This is one of the questions that make the name of Jesus an interesting subject of discussion. One that can sometimes lead to contention. In this post, I wanted to examine what the Bible says about who Jesus is and answer the very question that sets Jesus apart from any other name. Hope this brings some clarity on the subject. And remember, anyone can read through the Bible to find out the answer themselves. The Bible did say this in the book of Isaiah 34:16, 'In the Book of the Lord, you can search and find.' Which means, if you truly seek the truth when you read the Bible, you will find the truth. Stay blessed.
When there was nothing more we could give God to atone for our sins, God decided to lend us a helping hand. How? By giving up his only son Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice for us. A pure unadulterated sacrifice, who knew no sin, yet embodied our sins without complaint. The Bible describes what Jesus did for us this way,
"He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all."
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Basically, God loved us so much, that he gave us his most precious gift 'Jesus'. A love the Bible describes in this manner,
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
And God is still looking to give this gift, to those willing to open up their hearts to receive Jesus today. But if Jesus is a gift, why does the world hate him or have misconceptions about him? The Bible made it clear that,
'God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.'
So why the animosity towards Jesus or anything that is attributed to his name. The answer can be found in the book of John 3:28-21, it says,
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants."
The animosity the world has towards Jesus is one of rebellion. They fail to accept Jesus was God's gift to us. That is, God's way of reconciling us back to himself. A way to restore our broken relationship with God. It is that lack of trust (of God's uncompromising love for us) that will lead to God's judgement of man. Denying Jesus is like saying that God didn't do what the Bible said in the book of John 3:16. (See Bible quote above).
However, for those who believe in God's sacrificial act, the Bible says, 'there is no judgement because they believed.
Jesus himself demonstrated what he came to earth to do, when he ministered to the Samaritan woman at a well in Samaria. The Bible says that at a time when the Jews didn't engage with Samaritans, Jesus did an unusual thing by asking the woman to give him a drink of water. His request took the woman by surprise because she responded,
“You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Though Jesus would have been aware of what the Samaritan woman was inferring to, he responded back saying,
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
Meaning that he didn't come to earth merely for the Jews, but was available to anyone who was willing to receive him. Once the woman understood who Jesus was and realised that he didn't see her as an outcast, she was able to open up her heart to receive him. That same principle still applies today. Jesus was God's gift to mankind and he's not restricted to the privileged few.
The Bible says in the book of Luke 2:7, that Mary, the mother of Jesus,
'Gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room available for them at the inn.' (Luke 2:7)
Here's the interesting thing, somebody did have room for Jesus. That room just happens to be a humble manger. Which is saying something. That, if anyone humbly makes room for Jesus in their heart, he would gladly receive them.
The only question is this: Have you got room in your heart for Jesus this Christmas? Hope you make a little room in your heart for him, as you celebrate his birth and what he did for all of us.
Here's wishing you, a Merry Cosy Christ-mas!
Notes: Understandably, Christmas can be a difficult time for some. If that is you, take comfort in knowing that God will be there for you, if you just call out to him. You can see the link below, where I have explained more about this issue under the heading, 'The Hidden Side of Christmas'. If you know someone struggling this Christmas, why not say a prayer for them and if you don't know what to say, you can say the prayer below.
A Christmas Prayer:
Father Lord, please visit those in need this Christmas, including those who may find it difficult to cope during the festive season. May you fill their hearts with your peace, your comfort and your joy, in Jesus name. Amen.
Take care and stay blessed.
A short while ago, I was asked to write about 'what Christmas was like for me back home', as part of the advent season and thought to share it here with you. So, what was Christmas like for me, in my childhood home? Well, in preparation for Christmas, the children would be taught to sing Christmas carols, which they would sing in Christmas plays, nativities and other festive events in schools or churches. Whilst adults would form Christmas choirs and performed in Christmas plays. The story of the birth of Jesus was usually told, with the visit of the three wise men bearing gifts, right through to Christmas day!
One of the highlights of Christmas back home, was going to church with my family and watching my father sing Christmas carols from his church hymn book, along with the congregation. We would sing Christmas carols like, "O Come, O come, Emmanuel."
In the build up to Christmas, we would hand out Christmas cards and gifts to our neighbours, friends, colleagues and those we wanted to wish a Merry Christmas. The best part, was decorating the house, with all the Christmas cards we had received over the years as a family and putting up the Christmas tree.
Then a few days before Christmas, the real festivities begins, as we watch our parents buy Christmas food in advance and store them in the pantry, ready to be used on Christmas day. One nostalgic thing I remember, was the aroma of mum's special Christmas cake filling the atmosphere of our home. It was tempting, knowing mum's scrumptious Christmas cake was within reach, yet, we were forbidden to touch it before Christmas day!
On Christmas Eve, we would head out to church for the Christmas service, where we would watch Nativity plays, sing Christmas carols and pray. Come Christmas day, everyone was in the Christmas spirit, as we would help mum prepare the Christmas meals.
The aroma of mum's Christmas meals were a delightful treat, well known, not just to our family, but to our relatives and neighbours as well. Mum would dish out generous servings of Christmas meals in beautiful ceramic dishes and place them in sturdy bags. One by one, she would hand it out to my siblings and I to deliver it to our neighbours, who were already looking forward to mum's tasty Christmas meals. Our relatives would also visit throughout Christmas day to spend Christmas with us and enjoy mum's Christmas meals. Christmas for us, was a full house affair!
Though the way we celebrate Christmas has changed significantly, one thing remains the same. It's a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to show the love of Christ to others.
This year, however you choose to spend Christmas, be it alone or surrounded by people, let's have our focus on Christ and what he's done for us. For that is what Christmas is truly about and in return, we are reminded through the death of Jesus, that God really cares for us.
Here's wishing you all, A Merry Cosy Christ-mas!
Notes: Understandably, Christmas can be a difficult time for some. If that is you, take comfort in knowing that God will be there for you, if you just call out to him. You can also see the link below, where I have explained more about this issue under the heading, 'The Hidden Side of Christmas'. Take care and stay blessed.
I'm Kemi West. Also known as the Postman. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.