Joshua of Nazareth or the Root of the Lord’s Salvation

Joshua of Nazareth (His Hebrew name) and its very loose translation-the root of the Lord’s salvation is setting the tone for this post and my feeble attempt at translating His names. 

This post is a look at who Jesus is by some of His names, titles, and attributes. (I used the Complete Jewish Bible, the Orthodox Jewish Bible, the Mounce Reverse Interlinear, and the NIV for the verses and the names.) 

Isaiah 7:14 This is the prophecy that says Jesus is Immanuel or God with us.

Matthew 1:23 Matthew repeats Isaiah in his introduction of the Christmas story.    

Exodus 34:6-7 is a good place to find out more about God the Father and Son. Moses wanted to know more, so God introduced Himself as He hid Moses in the rock’s cleft. His introduction was this: Hashem, Hashem El Rachum v’Channun or The Lord, the Lord the compassionate and gracious God. 

Isaiah 9:6 is a list of names or titles the Messiah was given as a present. They are:

  • Peleh (Wonderful) 
  • Yoetz (Counsellor)
  • El Gibbor (Mighty G-d) 
  • Avi Ad (Possessor of Eternity) or (Father of Eternity)-I really this one!
  • Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace)

Depending on what Hebrew source you use, the spellings may vary slightly. (Translators are amazing.) 

At first, I did not include this part of the verse. BUT. After watching several sermons about Christmas, I knew I had to add the first part of the verse. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name. (CJB) This just has so much in it! I will focus on the two “given”. We were given a gift, and so did Jesus, for becoming human. What you do with any gift is always your choice. Choose well and keep Him close throughout the year.   

Matthew 2:23 states that there is a prophecy that says Jesus will be called a Nazarene. Okay, don’t drive yourself crazy looking for that, because it hides in the roots of the word netzer, which means branch. (See The Root, The Branch, The Fruit – The Christmas Stor).  

The Father confirms His words by giving them to two or three witnesses. He did this with what He wanted His Son called. Both Mary and Joseph were told by Gabriel what to call the Baby-Jesus. Mary was told in Luke 1:31 and Joseph’s witness came in his dream in Matthew 2: 21. The third witness is when the Father told Gabriel. The footnote in my NIV in Matthew states, Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the Lord saves.

Joshua of Nazareth or the Root of the Lord’s salvation, enough said.

The last verse for this post is Revelation 19:11. Jesus is not a helpless baby, or a hard-working carpenter, or a meek rabbi teaching and healing thousands. In this verse, He is called Faithful (pistos) and True (alethinos) while sitting on a white horse leading His armies into battle. His eyes are blazing, a sword is coming out of His mouth, and His robes are dipped in blood.

The mystery and aura of God’s love are easy to hold as a baby in a manger, but the Rider on the white horse is also God’s love for those who choose to believe in HIM.   

Christmas Connection 2021-Charitoo

Mary has the angel Gabriel appeared before her and he says she is charitoo. Oh, your version of Luke 1:28 does not use that word, neither does mine. Most will say something like highly favored. Charitoo is a Greek word that is only used twice in the New Testament. Since it was used to describe Mary, it is our Christmas connection. The other time it is used is Ephesians 1:6, where Paul says that we are highly favored or surrounded with grace because we are in Jesus.

Our word shares the same root, in Greek, as charis and charisma. These words refer to grace and gifts throughout the New Testament, especially in Paul’s letters.

But the Father surrounding us with His favor is not just a New Testament idea. Moses in Psalm 91 uses that thought all the way through his praise to God. (I believe Moses wrote Psalm 90 to 100 as he chronicled the journey from Egypt to Jordan River.) Picture this Psalm being sung as the Israelites are watching Egypt and their gods get wrecked.

David wrote Psalm 5:12 and uses the idea of surrounding us with His favor as with a shield. He received that favor when he was anointed to be king in his early teens.

