WHAT’S IN A NAME
The ancestry of Abraham is recorded in Gen. 11:10-26 through the line of Shem. The Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah and Redeemer of Israel, was born of the seed of Abraham. In this section of scripture, from the meaning of at least eight of these names, the character and mission of Christ are foretold. Last issue we covered four of these names: Shem (a name); Arphazad (one that heals or releases); Salah (mission, sent forth); Peleg (a channel, passage way); Let us consider the concluding four.
REU: “Friend, Shepherd.” Jesus was a “friend” of publicans (tax collectors) and sinners. Luke 7:34. The self-righteous Pharisees had a dislike for this class of people, and criticized Jesus for associating with them. They represent the sinful world, including the Pharisees, for “…the scripture hath concluded all under sin” Gal. 3:22. Jesus loves the sinner, and is the only One that can deliver them from their plight. He proved His friendship to Matthew and Zaccheus, publicans, who received His salvation and became His followers. He forgave the woman who had many sins, and in reciprocation of His love, who washed His feet with tears and wiped them with her hair; ceased not to kiss His feet and anointed His head with oil Luke 7:44-48. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10. He came as a friend to His own people Israel, but was wounded in “the house of my friends: Zech. 13:6. He was willing, and did give His life in their behalf, that they might be saved from their sins. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for His friends” John 15:13. Peter said, “…ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” Acts 2:23. One day, after a night of great sorrow, they are going to receive the love of this dear “friend” and be saved” Zech. 13:6-9. What a wonderful Friend and Savior, a constant companion, “a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” There’s no friend to me like Jesus.
He is also known as the Shepherd. These terms are closely connected. He was to be “the shepherd, the stone of Israel” Gen. 49:24. Some, in this nation, claimed Him as such. David said, “The LORD is my shepherd.” Jesus claimed this title in John 10:11. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” To fill this office meant death, entailed by suffering, of which Psalm 22 is prophetic. He was the sufficient, as well as efficient sacrifice. His resurrection declared Him to be “the great Shepherd” Heb. 13:20. Psalm 23 prophesied of this office. He cares for His sheep today, is touched with the feeling of their infirmities, able to supply every need, comfort, strengthen and make intercession as the great high priest. He is coming again a “chief shepherd” to receive His own unto Himself and reward them for their labor. “…God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” Heb. 6:10. Read I Pet. 5:4 and Psalm 24. What a privilege and blessing to know Him, as a personal Friend and Shepherd?
SERUG: “Branch.” This is a symbol of kings descending from a royal line. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, aned a Branch shall grow out of his roots” Isa. 11:1. Jesus Christ our Lord was made of the seed of David according to the flesh Rom. 1:3. The angel told Mary, even before conception, the greatness of Him. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” Luke 1:32-33. Jesus was “born King of the Jews.” Pilate questioned Him before His crucifixion, “Art thou a king?” He acknowledged His God-given office by saying. “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world…” John 18:37. The Jews rejected Him and an inscription of mockery was placed on the cross. “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Man’s unbelief does not annul God’s promises. Jesus is still “King of the Jews” and “…in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” I Tim. 6:15. Read Rev. 19:16; Zech. 14:9; Psa. 89:18; 149:2. He desires to be king on the throne of our hearts now, and will be, as we submit to His rule.
TERAH: “Breathe, Blow.” Jesus comforted the hearts of the disciples in John 14-16 with truth concerning the Holy Ghost and His work. He was going away and He said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” This Comforter was to go alongside to help, console, guide and teach them in Jesus’ absence. After His resurrection, He appeared unto the disciples in a closed room, (they feared the Jews) and announced “Peace be unto you…he breathed on them, and saith unto them. Receive ye the Holy Ghost” John 20:21,22. O, how this must have thrilled their hearts, in stiring faith and courage to receive this promised Comforter! This divine, holy breathe of inspiration was a preparation for the Holy Ghost, whom they were to receive about ten days later.
Just before His ascension, He led them out as far as Bethany and instructed them to return to Jerusalem and wait for this promise Luke 24:49-53. Exactly ten days after His ascension, the Holy Ghost came on the day of Pentecost and filled those waiting ones with mighty power. The evidence; “they…began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” Acts 2:1-4. O Hallelujah! This power is just the same today and available to all who will believe and receive Acts 2:39.
ABRAM: “Exalted Father.” Humiliation comes before exaltation. Abram experienced this while waiting for a “promised son.” Out of death come life. “Who against hope believed in hope…being not weak in faith he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb…staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God…being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, he was able to perform” Rom. 4:18-21. Praise God, Isaac was born! Isaac was a wonderful type of Christ. “And the Word (Christ) was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Which was indeed a supernatural act of God. Before God could exalt Him, he had to experience humiliation. Jesus said, “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” John 12:24. He was that “grain of wheat.” “…he humbled himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” Phil. 2:8. By this act, He is bringing many sons unto glory, being the captain of their salvation. O, how the Father has exalted His dear Son! He has “given him a name (Jesus) which is above every name, set him at his own right hand,” angels, authorities, and powers being made subject unto him; hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” Phil. 2;9-11; I Pet. 3:22; Eph. 1:20-22. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” Rev. 4:11. HALLELUJAH! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”