Saviour

I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2: 10-11
 
An angel spoke these words to shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem on the day Jesus was born. The shepherds were awestruck and excited by the news that this newborn baby was to be a Saviour for God’s people.
 
In Bible times, any person who rescued others from danger was called a savior or deliverer. For example, the judges of Israel whom God raised up to deliver His people from oppression by their enemies were called “saviours”. But the only true Saviors in a spiritual sense are God the Father and God the Son, both of whom are called by this name many times throughout the Bible.
 
The name that Mary and Joseph gave their firstborn Son expresses His work as Savior. Jesus means “God Is Salvation.” From the very beginning it was clear that His purpose was to do for us what we could not do for ourselves-deliver us from the bondage to sin and death. 
 
The phrase “all people,” in the message of the angels to the shepherds, shows that Jesus was God’s gift to the entire world. The universal nature of Christ’s redemptive work is expressed by two other “Savior” titles in the New Testament-Saviour of All Men (1 Timothy 4:10) and Saviour of the World (1 John 4:14). 


Root And Offspring Of David

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:16 
 
Jesus used this name for Himself in the closing verses of the final chapter of the last book of the Bible. It’s as if He used His last opportunity to tell the world who He is and what His life and ministry are all about.
 
Notice the dual focus of this name-the Root of David and the Offspring of David. It summarizes His existence as the God-man, the One who is both fully human and fully divine.
 
Because Jesus is the divine Son, who served as the agent of creation, He is David’s creator, or Root. But because he came to earth in human form, He is also David’s descendant, or Offspring-the Messiah from the line of David, who reigns over the spiritual kingdom that He came to establish. Thus, Jesus is both superior to David and the rightful heir to his throne. 


Rod Out Of The Stem Of Jesse

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.   Isaiah 11:1
 
This verse from the prophet Isaiah is a reference to the coming Messiah. We are accustomed to associations of the Messiah with King David, but Isaiah in this passage traces the Messiah back one more generation-to David’s father, Jesse.
 
Two passages in the Bible tell us all we know about Jesse. His father was Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth. Thus, Jesse was of mixed blood, because Ruth was a Moabite and Boaz was a Jew. Jesse had eight sons, including David. One of the more beautiful stories in the Bible is how God, through the prophet Samuel, turned down all of Jesse’s older sons for the kingship of Israel in favor of David, Jesse’s youngest son. David had to be summoned from the fields, where he was watching his father’s sheep, to be presented for Samuel’s review. 
 
Why did Isaiah compare the coming Messiah to a Rod, or shoot, from the Stem, or stump, of Jesse? Perhaps to remind us that the Messiah sprang from a family of mixed Jewish and Gentile blood, signifying that He would be a deliverer for all people, not just the Jews. Isaiah also predicted that the nation of Judah would fall to a foreign power, thus bringing to an end the dynasty of David. But from the stump of this fallen tree, God would bring new life-the Messiah, who would reign in a spiritual sense over God’s people. 
 
Isaiah also spoke of the coming Messiah as a Root of Jesse. This name expresses the same idea as Rod out of the Stem of Jesse. 


Righteous Servant

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11
 
The theme of service and servanthood runs throughout the scriptures. For example, several people in the Bible are referred to as “servant of God” or “God’s servant” because of the loyal service they rendered for the Lord. But Jesus is the only person who deserves to be called God’s Righteous Servant. He was the Holy and Righteous One whom the Father sent on a mission of redemption for the entire world. 
 
This name of Jesus appears in one of the famous servant songs of the prophet Isaiah. This Servant, the Messiah, would undergo great suffering while carrying out His mission. But it would be for a divine purpose. His suffering and death would provide a means of deliverance for a human race trapped in sin.
 
Jesus identified Himself specifically as the Suffering Servant from God the Father, whom Isaiah had predicted. At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus quoted Isaiah’s first servant song. The implication of His words was that the mission of God’s Suffering Servant was being fulfilled through His teaching and healing ministry. 
 
Jesus saw His work as that of a humble servant. On one occasion, His disciples began to argue over who would occupy the places of honor at His side in His future glory. He gently reminded them: “Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.
 
Today, the servant work of Jesus continues through His church. We who belong to Him are automatically in the serving business. The apostle Paul declares that we as Christians should think of ourselves as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”. 


Righteous

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1
 
The word righteous is used in combination with other words in the Bible to express several different names for Jesus-for example, Righteous Branch (Jeremiah 23:5), Righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:8), and Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11). But this is the only place in the King James Version where Jesus is simply called the Righteous. 
 
Jesus can be called the Righteous or the Righteous One, because He is the only person who has ever lived who achieved perfect righteousness. Although He was capable of doing wrong, because of the human side of His nature, He never gave in to temptation or stumbled into sin.
 
