Jesus, Son of Man

This is the clearest statement of Jesus’ divinity He ever made.

We know that Jesus was a great teacher and a good man. But his claim to be God is unmistakable. If the accounts in the New Testament Gospels are actually true, we must come to grips with the question, “Is Jesus actually the Son of God?” and “Is he really the Messiah?”

According to my Life Application Study Bible, Son of Man was Jesus’ favorite reference to himself during his time on earth. But, why? Out of all the glorious traits Jesus possesses, why would he favor this name that includes our imperfect humanity? My Study Bible notes: “It emphasized his humanity—but the way he used it, it was a claim to divinity.”

In Jesus, we see the perfect revelation of God. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of heaven”, (Hebrews 1:3).

Although Jesus and his Father are not the same person, they are one in nature and essence. Before Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, He prayed for his disciples and for us, future believers. He asked God the Father that we may be one, “just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21).

John 17:24 continues Jesus’ prayer, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Son of Man. God. Human. And exactly what I need. Listen to Pastor Cliff Purcell’s podcast as he shares scripture about Jesus the Son of Man, Trans-Fi-What? (March 10, 2019). Wishing you a great week!

What Does the Name Yahweh Mean?

Although the Bible attributes many names to God, the name Yahweh is a bedrock name that can stand alone.

The original story of Yahweh goes back to Exodus 3:13-15 where God is speaking to Moses through the burning bush. He gives him the ultimate mission: Free the Israelite people from Egyptian bondage.

Moses wonders: How in the world will I convince my people that God is really sending me on this mission, and that it will be successful?

Going along with my last post, God tells Moses: “I am who I am. . . . Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations, (Exodus 3:14-15).

This passage tells us that God’s name I AM and Yahweh are used interchangeably. So I Am is one interpretation of Yahweh.

Yahweh in Jewish tradition was too sacred a name to say out loud. So as time passed, Jews began speaking the name Adonai, or My Lord, in place of Yahweh. Sometimes Elohim replaced this holy name, but these two replacements could also be used for other things. Yahweh, however, holds an exclusive claim as God’s name. Although our English language doesn’t have an exact translation for Yahweh, the Old Testament references this name as LORD with all capital letters.

From Bible Study Tools, Jenna Martin shares a great post: 7 Meanings of Yahweh & Why It’s Such an Important Name for God. Amongst other pertinent information that she shares, I love this nugget of truth: “Yahweh is only used in the Bible when the author is talking about God’s personal, relationship with his people. The fact that God introduces himself to us as ‘Yahweh’ tells us that his first priority in relating to us is making sure we know that he is the intensely personal God, seeking to have a relationship with his people.”

God certainly doesn’t need us, but He wants us. Nothing illustrates this truth more clearly than Jesus entering our world and taking our punishment upon himself so we can have eternal life.

“I AM WHO I AM”

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you. . . . This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” -Exodus 3:14-15

We are all changing from our birth to our death, both physically and growing into something different from what we just were mentally and spiritually. First we’re born, then we are constantly growing older, as I was just reminded on my recent birthday. But thankfully, God is not only always present, He is also unchanging.

The great I AM, sounds simple, yet this description is packed with significance. This name encompasses God’s many roles that we also see in Jesus: Healer, Restorer, Advocate, Counselor, High Priest, Deliverer, Comforter, Savior, Redeemer, and Provider.

In a world where morals, values, and laws are constantly changing, we find security and stability in the same unchanging God who helped Moses and the great patriarchs. We also find salvation through His Son, Jesus: I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die,” John 11:25.

Here are a couple of links to further explore God with this name/characteristic: Jesus is the Great “I AM”. Pastor Cliff Purcell also shares from his “Just Jesus” series, The Next Time (Feb. 24, 2019). Have a wonderfdul week!

Miracles: Promises or Signs?

Do you ever feel like a tidal wave is crashing down on you? There are times when situations arise that are completely out of our control. Although we feel powerless during those times, God does not. For there is no limit to His power and understanding. But where do miracles fit into the life of the believer? My pastor, Cliff Purcell, has some great insights about the subject of miracles in the Christian’s life. You may listen to his podcast from his “Just Jesus” series here: Miracles: Promises or Signs? (Feb. 17, 2019). Blessings!

El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One

What does the word Shaddai mean in the Old Testament? There are some differences of opinion surrounding God’s name, Shaddai. Dawn Wilson, founder and director of Heart Choices Today, has an interesting view on the differing interpretations. She writes, “the various possibilities are shades of meaning that give us greater understanding of who God is and what He does.”

The most common perception of shaddai among Christians today is “mighty”. So El Shaddai would render “God Almighty.” This root meaning would go along with El Shaddai being “The Overpowerer.” God overpowers every opposition against Him. Whatever He purposes, He will bring forth. But the primary meaning of God’s power in this name denotes all-bountifulness, The “Pourer-forth” of blessings that are both temporal and spiritual.

Some Christians also interpret shaddai as “sufficient”, which is also an accurate description of God. For He is the “All-sufficient One.”

Wilson explains yet another possible meaning of El Shaddai: “The God of the Mountain. Some Messianic teachers say shaddai comes from the Akkadian word shaddu, meaning ‘mountain.’ God lives in heaven, but He also inhabited a mountain top—Mount Sinai. It was on this mountain Moses met with God and received the Ten Commandments. It might be argued God’s presence on that mountain reminded the Israelites of His power and provision. The God of the Mountain was the same God who mightily led His people from Egypt and appeared to them as a cloud by day and a fire at night. He is the God who expected obedience to His commands, and swiftly and powerfully took action against those who rebelled and ignored His will.”

God is definitely both mighty and sufficient. He is the Almighty One who is more than enough! Although I grew up going to church and knew God as my Savior, I didn’t know Him as El Shaddai, the all-sufficient One, until I went to college. When I hit rock bottom, El Shaddai became more than words on a page to me. (You may read my story here: My Lifeboat). But before that time, and since, He has been both protector and lover of my soul.

People in the Old Testament who came to know El Shaddai include Abraham and Job. Even though God had promised Abram and Sarah a child at the ripe age of ninety-nine and eighty-nine, the baby had yet to make his entrance.

As God reveals Himself to Abram by this name, He also adds something to Abram’s name. He adds the chief letter of His own name “Jehovah”, the letter ‘He’. This sound can only be uttered by an out-breathing, giving something of His own nature. Genesis 17:1-3 tells us that when Abram comes to know God as El Shaddai, he falls on his face and immediately submits to God in everything.

Although Job argued with God at first, the Almighty’s show of wisdom and power resulted in changing this Patriarch’s attitude to quiet reverence before the Lord’s authority and sovereignty.

This same mighty God, embodied in Jesus Christ, worked mighty miracles to help people, rescue them, and prove He is God. He fed thousands from small provisions, healed people, and cast out tormenting demons. Yet, what blows my mind the most, is that El Shaddai would humble Himself to become a servant, “becoming obedient to deatheven death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8) in order that we might have salvation through His Son.

We serve a mighty God who deserves all of our thanks and praise. In His mighty power, He never grows weary. He is our all-in-all who compassionately sustains, nourishes and protects. In His sufficiency, He can take our weaknesses and inadequate resources and use them for His great purposes. He alone is more than able! No need is too difficult for El Shaddai. He wants us to come to Him through prayer. For He knows His power and provision will lead to peace, hope, and praise. As with Abraham, God desires to work mightily in our lives and use us as a channel of His blessing to others.

Do you know God as El Shaddai?