In 1992 Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a beautiful worship song that is now sung in Christian communities all over the world. The lyrics are: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there’s just something about that name. Master, Savior, Jesus, like a fragrance after the rain. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and earth proclaim - Kings and kingdoms will all pass away. But there’s something about that name.”
The good news God has given us to share to the world comes to a focal point in Jesus. (John 3:16-17) “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The Gospel of John is often referred to as “the Genesis of the New Testament.” Both books start with the words, “In the beginning.” John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… Through him all things were made…. In him was life… He came to that which was his own, but his own did not recognize him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:1-12). John portrays Jesus as the center and circumference of everything.
Scripture informs us that only three things will last - faith, hope, and love. And all three are rooted in Jesus. Had Jesus not come and died for our sins and rose again from the dead - our preaching would be useless; our faith would be in vain; and we would be without hope. (I Cor. 15:14-20)
But because Jesus did come, Paul triumphantly wrote to the Ephesians, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace.” (Eph. 1:3-8)
In Eugene Peterson’s Message introduction to the book of Ephesians he states: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)…. It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.”
Jesus is portrayed in Scripture in two very contrasting ways - as cornerstone and stumbling block. (Eph. 2:20; I Cor. 1:23-24) For believers he is the cornerstone of our faith. The Rock upon which we stand. However, for non-believers he is a stumbling block. They trip over the simplicity of God’s remedy in Jesus. At one and the same time, Jesus is both a unifier and a divider. A cornerstone. Or a stumbling block. It falls on each man to decide.
And the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, “And you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) So “he was named Jesus.” (Luke 2:21)
There’s something that happens inside us when we even whisper his name. “Jesus.” “Jesus.”
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
I Peter 2:6-8; John 1:1-18; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; I Cor. 5:12-20; Philippians 2:5-11