Mary was given charitoo. She traveled to and from Elizabeth’s house by herself. Joseph and a very pregnant Mary bounced to Bethlehem and then ran for their lives after being given a fortune by the Wise Men and told to flee from Herod. Jesus even gave her a protector in her old age as He hung on the cross.

Whatever grace Mary was surrounded with, you have it as well. She got it to deliver Jesus into the world. We have because we are in Jesus in this world. That is a really great connection this Christmas.

Christmas Characters 2021-Simeon and Anna

Simeon and Anna are my last two named characters in and around the first coming of Jesus (Christmas). Their story would have been forty days after the birth when Mary and Joseph were dedicating Jesus (Exodus 13: 2-15). This post will also review the other named human characters-good and bad. 

Anna– Her story starts in Luke 2:36. She is an old woman who is 84 years old or older (translation here maybe unclear), who never left the Temple. (Where did she stay, who fed her, etc.? I have never seen a diagram of the Temple that had living quarters on the grounds.) Since she was there so much she must have heard or known of Zachariah’s encounter behind the curtain. As a descendent of Asher, her people were part of the Northern kingdom who were carried away by the Assyrians. There are many ways to explain why her family had returned, the important thing is she was there. 

Second Coming Shadow. Anna is someone who is focused on the Lord and is waiting for His return. This daughter of Abraham felt and followed the leading of the Spirit.  

Simeon-His story starts in Luke 2:25. As I read and reread 25-35 I realized how awesome Simeon is and how little he is talked about. This Old Testament believer in Yahweh has three references to the Holy Spirit working directly in his life. The Holy Spirit lead him to the Temple, He had revealed things to him, Simeon praised and prophesied. So, this righteous (tzaddik) and devout man should have many accolades attributed to him. He easily could be put with the 7,000 who never bowed a knee to Baal, he is qualified to have been in one of the schools of the prophets, and I would even put him into the order of Melchizedek as a non-Aaron priest of God, and a definite pattern for believers after the Day of Pentecost. He was waiting for “the consolation of Israel”, which is the term the rabbis used for the Messiah. The root word for consolation is also used by Jesus in John 15:26 when He said he would send the parakletos to us. Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit. It is also translated as advocate or comforter.

            Second Coming Shadow. Simeon is a faith-filled son of Abraham and an example of what a born-again Jewish believer would be. Luke says the Spirit was “upon him” or epi, which puts him with some serious Old Testament figures. He knew the Word and believed that Yahweh could and did work in his day.

Zechariah-His story is in Luke 1. The father of John the Baptist makes his entrance into Scripture because he is offering incense behind the Curtain in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he is a priest. (This is a firm date or time in the Jewish calendar.) This would have no doubt been an honor to be selected, even though it did carry a fearful consequence-if he messed up they assumed he would be struck dead. That same curtain would be torn until Jesus died.

Gabriel, the angel, tells him great personal news about his family, which Zachariah doubts. Gabriel rebukes and levees a “wakeup call” to this son of Aaron-not being able to speak until the child is born. Gabriel is named, but not human, please see his post. 

            Second Coming Shadow. Zechariah, the priest, represents the doubting child of Abraham. He knew and lived the Torah, but a visit from an angel was not enough for him to not doubt. It took a miracle to move him into believing. 

Elizabeth-This daughter of Sarah (Luke 1) is amazing. She is a member of a cadre of strong women who had faith and became part of a miracle-Sarah (Genesis 21), Samson’s mother (Judges 13+14), Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2), the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:8 and 8:1), Rachel (Genesis 30), Tamar (Genesis 38), and Ruth. Their stories vary but all of them had babies after being barren or denied children. Many of these women belong to the family tree of Jesus (Matthew 1). 

In the Christmas story, Elizabeth is special because she finds out about her blessing (probably) in writing. Zachariah could not talk so I will guess writing was how he communicated for nine months. All of the other Christmas characters were spoken to or led by the Spirit into their role in the story. 

