"...PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST TO
THAT WHICH IS GOOD..." 1TH 5:21
'CP' denotes 'Compare Passage'
NAMES AND TITLES OF JESUS
We will commence this study with the name Jesus itself, which is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, meaning, "Yahweh (God), is salvation." Jesus' name describes His function, which is expressed in scripture by His title of Saviour (CP Mt 1:1; Mk 1:1; Lu 1:26-31 with Mt 1:18-21; Lu 2:11; Jn 4:42; Ac 4:10-12; 5:30-31; 13:23; Eph 5:23; Php 3:20; 2Ti 1:10; Tit 1:4, 2:13, 3:6; 2Pe 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1Jn 4:14). We see in the majority of those scriptures that Jesus is also called Christ, which means Anointed One. This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah, and applies to Jesus as the anointed one of God who it was prophesied from the beginning would fulfil God's plan of salvation for fallen man (CP Gen 3:15; Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-5 with Jn 1:41; 4:25-26). Jesus is also called The Christ (CP Mt 16:16; Mk 14: 61-62; Jn 20:31), The Lord's Christ (CP Lu 2:26) and The Christ of God (CP Lu 9:20).
In Mt 1:1 Jesus is also called the Son of David, which he was by direct descent through Joseph's line (CP Mt 1:1-17). Son of David refers to the Messianic King promised in Old Testament prophecies as a descendant of David. Being called the Son of David pointed to Jesus as the one to fulfil God's covenant with David in the Old Testament to establish an eternal kingdom and bring peace to Israel (CP 2Sam 7:12, 16, 25-29; Psa 89:3-4; Isa 16:5, Jer 23:5 with Lu 1:31-33; Ac 13:21-23; Rev 3:7). David's throne was emblematic of the Messianic Kingdom (CP 2Sam 7:13-16; Psa 89:26-29). Jesus is also called the Son of God (CP Mk 1:1; Ro 1:3-4). This expresses Jesus' Deity (CP Jn 3:18; 5:25; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4). Jesus is referred to as the Son of God nearly seventy times in the New Testament but these are the only scriptures in which He referred to Himself as such. Elsewhere He called himself simply The Son (CP Mt 11:27; Lu 10:22; Jn 3:36; 5:26; 8:35-36). God called Jesus My Beloved Son (CP Mt 3:17; Mk 1:11; 9:7; Lu 3:22; 9:35). Peter also called Jesus the Son of the Living God, when he declared Him to be The Christ (CP Mt 16:16). Demons acknowledged Jesus' Deity - they called Him the Holy One of God (CP Mk 1:23-26). Son of the Most High God (CP Mk 5:1-8). The angel Gabriel referred to Jesus as the Son of the Highest (CP Lu 1:31-32). But Jesus' self-designated title was the Son of Man. This expresses His humanity (CP Mt 8:20; Mk 2:28; Lu 5:24; Jn 3:13-14). Daniel ascribed the title of Son of Man to Jesus in the Old Testament in his record of the prophetic vision he had of Christ's second coming (CP Dan 7:13-14). John also ascribed the title to Jesus in the Book of Revelation (CP Rev 1:10-13; 14:14). Although His Deity was veiled by His humanity, there are a number of scriptures which proclaim outright that Jesus was God (CP Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1; 20:28; Ro 9:5; Php 2:5-8; 1Ti 3:16; Tit 2:13; He 1:8-12; 2Pe 1:1). In Mt 1:23 Jesus fulfilled Isaiah's Old Testament prophecy of the incarnation - God taking on human form - (CP Isa 7:14 with Mt 1:22-23). In Jn 1:1 Jesus was God the Word, who became flesh and dwelt among us. This also refers to the incarnation (CP Jn 1:1, 14). Jesus fulfilled Micah's Old Testament prophecy also of the incarnation (CP Mic 5:2). The Governor who was to come out of Bethlehem, whose going forth from everlasting, refers to the pre-existing Jesus as God (CP 1Jn 1:1-2). Jesus Himself proclaimed His deity when He declared to the Jews that He already existed at the time of Abraham (CP Jn 8:24, 28, 56-58). I am is what God called Himself when He spoke to Moses out of the burning bush on Mt Horeb (CP Ex 3:13-15).
