Gazing at Jesus

Matthew 7:24-29, the final instruction of the Sermon on the Mount provides a wonderful challenge to go beyond hearing to doing.

Jesus makes it clear that listening to Him or even agreeing with Him is not enough.  The wise build the foundation of their lives on the reading/hearing and doing of the Words of Jesus.

And most Christians would say–“Yes, that is my desire, to know and do the words of Jesus.”  So, why don’t we?  Because desire is not enough.  We need more than intentions, will and desire to do the Words of Jesus.  We need more than intentions, will and desire to overcome bad habit and to produce good habits.  Will power itself is not enough.  More knowledge in itself is not enough.

So how do we really “live out” the Words of Jesus?  How do we truly do what we say we believe about what He has said?

The conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:28-29) sheds light on the focal point.  The crowds were “amazed.”  They were amazed with who Jesus was, how He taught and what He taught.  This sense of amazement should not just be an emotional response–but a deep amazement that leads to transformation.

When we are in love, we notice all the details.  We gaze into the eyes of the one in whom we find delight.  As we see their likes and dislikes, we want to meet their needs.  The same is true of deep-seated/core transformation–it is motivated by and propelled by an ever increasing image/vision of Jesus.

So, as we begin the Advent Season, may we gaze at Jesus.  Not the postcard version, but the biblical image.  And may our gazing at Jesus lead to honoring Him in every area of our lives.

To assist your gazing, below is a list of some of the name of Jesus with explanation.  But let me also encourage you to meditate and contemplate Jesus in these key passages:

Colossians 1:13-20 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)
Hebrews 1:1-4 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (ESV)

Colossians 1:13-20 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)

Hebrews 1:1-4 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (ESV)

NAMES AND TITLES OF CHRIST

Lord indicates two things about Christ Jesus

  1. Jesus is Master or Sovereign Lord over all things.  Acts 10:36; Rev. 19:16; Jn. 13:16
  2. Deity  Jn. 20:28
  3. Lord is used as corresponding to Adonai, a title of absolute deity.  Acts 2:34 (quotes Ps. 110:1); Jn. 9:38 (Lord–worship)
  4. It is related to Yahweh and at times is used in Old Testament quotes containing Yahweh (LORD).  Acts 2:34, 36, 3:22; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3.

Jesus is His human and historical name.  (He did not have it before His incarnation  Matt. 1:21).  The name means “Yahweh saves.”  Indicates that He is the Savior of man.  Ps. 45 (cf. Heb. 1:8, 9).

Christ is the Greek and New Testament term for Messiah.  Means “Anointed One.”  Jn. 1:41 – He is the One specially anointed to do God’s work and to accomplish God’s purpose for world history.  He is the fulfiller of Old Testament Messianic prophecies.

Immanuel Matt. 1:23.  Means “God with us.”  Jesus was God dwelling in the midst of the people of Israel (Jn. 1:14).  His deity is clearly stated.

The Son of God Jn. 1:34.  “The” unique Son of God.  Title implies three things:

  1. Deity–has same nature as the Father.  Jn. 10:36
  2. Equality–in the Hebrew usage of Son, it is understood that the Son is all that the Father is (cf. Jn. 10:33, 5:16-18).  Jesus is equal to the Father.
  3. He is a separate person from God the Father.

The Son of Man Lk. 9:22, 58.  His humanity as having the same nature as man.  “The” unique offspring of man.  The only man who can accomplish the victory of humanity over its enemies  Heb. 2:14-16.  (It is also likely that this is a Messianic title relating to Christ as descendant of David.)

The Last Adam 1 Cor. 15:45.  The counterpart of the first Adam (Rom. 5:12-21).  The first Adam brought sin (made a mess of things).  Jesus, as the last Adam, purchased redemption.

The Word Jn. 1:1,14.  Just as words are the outward expression of invisible thoughts, so Jesus was the outward, visible expression of the invisible God.  God is invisible  Jn. 1:18, Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17.  Jesus was the expression of God  Jn. 1:18, 14:8-9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3.

The Light of the World Jn. 8:12, 1:7-9.  It is the function of light to uncover hidden things.  Therefore, this title indicates several things concerning Jesus:

  1. He is the revealer of God and God’s holiness  Jn. 14:9.
  2. Jesus looks inside every human being to uncover his innermost being, to expose him for what he is  Jn. 1:9.  Jesus did this to Nathanael (Jn. 1:47-48), the crowd of people (Jn. 2:23-25), the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:16-19), the scribes and Pharisees (Lk. 6:6-8), the disciples (Lk. 9:46-47).
  3. Jesus exposes the deeds of people Jn. 3:19-20.

The Lamb of God Jn. 1:29.  “The” Lamb that God provides.  The Jews were required to offer many lambs to God, but those lambs could not take away sin.  God offered His Son as a Lamb for man.  This one Lamb took away sin  Heb. 10:11-12; Rev. 5:6, 9, 10, 12.  Jesus was God’s sacrifice for the sin of the world  Rev. 13:8.

The King of Israel Jn. 1:49.  The One who will establish the Millennial Kingdom and will rule over the nation of Israel  Lk. 1:32-33.

King of Kings and Lord of Lords Rev. 19:16; 1 Tim. 6:15.  The one who is sovereign.  The one who will establish the Millennial Kingdom and will rule over the whole world and all of its rulers.

The Teacher Jn. 11:28.  “The” unique teacher.  He uniquely explains who God is, what God is like, what God expects.

The Chief Shepherd 1 Peter 5:4; Ps. 24.  He is the ultimate shepherd or pastor, the ultimate feeder and caretaker of believers.  He is over all other elders or pastors.

The Good Shepherd Jn. 10:11; Ps. 22.

The Great Shepherd Heb. 13:20; Ps. 23.

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