            Second Coming Shadow. No children were a very negative thing for the Hebrew woman and the nation of Israel. “Elizabeths” endure ridicule and shame, yet become a sign of God’s mercy because of the miracle they give birth to. The Father sets a table for them in front of their enemies (Psalm 23:5)   

Mary-For years I have tried to connect Mary, the tribe of Judah, with Aaron the priest, it did not really work. There is at least one verse that may reference this connection so Jesus could be king and priest. This year I did a study on David as a priest and Melchizedek. Jesus’ priesthood did not depend on Aaron because Jesus is in the order of Melchizedek.

Having studied Zachary’s story, it is possible that Mary was visited at Passover. That would make Jesus’ birth in the Christmas/Epiphany season.

Mary, however, does deserve to be recognized, she was handpicked by the Father. The woman in Luke 11:27 was corrected by Jesus in verse 28-blessed are those who hear and do the word. It is easy for me to believe Mary was a reference for Luke, Matthew, Mark, and John when they finally started writing the Gospels. Her life was filled with many good things but Simeon’s prophecy was good and she did have her heart pierced because of her firstborn son.     

            Second Coming Shadow. Mary represents the “yes Lord” group of believers. She was surrounded by charitoo. The word is also used in Ephesians 1:6 for grace being given to believers. 

Joseph– After learning about Jewish weddings when I did the post of the Ten Woke Virgins, this story looks a little different. In Jewish tradition, Joseph and Mary were legally bound because Joseph/his father would have already paid the bride’s price for Mary. They were in the yearlong waiting period when Joseph had his dream and Mary her visitation. Mary’s announcement would have affected her family also, the money became her father’s not to her. They usually gave it to the bride once the couple was together; remember how Leah and Rachel were upset at their father for spending their bride price. So, when Joseph thought about not marrying Mary, that meant a loss of money for him.

With all of that said, Father God not only picked Mary, He hand-picked Joseph as well. God knew Joseph would listen to the dreams for direction and guidance. In one respect Joseph had had more heavenly messages than Mary. I will always celebrate Mary because she knew the ridicule she would endure, but none of that was easy on Joseph either. 

            Second Coming Shadow. Joseph had “eyes to see and ears to hear” even when the message came in a dream. He knew and followed the Law but had an open heart and received the miraculous. There are testimonies of Muslims having dreams and knowing they must follow Jesus.

King Herod-Okay, the crazy, evil bad guy was named so he makes this post. His evil rage actually fulfilled the prophecy in Jeremiah. It is surprising that he only stopped with the little boys and not the whole village

Off-topic slightly-I will bet he knew about Zachariah and that something happened in the Temple. His non-Jewish heritage came through when he had to ask where the Messiah would be born, the common guy on the street could have answered that question. 

Second Coming Shadow. His list of bad things would be very long. So, just because they say they are for you does not mean a thing, what kind of fruit of the Spirit are they producing?

This is where the idea came from for this post.

Lego ego

This post on legō egō has nothing to do with breakfast food or plastic blocks. In Greek legō egō means “tell me” or variations of those words. I have been using Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament to see the meanings of words and their original context. John 16:23 is a good example of these words being used. “In that day you will no longer ask me (egō) anything. Very truly I tell (legō) you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my (egō) name.” (NIV reference and I added the Greek words). 

These Greek words have several words that they translate into but ego is 1473 in Strong’s and lego is 2036. Bible Gateway is the Bible search tool I use the most and Mounce is part of the translations they allow you to use. 

The Sermons on Two Mounts-Authority

The Sermons on Two Mounts is on the other end of Jesus’ ministry from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. These teachings took place on what we call Tuesday of Holy Week. Oh, the two mounts are the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. 

I am looking at authority in this study, but staying to one theme has been hard. There is so much going on in the stories and interactions this Tuesday. (See the intro-post on the various audiences.) Jesus’ authority has been a thorn in the leaders of the people’s side for a long time. The Sunday and Monday of Holy Week pushed the showdown to occur in Matthew 21:23. As I study about the Kingdom, it has become clear that Jesus was not a victim but He pushed the Father’s agenda to the discomfort of leaders. To get the feeling for His plan, you need to read Matthew 19:1, Mark 10:1, Luke 17:1, and John 11:1 to the Triumphal Entry or Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem. 