The clearest affirmation of Jesus' Deity is His title of Lord. He is called that over seven hundred times in the New Testament, denoting His sovereignty (CP Mt 3:3; Jn 20:24-31; Ac 2:36; Php 2:5-11). These scriptures all denote the sovereignty of Jesus and it is the same throughout the rest of the New Testament. Jesus also proclaimed Himself Lord of the Sabbath (CP Mt 12:1-8). The Sabbath was merely an Old Testament shadow, or type, of which Jesus is the New Testament fulfilment (CP Col 2:8-17). The Sabbath - a day of rest every seventh day for Old Testament Jews - was fulfilled for New Testament Christians by faith in Jesus (CP He 12:22-26). Jesus gives rest to all who come to Him (CP Mt 11:28-30). The rest that Jesus gives Christians is the eternal rest that is in God, in contrast to only every seventh day for the Old Testament Jews (CP He 3:7 - 4:10).
Another title ascribed to Jesus was King of the Jews. The Magi - wise men - called the baby Jesus that (CP Mt 2:1-2). Jesus acknowledged the title as His when questioned by Pilate on the night of His arrest (CP Mt 27:11; Jn 18:37). Thou sayest is an affirmative response. Jesus was the King of the Jews, or Israel, who the Old Testament prophet Zechariah prophesied would come riding upon an ass (CP Zech 9:9 with Mt 21:4-5; Jn 12:12-16). Jesus called Himself Light, and the Light of the World (CP Jn 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35, 46). Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy by Isaiah that the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (CP Isa 9:1-2 with Mt 4:12-17). Great Light here means underived and absolute light - the opposite of all darkness. John the Baptist bore witness to that Light - he went before Jesus to prepare the way for Him (CP Lu 1:76-79; Jn 1:1-9). Dayspring in Lu 1:78 means the springing up of light, referring here to the coming of Jesus, the Light of the World. Simeon declared Jesus to be a Light to lighten the Gentiles, when, in conforming to the Old Covenant law, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus up to the temple to present Him to God (CP Lu 2:22-32 with Isa 42:6).
Another title given to Jesus was Master (CP Mt 8:19; Mk 10:17, 20; Jn 20:15-16; Col 4:1). Jesus referred to himself too as Master (CP Mt 23:8-10; 26:18; Jn 13:13-14). Jesus also referred to Himself as A Greater than Jonah and A Greater than Solomon (CP Mt 12:41-42; Lu 11:30-32). Jesus was also a Prophet. He fulfilled Moses' Old Testament prophecy that God would raise up a prophet from the midst of Israel like Moses, who all must obey or be punished by God (CP De 18:15-19 with Ac 3:22-26). Jesus acknowledged Himself to be a prophet (CP Mt 13:57; Lu 13:33). Jesus was the Stone which the Builders rejected, the Same is become the Head of the Corner. This fulfilled the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 118 (CP Psa 118:22 with Mt 21:42 and 1Pe 2:7). Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone - the Head of the Corner - in God's redemptive plan (CP Isa 28:16-17; Mk 12:10; Ro 10:11; Eph 2:19-22; 1Pe 2:6). The "builders" who rejected the stone are the Jews who rejected Jesus (CP Ac 4:11). Unto those who believed on Him, Jesus is a Tried Stone, a Precious Corner Stone, but to
unbelievers He is a Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Offence (CP Isa 8:14-15 with Ro 9:31-33; 1Pe 2:4-8). Jesus is the Foundation Stone, a Sure Foundation (CP Isa 28:16 with Eph 2:19-20). Jesus is also referred to in the Old Testament as the Stone of Israel (CP Gen 49:24).
