August 25, 2020
Jesus, God With Us, Part 2
JESUS: YAHWEH SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE. The angel commanded Joseph, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins… and [Joseph] called his name JESUS.” (Matt 1:21, 25).
By JOE HILL, AUSTIN LEANDER, TX
Read Time: 6 minutes
While the kingdom of the Lord existed in Old Testament times, the king was the son of his natural father. At his enthronement God adopted him, thus becoming his Father and calling him His son (1 Chron 28:6; Psa 2:6-7; 89:26-27). In contrast, Jesus was God’s son through the power of the Holy Spirit which caused the virgin Mary to conceive and give birth to him (Matt 1:18-20; Luke 1:26-35). So, Jesus did not need to be adopted by God because he was innately “the only begotten Son.” On the other hand, Joseph, who was not Jesus’ literal father, did adopt him by obediently naming him Jesus as the angel of the Lord had commanded.
The name “Jesus” is transliterated from Hebrew into Greek and means “Yahweh saves.” The Old Testament prophets stressed that Yahweh is the source of salvation:
“I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me is no saviour.” (Isa 43:11).
“…and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a saviour; there is none beside me.” (Isa 45:21).
“Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no other god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.” (Hos 13:4).
To fulfill this promise, God sent His son, Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:9-11).
“God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8).
“All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ… to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them… be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5:18-21).
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)…For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:4-5, 8).
In short, salvation is from God through Christ.
GOD WITH US: JESUS PREACHED THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
One of the most important aspects of God’s covenant blessings is that He would remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As we saw in the first article (1) this is a fundamental aspect of what it means for God to be “with” His people. For example,
“Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land…But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.” (Lev 26:42, 45).
These blessings include the kingdom age, the ultimate “God with us” time. Isaiah foretold the preaching of the gospel of God’s reign;
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa 52:7; see also, 9:6-7; 33:20-22).
And John described its fulfillment:
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev 21:2-3).
A major part of Jesus’s ministry was his missionary work. He went throughout the region teaching, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing the sick.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 4:17).
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matt 4:23).
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” (Matt 9:35).
“If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matt 12:28).
Jesus sent out his disciples to do the same:
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt 10:7-8).
When John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus to ask whether he was the one to come or should they look for another, Jesus responded:
“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matt 11:5).
Jesus took his words from Isaiah’s prophecies of the kingdom (Isa 26:19; 29:18-19; 35:4-6; 61:1-3).
GOD WITH US: JESUS HEALED THE SICK
The covenant blessings include God’s healing His people of all sickness:
“I [the Lord your God] will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Exod 23:25b).
“And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.” (Deut 7:13-15; see the contrasting covenant curses, Deut 28:26-29, 58- 61).
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” (Zech 12:8).
Jesus demonstrated these covenant promises in the healings he performed. As Peter told Cornelius and his family and friends:
“The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:36-38).
Nicodemus said to Jesus:
“Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:2).
After Jesus raised the widow of Nain’s son from the dead, Luke records:
“And there came fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.” (Luke 7:16).
Healing was a major part of the ministry of Jesus. Matthew emphasizes this throughout his gospel. He recounts ten general summaries of healings (2) a dozen healings of Jewish men, women, and children (3) and two healings of Gentiles (4).
In all of these episodes, the people being healed came to Jesus or were brought to him. In each case, the faith of those coming to Jesus was cited as the basis for the healing.
1 Tidings, June, 2020, pp. 292-298.
2 Matt 4:23-25; 9:16-17; 9:35-28; 11:4-6; 12:15-21; 14:13-14; 14:34-36; 15:29-31; 19:1-2; 21:14.
3 Matt 8:1-4; 8:14-15; 8:28-34; 9:1-8; 9:20-22; 9:18-19, 23-26; 9:27-31; 9:32-34; 12:9-13; 12:22-24; 17:14-21; 20:29-34.
4 Matt 8:5-13; 15:21-28.
Editor’s Note: In our October and November issues, Lord willing, Bro. Joe will continue this article by examining how Jesus forgave sins, fed the multitudes, calmed the seas, was crucified, buried and resurrected.