IN THE BIBLE names often have meaning— they tell us something about the person. For example Abraham was the ancestor of the Jews and many of the Arabs, and the spiritual ancestor of all God’s people (Galatians 3:29): and his name means ‘Father of a multitude’. There is one name which occurs far more often than any other name. It appears only in the Old Testament, but it appears nearly 7,000 times. It’s a beautiful and majestic name which is full of meaning. As you would expect, it’s the name of God Himself. If you’re a Bible reader you may just be wondering how you’ve missed it. The answer is that most Bibles don’t print it—but they indicate where it should be. Wherever you see the words Lord or God in capital letters, that’s where God’s name was in the original Hebrew manuscripts. Some Bible readers insert the name wherever
In his prayer at the Last Supper Jesus said “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:4-5). This sounds very much as though Jesus is co-equal and co- eternal with the Father. THIS IS ONE of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible. It’s a prayer of the Son to his Father that the love and unity which they have between them may be shared with his disciples. When you read the chapter through, it’s clear that Jesus was sent by his Father, was given his work by his Father, he’s glorified his Father; his Father gave him his disciples… so the first question is, does this really sound like the prayer of one who is
ISAIAH CHAPTER 53 contains a remarkable prophecy, which is sometimes known as the ‘suffering servant’ prophecy. It was probably written at the time of the illness of the Jewish King Hezekiah which is described in Isaiah 38, and it seems that some of the prophecy’s details were fulfilled by Hezekiah. But the New Testament writers quote from and allude to this prophecy on a number of occasions and apply it to Jesus Christ (for example Matthew 8:17, Acts 8:30-35 and 1 Peter 2:22). I’m going to suggest that Hezekiah’s illness, his miraculous recovery and the gracious extension of his life comprise a partial fulfilment of the suffering servant prophecy. This period of the king’s life was a parable about the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the prophecy was completely fulfilled. The Exalted Servant The prophecy begins in chapter 52: “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; he
The Gospel of John records a number of sayings of Jesus which begin “I am…” In this series we think about some of the profound things he said about himself. You can catch up with the previous articles here. JESUS SAID, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). What did he mean by this? He didn’t mean it literally, because he was not actually a physical light, but he meant it spiritually. Jesus himself said of his cousin John the Baptist, “He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light” (John 5:35). John was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus. John was a burning lamp who shone for a time: Jesus was the light of the world who gives the
WE KNOW WHAT IT WAS that the first apostles preached, which stirred people to believe and be converted: “When they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” (Acts 8:12). What are the “things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ”? The following list is a brief summary of the basic teachings of the Bible, together with a selection of Bible references in connection with each teaching. The BibleIt is the Word of God and is unique. It contains God’s message to humankind for our salvation. It was written by many men over the centuries whom God used as instruments for the writing of His Word. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor who sentenced Jesus Christ to death. This is an imaginary memoir, but it is based on the facts as we know them from the Bible and archaeology (except the ending, for which there is no evidence.) The Bible verses are given for reference. You can catch up with Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. Part 4I ORDERED WINE, and as I drank I summoned a scribe. Over each cross we wrote the crime for which the prisoner was being executed. I dictated to the scribe: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. I had it written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. I knew it would enrage the Jews. Sure enough during the afternoon a deputation from Caiaphas came with a demand: “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give lists of the ancestors of Jesus Christ. Only five women are mentioned. These were all very special individuals. In this series we’ve looked at them in turn—this month we consider the fifth woman, Mary. You can catch up with the other articles in the series here. IT WAS IN GOD’S PLAN, right from creation, that His Son Jesus would be born of the woman Mary. God would offer salvation to the world by Jesus’ death. To introduce Christianity God enabled an elderly childless couple of the priestly tribe of Levi to have a son who would prepare the way for Jesus. Zacharias and Elizabeth’s son was John the Baptist, who did what the priests should have been doing, “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). Six months after telling Zacharias he would have a son, God’s angel Gabriel was