make Daniel to understand when Messiah should come. (Daniel 9:20).
Without any depth of research, we may observe that the great announcement to the shepherds provides a key to prophecy, immediate and future.
“Unto you is born a Saviour”
The name Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, an abbreviation of Jehoshuah, meaning Jehovah-Saviour. Observe that in Matthew 1:21, the instruction to name is immediately followed by the reason for the choice of name, thus: “Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.”
“Which is Christ the Lord”
The word Christ is a title, not a name. It is used in the New Testament as the equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah. “We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:41). The title denotes the long-promised Prophet and King, Whom Israel had been taught by their prophets to expect (cf. Acts 19:4 and Matt. 11:13). The use of the title Christ, as applied to our Saviour, refers us back to the Old Testament prophecies. To summarise: Jesus is our Saviour’s Name, and Christ was added to identify Him as the promised Messiah of the prophets.
Throughout the ages there has been in religions, basically, the expectation of a “Messiah” who shall bring in a Golden Age.
The Bible teaches that this Golden Age shall be brought in by our Messiah, Jesus the Christ, the coming King and Ruler, Who shall reform the House of Jacob to the end that we shall be used to the uplifting of all nations (Isa. 2:1-5). Let us here stress that word “all.” It is the declared purpose of God that the whole human family shall be brought into harmony with Him; for the day will surely come when “the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name one.” (Zech. 14:9.)
In keeping with the prophecy, the announcement of the coming of the Saviour was of a universal message of Good tidings of great joy to ALL people (Luke 2:10). That He is, indeed, the Messiah referred to in the ancient prophecies is affirmed by Jesus Himself: “Moses. . . wrote of Me” (John 5:46). Moses’ prophecy is recorded in Deut. 18: “The Lord thy God will raise up a Prophet. . . unto Him ye shall hearken (v.15) He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him” (v.18). After baptism by the Holy Spirit Peter declared that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies (Acts 3:22-36) Again, at the Transfiguration, His disciples were commanded to “Hear Him” (Luke 9:35).
Consider carefully these weighty words of the Bible. It follows that if we would learn of this universal message of great joy, we must hearken to our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Spokesman of God (cf. John 7: 16; 8:28). The Bible declares that He has redeemed His people Israel (Luke 1:68). It is with humble thanks, and with hearts filled with the wonder that we bear witness to the fulfilment of the promise in Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Israel.
Divided though our churches are, as to certain aspects of Christian doctrine, in one matter we find a common platform, namely, in giving praise and thanks to our Redeemer Who is Christ Jesus The Lord: “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2:32).
Strengthened in faith by the fulfilment of prophecy we look ahead for all other promises equally must be fulfilled. “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the House of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). Oh, happy day when the government shall be upon the shoulders of the Prince of Peace, for “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon His Kingdom.” (Isa. 9:6,7.) Until that joyous day let us continue to pray “Thy kingdom come.”
As we have seen from the Scriptures cited, reformed Israel, operating as God’s servant nation, shall by their example teach all nations; so that all peoples shall become (Zech. 12:9).
It is futile to continue to pray, “Thy kingdom come,” unless we do believe that these gracious promises will be fulfilled. Equally, it is wrong to imagine that Christ has no intention of bringing about the functioning of His Kingdom. The prophecies regarding the Messiah and His Kingdom on earth are too numerous and too insistent to be disregarded.
What greater comfort can those who have accepted Christ be given in these days of international discord and perplexity than the certainty that it is to be ended by the establishment of His Kingdom of peace. Here, indeed, is “good tidings of great joy” to all people. Well may we join in the anthem of the heavenly host “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
Written by J.B. Scott (Courtesy The Anglo-Saxon World)