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The Lord Saves

The Lord Saves

Words of Faith 2-28-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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 Luke 2

   [21] On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

 

       There are a few things that Doctor Luke really wants to be sure we know.   While Luke wrote only 31 verses to describe the childhood and life of Jesus prior to his public ministry, what he gives us is a remarkable snapshot. We can actually fill in a lot of the blanks if we just know a little bit about Jewish life in the first century. Luke wants us to be sure we do not forget the fabric from which the earthly life of the Messiah was woven. So we will spend this week immersing ourselves in the Jewishness of Jesus.

     In the story of Jesus, the joy of the birth was quickly overtaken by the responsibility of fulfill certain rituals and customs which tell us a lot. The first was just eight days after Jesus was born. He was presented for the ritual of circumcision or the b'rit-milah which included a ritual of naming. This probably was in a home setting. Mary and Joseph very likely did not travel back to the Galilee area in the North. They would have remained in Bethlehem for some time before escaping to Egypt and then finally settling back in Nazareth.

     Many scholars believe now that Mary and Joseph had family in Bethlehem and the term translated "Inn", meant essentially a guest room. The cave where Jesus was born was likely a temporary shelter and Mary and Joseph and Jesus would have stayed with relatives in Bethlehem once the crowds thinned after the census.

     At the ritual of circumcision, He was given the name Jesus. Circumcision was clearly a Jewish custom and was not common among Gentiles at that time. It was a ritual that set Jesus apart from Gentiles, but most importantly bonded him by blood to the very covenant he was destined to fulfill.

     We often marvel as Christians when we think of the blood that Jesus shed at Calvary. We sing about it and claim it for forgiveness and celebrate with every communion. But we often forget that Calvary was the second time Jesus shed blood. The first blood Jesus ever shed was the blood of circumcision, shed to connect him to the Jewish people and the Covenant of Abraham. At the shedding of that first drop of blood, Jesus was named. He was given a name that we would find a little unfamiliar to our ear. His name was Yeshua. The Greek version of that name is Jesus. But the name in any language means-- "The Lord Saves".

       What do we need to gather from this? Jesus was Jewish. Pretty important. Jesus was connected to and part of the Covenant of Abraham that He would later fulfill. And most precious of all, He is named "The Lord Saves".

       Lord, I give thanks for Jesus. I give thanks for His Jewishness. I give praise for His family and the faithful observance they shared. I give thanks for the blood of Jesus foreshadowed even at the time of His naming. The Lord Saves. In Jesus' name.