The people/crowds saw authority in Jesus. The leaders knew he had something they did not possess and feared it, and the disciples had been around it for so long you wonder if they lost sight of who He was. Grace extends His authority to us. We recognize it and claim it. Some leaders are uncomfortable with it because they lose control. Or, like the disciples, you get around it and get secure and stop growing in it.

Luke 7:8 is a snapshot of what Jesus is looking for. The centurion was familiar with authority and operated within it very well. Jesus, in verse 9, sees the man as having faith, so the gift is sent, accepted, and received. We should note that the centurion first used his authority by sending elders of the Jews, but changed and sent friends with the second message.

The Leaders—I imagine the chief priests and elders put on a show to question Jesus’ power. First, they interrupted Him as He was teaching, but to have the chief priests come down and question Jesus was an all-out power-play on their part. I am sure they tried to rival Jesus’ ride into the city on Sunday. The trap I believe they wanted to spring on Jesus-have Him claim the power came from God and they could stone Him for blasphemy. 

Matthew 9 has the story of Jesus healing the paralytic. I see this as the start of the elder’s groundwork for the showdown in Matthew 21. Jesus displayed authority-the people praised God, and the elders were angry. The Pharisees upped the level of their attack in Matthew 12:24 when they said Jesus had that kind of power because of Beelzebub (lord of flies or Satan). This change of their speech was to stir the crowd to attack Jesus. It did not work because He was healing people and not taking the credit for the miracles. 

I will list the things Jesus did from clearing the Temple to His stay by the Jordan to show the authority displayed before this Passover.

  • He cleared the Temple and used Scripture to justify the action.
  • The crowd honored Him as He rode into Jerusalem. I still think the ride was part of the ritual of a groom choosing his bride.
  • He healed blind eyes in Jericho-Matthew 20:29, Mark 10:46, and Luke18:35. (Bartimaeus)
  • He brought a sinner to repentance-Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1.
  • A rich man showed confusion because his good deeds and money were not enough to get him into heaven.
  • Jesus acknowledged children as important.
  • The Pharisees failed with a legal question about the fear-club of divorce they used for control. 
  • John 11-12:12 Lazarus was raised from the dead, in plain view of many people.

The Common People—Jews were not illiterate. Jews knew the Torah, Psalms, and the Prophets. The crowds loved Jesus’ teachings and how He silenced the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. Unlike the leaders, they recognized the authority of His words, miracles, and the work of John the Baptist. Unknown to them, the leaders feared the crowds. Many people with rocks were something to be worried about. The works/acts of clearing the Temple to raising Lazarus from the dead were not lost on them. They may have not fully understood Jesus, but someone who heals and supplies food, then gives the glory to the Father, and associates with them, was a person who needs to be acknowledged. 

Disciples and the Twelve—Jesus started by preaching that the kingdom of God was near. Words may be cheap, so He showed this good news by healing and doing miracles. The people who left everything and followed Jesus wanted this. (God called and direct hearts, it was not an accident who followed Him.) The time from Matthew 19 to 21 shows that these men and women knew they were at the front of a serious movement. I think they liked the authority they had and wanted more. From the Jordan to the Temple Mount, Jesus addressed authority issues with them. He had to.

  • The fig tree-faith and pray.
  • Clearing the moneychangers out of the Temple-honor God.
  • Mommy Zebedee asking favors for her sons. This provided the opportunity to teach that serving is the way to authority.
  • Matthew 20:1 taught (Third Hour Workers) about the mindset that leaders need to have.
  • The rich man covered rewards for following Jesus. 

Note to Self—Jesus chose not to use His authority during the trial and the cross. He never lost it or gave it up. He willingly laid it aside and used it while in the tomb. So the Father could put His enemies under His feet.