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus was tempted by Satan to establish an earthly kingdom and to use His powers for His own self-interest. But Jesus resisted all of these temptations (see Luke 4:1-13). In the garden of Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion, He admitted that “the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). In an agonizing prayer, He asked God to deliver Him from the suffering of the cross, if possible. But He finally yielded His will to His Father’s purpose and plan (see Matthew 26:37-42).
 
Because Jesus is the Righteous One, He calls us, His followers, to a life of righteousness. We will never achieve perfection and a sinless existence in this life, but we ought to be growing in that direction. He has promised to guide us along this journey. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,” the apostle Peter declares, “and his ears are open unto their prayers” (1 Peter 3:12).


Resurrection And The Life

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11:25-26
 
Jesus used this name for Himself in His conversation with Martha, the sister of Lazarus, after Lazarus had died. She was disappointed that Jesus had not arrived at her home in Bethany in time to save her brother’s life. She knew that Jesus could perform miracles of healing, so she scolded Him, “Lord…if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21 NIV).
 
Jesus’ double-edged reply to Martha made it clear that He was the master of the living and the dead. He was capable at any time of raising Lazarus, as well as any others who had died. At the same time, He could guarantee eternal life for the living. In this sense, those who believed in Him would never die. This included Martha, as well as all believers of the future.
 
Jesus then proceeded to deliver on His promise. He stood before the burial chamber where the body of Lazarus had been placed, and just as God the Father had created the world with the words of His mouth (Genesis 1:1-31), Jesus the Son brought His friend back to life with a simple verbal command: “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43).
 
Note the things that are missing from this account: no incantations over the body, no lightning flash from heaven, no magical tricks to dazzle the crowd. Just three simple words from Jesus-and Lazarus walked out of the tomb. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that a person of such sensitivity and power is worthy of our loyalty and devotion. Jesus alone has the keys to life and death.


Refiner’s Fire

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.
 
This name of Jesus appears in the one of the final chapters of the Old Testament, in which the prophet Malachi describes the coming Messiah as a Refiner’s Fire, or the hot fire that metalworkers of Bible times used to purify ore such as silver. The ore was heated in a pot until it turned to liquid and the dross or waste material rose to the surface. Then the metalworker used a ladle to skim off the dross, leaving the pure and uncontaminated silver. 
 
This image of the Messiah must have been a surprise to the Jewish people of Malachi’s time. They expected the Messiah to come as a conquering hero who would restore Israel to its glory days as a political kingdom. But the prophet informed them that the Messiah would come in judgment against Israel because of its sin and rebellion. 
 
The name Refiner’s Fire emphasizes Jesus’ role as Judge. His second coming will bring judgment against all who have refused to accept Him as Savior and Lord. 


Redeemer

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. Isaiah 59:20
 
This verse from the prophet Isaiah refers to the coming Messiah, who will serve as a Redeemer for God’s people.
 
In the Old Testament, God is often referred to by this name. A kinsman redeemer in ancient Israel was a blood relative who assumed responsibility for members of his clan who were in trouble. For example, the redeemer would buy back the property of a family member who had lost it through indebtedness. Or he would purchase the freedom of an impoverished relative who had been forced to sell himself into slavery.
 
But Isaiah’s prophecy looked toward the coming of a Redeemer of a different type. Jesus Christ the Redeemer would free God’s people from their bondage to sin and death. He would do so by dying on the cross for our benefit. The purchase price that He would pay for our salvation was none other than His own precious blood.
 
The patriarch Job, like Isaiah, also received a glimpse of this Redeemer of the future. Out of his suffering and despair he declared, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
 
What Isaiah and Job only hoped for has now come to pass. We can rejoice with the apostle John because “the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).


Rabbi/Rabboni

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. John 3:2
Jesus said unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. John 20:16
 
In modern society, rabbi is the official title of the leader of a Jewish congregation. It is similar to the title of reverend for a Protestant minister or father for a Catholic priest.
 
But in Jesus’ time, rabbi was a term of respect meaning “teacher” or “master”. In John 3:2, Nicodemus’s reference to Jesus as “rabbi” probably means “teacher”. Nicodemus wanted to learn more about this Jewish teacher and miracle worker who was impressing the crowds in the region of Galilee.
 
In John 20:16, Mary Magdalene’s recognition of Jesus as “Rabboini” pays homage to Him as her Master. After His resurrection, she recognized Him as such when He called her by name. Rabboni is the Aramaic form of Rabbi. Aramaic was the common language spoken in Israel during New Testament times.
 
Whether we call Jesus Rabbi or Rabboni, the meaning is the same: He is our Master Teacher and Guide, who deserves our utmost respect and loyalty. 


Quickening Spirit

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45
 
This name of God the Son appears in connection with His name as the Last Adam, Adam’s act of disobedience of God brought sin and death into the world. But Jesus’ perfect obedience nullified the divine curse against Adam and brought the possibility of eternal life to humankind.
 
As the Quickening Spirit, Jesus offers eternal life to all who accept Him as Savior and Lord. 



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