Friday, April 20, 2018

His Name Is Jesus

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

       In one sense, there is nothing in a name. The nature of the thing is independent of it. It is not in the power of any name to make evil good, or good evil; and our Savior, Jesus Christ, would have been what He is, by whatever name He had been called. But in another view there is something in a name. It stands for the thing, and, through frequent use, comes to be identified with it. It is therefore of the highest moment that the name should correspond with the thing, and convey a correct idea of it. Exactness of thought requires exactness of language. Knowledge depends for its accuracy on the right use of words, and the great instructors of mankind are as careful of the expression as of the idea. Words are things. We deal with them, not as sounds but as substances, and look not so much at them as at the verities in them. Names are persons. When one is mentioned in our hearing, it brings the man before us, and awakens the feelings which would be excited if he were present himself.
       Now, we may see this, above all, in the adorable name of Jesus. That name, above all others, ought to show us what a name means; for it is the name of the Son of Man, the one perfect and sinless man, the pattern of all men; and therefore it must be a perfect name, and a pattern for all names. And it was given to the Lord not by man, but by God; and therefore it must show and mean not merely some outward accident about Him, something which He seemed to be, or looked like, in men's eyes; no, the name of Jesus must mean what the Lord was in the sight of His Father in Heaven; what He was in the eternal purpose of God the Father; what He was, really and absolutely, in Himself; it must mean and declare the very substance of His being. And so, indeed, it does; for the adorable name of Jesus means nothing else but God the Savior - God who saves. This is His name, and was, and ever will be. This name He fulfilled on earth, and proved it to be His character, His exact description, His very name, in short, which made Him different from all other beings in heaven or earth, create or un-create; and therefore He bears His name to all eternity, for a mark of what He has been, and is, and will be forever - God the Savior; and this is the perfect name, the pattern of all other names of men. Amiel's Journal

Focus Your Thinking & Lather up with a bit of SOAP:
Scripture: "and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Observation: It is interesting here that the illustrator chooses to begin the book of Matthew by illustrating a cross in the very place where the scripture is describing the birth of Jesus. But it is also fitting in that the whole story of Jesus' life revolves around it's end. We are given a clue by an angelic messenger in the scripture I have chosen to focus on. The angel tells Joseph in a dream that he is to name his first born son Jesus because the name means "deliverance." And the angel goes even further to explain to Joseph that this is the purpose for him being born, to deliver his people from their sins, not to deliver them from political forces, human kingdoms or even pain and suffering... but from themselves. He was born to deliver us from the very nature of sin itself.
Application: And so the very mystery of both our beginning long ago in the garden of Eden, as a fallen people and the mysterious story of Jesus as our deliverer begin in this collected work we call the Bible. Our story in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament and His story in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.
Prayer: My dear, sweet Lord, open my heart and mind to the mysteries of your testaments as I study and illuminate your precious words. Amen

Focus On Illustrating & Illuminating The Scripture:
      The illustrator chose to begin the book of Matthew with the end of Christ's life, as shown his hand nailed to the cross, in my Creative Bible. I included a little traced sketch of baby Jesus on tracing paper next to my colored interpretation of the crucifixion scene because the name Jesus means deliverer. This is the cycle of the life of Christ at a glance.
      My Creative Bible shown below is a coloring bible, but it also comes as a note taker's bible as well, for those who would prefer it without illustrations. Of all the coloring bibles I own, this one is in my opinion, the most challenging to finish. However, each coloring bible has it's own unique perspective and I will be sharing more of these in the future.
Above, you can see the beginning pages that I am working on in the Gospel of Matthew.
On the left is the tipped in, drawing of baby Jesus from the back side and on the right is what it looks like from the front. I used a permanent ink pen to trace my image (a baby in a basket of bunting and cotton) on tracing paper.
Focus On Listening
"His Name is Jesus" sung by Fred Hammond

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