What’s the Big Deal About Jesus?

Who is this Jesus we Christians say we believe in? What’s the big deal about him, anyway? Why does he matter when life is beating me down? Isn’t it enough to just believe in God?

These are the questions a Jewish tax collector named Levi Matthew wanted to answer when he wrote The Gospel of Matthew, the first book in the New Testament of the Bible.

He answered boldly. Without equivocation, he claimed the following in the very first words he penned:

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.—Matthew 1:1

To our modern english-speaking ears, this just seems like the introduction to a genealogy.

You know…

The boring part.

But take another look…

The book of the genealogy of Jesus

Christ,

The son of David,

The son of Abraham.

Jesus is his birth name. Christ, son of David, and son of Abraham are titles that were pregnant with significance to Matthew’s readers.

Have you ever thought about what they mean?

Here’s a quick summary.

JESUS

The name, Jesus, is originally from the Hebrew, Yeshua (Joshua), which means Jehovah saves. You may recall from your Christmas celebrations what the Angel commanded Joseph,

You will call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.—Matthew 1:21

Matthew wants you to know…

Jesus is God’s Savior for you.

 CHRIST

The title, Christ, signifies that Jesus is The (capital “T”) Messiah, The Anointed (chosen and empowered) One. He is the man God appointed for His redemptive mission. He is anointed to be God’s chosen Prophet, chosen Priest, and chosen King.

As Prophet he declares God law and gospel to whoever has ears to hear. As Priest he makes atonement for sins and intercedes for his people. As King he rules over us to bless and protect us from the evil one.

He is the Mediator between God and men, the only Redeemer of mankind.

Matthew wants you to know…

Jesus is God’s Christ for you.

 THE SON OF DAVID

The title, Son of David, signifies that Jesus is the heir of God’s promise to King David.

He promised that one of David’s descendants would inherit an everlasting throne.

I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.—2 Samuel 7:13

Jesus is the heir of David’s throne. He is the promised, everlasting King.

He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless His people with an everlasting, righteous kingdom.

Matthew wants you to know…

Jesus is God’s King for you.

 THE SON OF ABRAHAM

The title, Son of Abraham, signifies that Jesus is the heir of God’s ancient promise to Abraham.

He promised that one of Abraham’s descendants would bring blessing to every nation.

In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.—Genesis 12:3

Jesus is the heir of Abraham’s blessing. He is the promised blessing.

He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring everlasting blessing to a people chosen from among all the families of earth.

Matthew wants you to know…

Jesus is God’s Blessing for you.

 SAVIOR, CHRIST, KING, BLESSING

By attributing these titles to Jesus, Matthew is boldly declaring his faith that, in Jesus, the great promises of God have been fulfilled among us. Salvation has come. The Christ has come. The Kingdom has come. The Blessing has come.

For us!

When life has you by the throat…

When mental illness threatens to steal your mind…

When grief from loss, or fear of tomorrow, grips your heart…

Remember this:

Jesus

Christ,

the son of David,

the son of Abraham.

For you!

Why We Call Jesus Our Redeemer

The Apostles taught in their letters that Jesus is our Redeemer. And though the gospels don’t record Jesus using this title for himself, hardly a page passes without the reader observing that Jesus was mindful of His mission to redeem or ransom sinful people for God and reconcile them to Him.

Notre Dame Crucifix

[Bronze crucifix in Notre Dame, Paris, France. May, 2013.]

This post is a quick reminder to Christians and non-Christians alike that Jesus is the focus of Christian faith because He is the only redeemer given by God. Here’s a slightly deeper look at why we call Jesus our Redeemer…

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Why We Call Jesus Our Mediator

The Apostles taught in their letters that Jesus is our Mediator and Redeemer. And though the gospels don’t record Jesus using these titles for himself, hardly a page of them passes without the reader observing that Jesus was mindful of His mission to redeem or ransom sinful people for God, to reconcile them to God, to mediate between holy God and sinful men, women, and children.

[Ecce Homo (“Behold, the Man”), by Caravaggio, 1606. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.]

This post is a quick reminder to Christians and non-Christians alike that Jesus is the focus of Christian faith because He is the only mediator between us and God. Here’s a slightly deeper look at why we call Jesus our Mediator…

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