Jesus was referred to as both the Carpenter's Son and the Carpenter (CP Mt 13:54-56; Mk 6:1-3). It is obvious from Mk 6:3 that Jesus plied His trade as a carpenter before commencing His earthly ministry. He alluded to Himself as the son of the householder in His parable of the same name (CP Mt 21:33-41). Here Jesus demonstrates the Jewish religious leaders response to His ministry. The householder symbolises God; the husbandmen are the Jewish leaders; the servants are the Old Testament prophets, and the son is Jesus Himself. Jesus was the Door to the Sheepfold … the Way, the Truth and the Life (CP Jn 10:9; 14:6). Jesus was the Good Shepherd (CP Jn 10:10-16); the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (CP He 13:20); the Shepherd and Bishop of Your Souls (CP 1Pe 2:21-25); Chief Shepherd (CP 1Pe 5:4). Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy by Zechariah that the shepherd would be slain and the sheep scattered (CP Zech 13:7 with Mt 26:31). This is how man's redemption was purchased.
As God's Servant and His Beloved upon whom He would put His Spirit, Jesus fulfilled another Old Testament prophecy by Isaiah in Mt 12 (CP Isa 42:1-3 with Mt 12:15-21). This also highlights the three-in-one Godhead of Christianity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is further highlighted in Jesus' fulfilment of Isa 61:1-2 (CP Isa 61:1-2 with Lu 4:16-21). John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world in Jn 1 (CP Jn 1:29, 36). This expression emphasised the redemptive character of Jesus' ministry. It refers back to lambs without blemish, which were sacrificed as sin offerings in the Old Testament (CP Ex 12:1-3, 5-7, 12-13; Lev 4:32-35). Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world signifies the substitutionary, sacrificial death of Jesus by which redemption and forgiveness are accomplished. The lambs sacrificed in the Old Testament prefigured the supreme sacrifice of Jesus in the New Testament (CP Isa 53:4-12 with Ac 8:32-35; 1Cor 5:7). Christ our Passover is Sacrificed in 1Cor 5:7 refers to Jesus dying for our deliverance from the penalty of sin, as the passover lamb died for the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt.
In the Gospel of John Jesus was called Rabbi. This is a title of honour, meaning doctor, teacher, master. He was called this by His disciples and Nicodemus (CP Jn 1:38, 49; 3:2). Blind Bartimaeus and Mary Magdalene called Jesus Rabboni (CP Mk 10:51; Jn 20:16). Rabboni derives from Rabbi and is the highest title of honour accorded to a religious leader. It means literally my Great One or my Great Master. Also in the Gospel of John Jesus called Himself the True Bread from Heaven, the Bread of God, the Bread of Life, and the Living Bread when He explained to the Jews that the Manna Moses gave their forefathers in the wilderness was not the true bread from heaven - it merely sustained them bodily. Jesus declared to them that He was the true bread from heaven and that He would sustain them both spiritually and eternally (CP Jn 6:32-35, 47-58).
It should be noted here before moving on that the expressions Jesus uses here about eating His body and drinking His blood are to be understood spiritually. They are used figuratively, not literally. In V51 Jesus is in effect saying, "I will give this bread which symbolises my body given in death to save the world" (CP V51). By comparing V47-48 with V53-54 we see that believing in Jesus is the same as eating His body and drinking His blood. We receive spiritual life by believing in Jesus and sharing in the redemptive benefits of His death on the cross (CP V 47-48 with 53-54 and 63). Jesus teaches in V63 that even if we could literally eat His body and drink His blood it would not save our souls. The life Jesus speaks of is spiritual and eternal life, not fleshly life. Eating His body simply means that man must accept by faith what Jesus has done for him and live by obedience to God's word, without sin (CP 1Cor 11:23-32). Paul received the revelation of the Lord's Supper direct from Jesus Himself and it is clearly symbolic in nature. As the word remembrance in V24-25 signifies, it is a memorial of Jesus.
