The Many Names of God –

Names of Jesus – Part 7

John 1:48-49, John 12:13, Mark 15:32, Matthew 27:42, King of Israel

Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious Art, Step 74: Mark 15:1-5, Jesus before Pilate, possibly by Domenico Mastriannai

John 21:7-21, Kurios/Lord
John 20:19-28, My Lord and My God
2 Peter 1:10-11, 2:17-20, 3:17-18, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

More Names of God

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John 1:48-49, John 12:13, Mark 15:32, Matthew 27:42, King of Israel (3/9/2009)

Friday I said that the wise men and Pilate had recognized Jesus as the King of the Jews. A closely related title is the "King of Israel." Nathaniel seems to be the first to call Jesus by this title, and he does it within a minute or so of meeting Jesus. Jesus is amused at Nathaniel's impulsiveness. The crowds on their way to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday also hailed Jesus as the King of Israel, but they were so fickle that by Thursday they were either interested in something else or in the center of town shouting "Crucify him!" One commentary makes the point that the words of the religious authorities present at the cross acknowledge Jesus as the King of Israel, even though their actions do not.

John 21:7-21, Kurios/Lord (3/10/2009)

Possibly the most poignant event in the Bible is the meeting between Jesus and Peter on the beach after the resurrection. So much is happening here that I want to make a few semi-unrelated points.

1. I've done some things and said some things that I don't want to remember and certainly don't want you to find out about. Poor Peter! Every time he said or did something regrettable, four gospel writers recorded it. Just a few days prior to this meeting, Peter swore that no matter who else deserted Jesus, he would be faithful (Matthew 26:33). That very night, he denied even knowing Jesus. Now Jesus asks him, "Do you still think you love me more than these others do?" Ouch! But are we any more consistent than Peter?

2. Peter denied Jesus three times; now Jesus asks three times if Peter loves him. Peter is grieved, as we all would be at such a reminder. But each time that Peter repents of his earlier statement and asserts his love, Jesus reaffirms their relationship. You mean I can come back?!

3. Probably all of us have heard a sermon or read a commentary that makes a big deal about the difference between the two words for "love" that Jesus and Peter use: (1) Jesus: agape. Peter: philo. (2) Jesus: agape. Peter: philo. (3) Jesus: philo. Peter: philo. Some people – even some serious scholars – maintain that "agape" is Christ-like love and "philo" is friendship. Maybe, but I made a little usage table once for these two words, and honestly, I couldn't see any difference at all. Remember the men who loved darkness rather than light (John 3:19)? The word is "agape." Remember where Jesus says, "The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does (John 5:20)? The word is "philo." I love chocolate, my family, and God; so did the early Christians. They just had two words for it.

4. Back on January 8th, we learned that the Jews would not say the actual name of God out loud. Instead they said "Adonai," which means "Sir, Master, or Lord." In the Greek Old Testament, "Adonai" is translated as "Kurios," which means exactly the same thing. Many people addressed Jesus during his lifetime as "Kurios," and very often they probably meant "Sir." I think we can be assured that after the resurrection, the disciples mean "Lord."

John 20:19-28, My Lord and My God (3/11/2009)

Thomas gets a lot of flak for being a doubter, but I think we'd do well to have more people like him around. Think of the reduction in successful scams! Think of the reduction in email! He isn't a doubter so much as a person who would like some facts in the face of something that sounds too good to be true. Since I also tend to be interested in facts, I'm really interested in what he decides. When he gets the facts, Thomas is the first person to acknowledge Jesus as "My Lord and my God."

2 Peter 1:10-11, 2:17-20, 3:17-18, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (3/12/2009)

Probably the most commonly used title for Jesus is "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Let's look at each part.

"Lord" is kurios, which as we have seen means sir, master, or Lord in the theological sense, depending on the context. Kurios is the word the rabbis used in the Greek Old Testament to translate adonai, which in turn is the word said aloud when a Jewish reader comes to the name of God. So "Lord" in this phrase is a Godly title, not "sir" or "master."

Savior is just what it sounds like – when you are in deep trouble, you need someone to save you. Save you from what? In this case, sin. "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew name "Yeshua" or "Joshua," which means "God saves."

Finally "Christos" is "Messiah" is "Anointed One." Sometimes we say "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" with little regard for the theological depth of this title. At least for this week, let's try to say and think about each word separately.

More Names of God
Names of God - Introduction
Sacred Names - Part 1
Sacred Names - Part 2
Other Names - Part 1
Other Names - Part 2
Other Names - Part 3
Names of Jesus - Part 1
Names of Jesus - Part 2
Names of Jesus - Part 3
Names of Jesus - Part 4
Names of Jesus - Part 5
Names of Jesus - Part 6
Names of Jesus - Part 7
Names of Jesus - Part 8
Names of Jesus - Part 9
Names of the Spirit

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