St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Eve of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus, 2023
Text: Romans 1:1–7, Luke2:21
In the name of Jesus, Amen!
The reason to preach on the Name of Jesus is that we have a baptism at the 10:30 service and the texts all have something to do with the name of Jesus. You may ask what Baptism has to do with the name of Jesus. Don’t we baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Yes, but to be baptized in the Name of our Triune God is to be baptized in the Name of Jesus. First of all, what’s in a name? I recently read a news article that someone predicted a baby name trend on a TV show 10 years ago. A decade later, she has been proven right, at least somewhat right. First, she said baby names are getting crazier. True. Second, she said rude children are often named Tyler. Also true. But one thing she did get wrong (at least in coming 2024) is assuming that Tyler is a Boy… Regardless, we see that a name not only can identify a person, but also has a meaning and a certain effect on the person and the people around that person. So, what’s in a name consists of proper identification of the person and his work. Last Sunday, on Christmas Eve, pastor Mark in his Children’s sermon mentioned “AKA”, “also known as”, which is an expression for other names of a person. We also learned that the Angel told Joseph to call our Christmas Baby of Virgin Birth, Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” because “Jesus” in Hebrew is “Yəhôšua”, which is a short form of “Yahweh (God’s proper name) saves”.
Jesus also has other names, Emmanuel is one, for example. We also mentioned last time, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”… However, not every name uniquely, intrinsically, and properly identifies who Jesus of Nazareth really is. Someone may argue that Wonderful counselor would not be unique and proper to identify Jesus, for example. But there are names that are uniquely and properly assigned to Jesus because of who He is. First, Jesus is the Son of God. Peter confessed it and it was confirmed by Jesus Himself. There are many places in the Bible that testify to us that Jesus is the Son of God. We don’t have to go far to find it. Our Romans text tells us that the Gospel of God is about Jesus Christ God’s Son. Second, Jesus is God Himself. The Gospel of John tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. From the context of John we know exactly that the Word becoming flesh was Jesus. The Son, the Word, Jesus is God, YHWH Himself, who created the heavens and the earth. When in the beginning God the Father created the heavens and the earth, the Son and the Spirit of God were all together with the Father. The Bible says, the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Here, God’s speaking was the Word of God, the Son coming forth from the Father and performing the works of creation. So, the Son shares God’s proper Name with His Father as God, as the Book of Hebrews testifies at the very beginning, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. Nothing can be a clearer assertion of Jesus Christ’s divinity than portraying Him as the creator, builder and rebuilder of the world. As the Nicene Creed says, “Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all worlds. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father; through him all things were made.” Jesus is Son of God, the second person of Triune God Himself. Third, Jesus is “King” and “Lord”. For this, someone may say, “this is not unique for Jesus because there are many kings and many lords in the world.” It’s true that there are many kings and lords. But there is only one King of the kingdom of heaven and there is only one King of kings and Lord of lords. In 1 Tim. and Revelation, Jesus is called exactly that. If you take a look at the context of these verses, you will notice that Jesus is thus called because He has accomplished the salvation and has been crowned as “King of kings, Lord of Lords”, who will come again to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
Speaking of the work of salvation accomplished by Jesus, although He is the Son of God, God and the Lord Himself, out of Love, “for us and for our salvation”, the Father sent the Son to earth and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary to accomplish the mighty work of salvation, as the Name of Jesus indicates, “He will save His people from their sins.” To fulfill all righteousness, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where the Holy Spirit descended on the Son, Jesus and a voice of the Father from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” After dying on the cross for our sins, Jesus resurrected from the dead, ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, sending His Holy Spirit to the church on the first Pentecost to testify and declare to all humanity that He is the very Son of God and together with His human nature the Son of Good has accomplished the mighty works of salvation, as today’s Romans’ text tells us, God the Father “promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.” And the book of Hebrews says, “After making purification for sins, Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..”
Thanks be to God! Jesus is is the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God. He is also God, YHWH Himself. And He is “King of kings and Lord of lords,” for He has accomplished the Mighty work of salvation for us by dying, rising from the dead and siting at the right hand of the Father. Today, we are in these last days when God is speaking to us by his Son. God has given us access to Himself and His grace through Jesus and in the name of Jesus. Through His Word and Sacraments in Jesus’ Name, like today in the Baptism of_______ we gained access to the Father and receive the wonderful salvation that Jesus has accomplished for us.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!