Jesus called Himself the Resurrection and the Life (CP Jn 11:25-26). What Jesus is saying in effect is that whoever believes in Him has an assured future eternal life in Him that death cannot conquer or diminish. He has the power of resurrection and of life in His hands (CP Jn 5:21). Jesus promised believers that because He was resurrected and lives forever, they too will live forever (CP Jn 14:9). Jesus also called Himself the True Vine (CP Jn 15:1, 5). Jesus is warning Christians here of the dangers of not bearing fruit for His kingdom (CP V 2-6). This is a dire warning to those who profess faith in Jesus, but are not abiding in Him. Every question on a Christian's relationship to Jesus must be equated and evaluated in the light of this passage of scripture.
Jesus is also called the Deliverer out of Zion, fulfilling another prophecy in the Old Testament by Isaiah (CP Isa 59:16-20 with Ro 11:26-27). In 1Cor Paul refers to Jesus as the Power of God and the Wisdom of God (CP 1Cor 1:24). In V30 Paul calls Jesus Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption (CP V 30). This emphasises even further that all we are and have, comes from Jesus. Jesus and the message of the cross is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (CP V 18-24). Jesus is the Wisdom of God as the way of salvation. In Him believers have a wisdom that guarantees their salvation (CP V 25-30). As Righteousness, Jesus enables all who have faith in Him to be justified before God (CP Ro 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:1-2). As Sanctification, Jesus makes holy all who live according to God's word (CP Jn 17:17-19; 1Cor 6:9-11). As Redemption, Jesus is the consummate liberation from the presence and the power of sin which He procured by laying down His life as a ransom for those who love Him (CP Mk 10:45; He 9:11-14; 1Pe 1:18-20).
In He 9:11 Jesus is called a High Priest and is referred to as such throughout the book (CP He 2:17; 4:14-15; 5:10; 6:20; 7:24-26; 8:1; 10:19-21). In another place Jesus is called the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (CP He 3:1). Elsewhere Jesus is called a Priest (CP He 5:6; 7:15, 17 20, 21). Also in Hebrews, Jesus is called the Author of Eternal Salvation (CP He 5:9); the Author and Finisher of our Faith (CP He 12:2); the Mediator of a Better Covenant, Mediator of the New Testament, and Mediator of the New Covenant (CP He 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). As the Mediator of the New Testament or Covenant, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy that God would give Messiah as a Covenant of the People (CP Isa 42:6; 49:8). In other places in the New Testament Jesus is called the Last Adam (CP 1Cor 15:45). Here the first man, Adam, who was human, is contrasted to Jesus, who is a life-giving Spirit (CP 1Jn 2:1). Here Jesus is referred to as our Advocate with the Father. "Advocate" is from the same Greek word, parakletos, as "Comforter" - designating the Holy Spirit - is derived (CP Jn 14:16). An advocate is one who comes forward in behalf of and representative of another, and pleads their cause. Jesus pleads the cause of those who love Him, with the Father (CP He 7:25).
We will bring this study to a close with the names and titles of Jesus recorded in the Book of Revelation (CP 1:5). Here John calls Jesus the Faithful Witness, the First Begotten from the Dead, and the Prince of the Kings of the Earth (CP 1:8, 11, 17; 2:8; 3:14; 21:6; 22:13). In these scriptures Jesus calls Himself Alpha and Omega which means the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Alpha signifies that Jesus was the one who brought all things into existence (CP Jn 1:3; Ro 11:36; Eph 1:10; He 1:8-10; Rev 3:14; 4:11). Omega signifies that Jesus is the one who will bring all things to their determined end (CP Psa 102:25-27; Isa 51:6; He 1:10-12; 2Pe 3:10-13; Rev 22:13). The fact that Jesus applies the title Alpha and Omega to Himself is another proof of His Deity and equality with the Father (CP Jn 1:1-2; 8:56-58; 17:5; Php 2:5-8; 1Ti 3:16; 1Jn 1:1-2). Jesus' statement, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" in Rev 1:8 is a declaration by Jesus that He is the Lord God Almighty who died and rose again, and will come again to defeat God's enemies and establish His eternal Kingdom (CP Rev 1:8, 12-18 with 19:11-16).
