The Many Names of God

Names of Jesus Part 8

1 Timothy 6:13-16; Revelation 17:14, 19:16, King of Kings, Lord of Lords
Revelation 1:8, Revelation 21:5-6, Revelation 22:12-13, Alpha and Omega
Genesis 49:9-10; Revelation 5:5, Lion of Judah
Isaiah 11:10; Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16, Root/Scion of Jesse/David

More Names of God

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1 Timothy 6:13-16; Revelation 17:14, 19:16, King of Kings, Lord of Lords(3/13/2009)

Like kurios,"King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords" are titles applied both to God the Father and to Jesus, the Son.

Revelation 1:8 (God the Father is speaking), Revelation 21:5-6 (God the Father is sitting upon the throne), Revelation 22:12-13 (The risen Christ is speaking) Alpha and Omega (3/16/2009)

When we want to express complete confidence in some authority, we say, "He knows his subject from A to Z." Jesus doesn't just know the subject, he is the subject. Most of you have seen a Christian symbol that combines an A with an upside-down-horseshoe-looking-thing. The A is really a capital alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and the horseshoe is a capital omega, the last letter. Just as we saw last week for King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the title "alpha and omega" is used for both God the Father and for Jesus, the Son. In saying "I am the alpha and the omega," God and the risen Christ are asserting their omnipresent and eternal being.

Just as an aside, most translations that you normally read probably have "Almighty" as the last word in Revelations 1:8. In Greek, this is pantokrator. Panto means "everything," and krator means something like "hold strongly." William Barclay says this word "describes God as the one who has dominion over all things, the one who controls all things, the one who holds all things in his grasp." Sometimes pantokrator is translated "omnipotent," which I suspect is what we usually think when we hear "almighty." God may be all-powerful; however, you can't prove it from pantokrator.

Genesis 49:9-10; Revelation 5:5, Lion of Judah (3/17/2009)

When Jacob was on his deathbed, he talked about each one of his sons. He described their characters and fairly accurately foretold what would become of each tribe. Now, some people have expressed skepticism about this and suggested that the "prophecy" was written well after the death of Jacob, but I don't see any necessity for that. By the time he died, Jacob had grandsons and great-grandsons. No doubt he could already see how the kids were turning out, and from that he could predict what would become of each family in the future. If you've already got three generations of respectable, upright descendants of Judah taking leadership positions in the family, it's a good bet that this will continue.

Apparently the tradition that the lion is the king of beasts is a very old one. Jacob prophesies that Judah's leadership role will continue, and he compares Judah to a lion. Eventually the Jews came to understand that not only kings but the Messiah himself would arise from the tribe of Judah.

Isaiah 11:10; Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16, Root/Scion of Jesse/David (3/18/2009)

Have you ever searched for your roots? According to some sources, gardening and genealogy are the #1 and #2 hobbies in the United States, so most likely you do have something to do with roots, one way or the other. In English idiom, "roots" give rise to "branches," whether you are dealing with plants or families. "Roots" are older and provide a foundation for newer "branches." This makes perfect sense to me (even though I know for a fact that you can start a plant from a leaf, which then develops roots!), because I speak English, live in the United States, and do a lot of genealogy and a little gardening.

So the idea that Jesus is both the root and the descendant of David and Jesse strikes me as a little odd. I searched around for an explanation, and I found that several reliable sources John Wesley and The Interpreter's Bible, for example agree that "root" literally means root, but figuratively means branch. Apparently in Biblical thinking, the root of the family is the whole living, vibrating being of it. We see this most clearly in Isaiah 11:10, where the root stands up like a flag.

In the latter part of Old Testament times, the Jews understood that the Messiah would come not just from the tribe of Judah, as we saw yesterday, but more specifically from the family of Jesse, and in fact from the family of David, Jesse's youngest son. "Root of Jesse" and its variants are a set of Messianic titles applied to Jesus, who in fact was in the hereditary line not just of David, but specifically of the kings who descended from David.

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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