In Rev 1:11 Jesus called Himself the First and the Last. This further confirms His Deity (CP Isa 44:6; 48:12-13 with Rev 1:11, 13, 17; 2:8; 22:13). In Rev 1:13, which was noted earlier in this study, John ascribed the title Son of Man to Jesus, which was Jesus' self-designated title. In Rev 1:18 and 2:8, Jesus refers to Himself as "I am He that Liveth, and was Dead; and behold, I am Alive for Evermore" (CP Rev 1:18; 2:8). In Rev 2:1 Jesus calls Himself, "He that holdeth the Seven Stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks" (CP Rev 1:12-16 with 2:1). The seven stars represents the angels of the seven churches in Asia Jesus addressed through John, and the seven candlesticks represents the seven churches (CP Rev 1:11, 20). In Rev 2:12 Jesus referred to Himself as "He which hath the Sharp Sword with Two Edges". The sword symbolises divine judgement (CP Rev 2:12 with V 16 and 19:15, 21). In Rev 2:18 Jesus calls Himself "the Son of God, who hath His Eyes like unto
a Flame of Fire, and His Feet are like Fine Brass". John's description of Jesus was similar to this in 1:14-15 (CP Rev 1:14-15 with 2:18 and 19:11-12). Jesus referred to Himself as "He that hath the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars", in Rev 3:1. The seven spirits of God denote the fullness of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus, which was prophesied by Isaiah in the Old Testament, while the seven stars again symbolise the seven angels of the seven churches in Asia (CP Isa 11:2 with Mt 3:16; Jn 3:34-35 and Rev 1:4; 3:1; 5:6). In Rev 3:7 Jesus called Himself "He that is Holy, He that is True, He that hath the Key of David, He that Openeth and No Man Shutteth; and Shutteth, and No Man Openeth". The Key of David symbolises Christ's absolute power and authority when He comes again (CP Isa 22:22 with Rev 3:7; 5:5; 22:16).
In Rev 3:14 Jesus speaks of Himself as "the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God". As the Amen, Jesus is the embodiment of faithfulness and truth (CP 2Cor 1:19-20). And saying He is the beginning of creation, does not mean, as some teach, that He was the beginning of the creation by God. It means that He began all creation. In His pre-incarnate state Jesus carried out the work of creation (CP Gen 1:1-31 with Psa 90:2; 102:25-27; Jn 1:1-3, 10; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16-17; He 1:1-2; 11:3). In Rev 5:5 Jesus is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David. Judah was the tribe from which it was prophesied in the Old Testament Messiah would come (CP Gen 49:8-10; Isa 65:9 with Rev 5:5). Root of David means metaphorically that Jesus is a descendant of David (CP Mt 1:1-17; Rev 22:16). In Rev 5:6 Jesus is symbolised by a lamb. This is the foremost symbol of Jesus in Revelation - He is depicted as such twenty-seven times (CP Rev 5:6). The seven horns denote power (CP De 33:17; 1Ki 22:11; Dan 7:24). The seven eyes denote Omniscience - all-seeing (CP Zech 3:8-9). The stone here is symbolic of Messiah. The horns and the eyes of the lamb in Rev 5:6 denote the fullness of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus.
In Rev 14:14 John refers to Jesus as One like unto the Son of Man, Jesus was wearing a crown, which denoted His authority, and had a sickle in His hand with which to reap the harvest of the earth (CP 14:14-15). In Rev 17:14 John calls Jesus Lord of Lords, and King of Kings (CP 17:14). They that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful refers to the saints of God in heaven. These that shall make war with the Lamb, are the confederation of nations aligned with Antichrist who will be defeated by Jesus at the battle of Armageddon, the war they will make with Jesus, symbolised by the lamb (CP 19:11-21). In V 11 Jesus is called Faithful and True. In V 13 He is called the Word of God. In V 16 He is called the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. And last, but by no means least in Rev 22:16, Jesus calls Himself the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star (CP Nu 24:17-19). Even so, come, Lord Jesus (CP Rev 22:20).