For those of us living in the United States or other countries without a king, some of the significance of this Name is lost on us. But the King of kings is a ruler who is over all others. There is no one who can overthrow Him. He will always emerge victorious, for the battle, and indeed the war, has already been won. When the devil, the world, and even our own sinfulness seems to press so strongly that we can’t continue to stand, we cling to the promise that He is with us, that He is victorious — and because His victory is on our behalf, we are victorious, too! When He was born a helpless baby, He set aside that royal title for our good, and after He rose victorious from the grave and ascended into heaven, He took it up again, never to set it aside. He is our King, and graciously and lovingly provides for every need.
As soon as the Jews heard Jesus’ reply, they knew He wasn’t playing around. He’d equated Himself with God, and rightly so…but their frame of reference couldn’t allow for a wandering Prophet who had nothing to recommend Him as a king, let alone God Himself. As we add decorations to make our houses look different, brighter during this time of year than they do any other time, and as we wrap gifts with bright, colorful paper, let’s remember that God, too, wrapped Himself in our human frailty and mortality, that He might earn our salvation, because of His great and unfailing love for us. He is the Greatest, the Brightest – the I AM.
You and I have not seen Jesus in person. We have the great benefit of of the Spirit living and working in us until we see our Savior face to face. Today’s verse gives us a glimpse of when we will see Him riding in on that day when the devil will be completely stomped underfoot. The Titles Faithful and True connect to Christ’s judgement in righteousness. Jesus came as a baby boy in a manger, as Truth itself, because rightness matters. When life seems like evil is winning, we can lean on Faithful and True. Christ makes right our hearts and our lives in His death and resurrection. Evil and sorrow may last for the night, but just as the Bethlehem star appeared, Joy does come in the morning. It is promised to us in Christ Jesus. Be not dismayed, Faithfulness and Truth is at work!
It’s one thing for shepherds to shout good news of a Savior come in a manger or a riff-raff crowd of disciples to say that they have found the Messiah. It’s another thing for a man named Jesus to identify Himself as the Son of God. God knows that sometimes people need it spelled out plainly, sometimes they need a bullhorn proclamation, a moment to take notice. In His Grace, God the Father delivers the message of just Who Jesus is, Himself, for us to read in His Word. Jesus as Son of God means One capable of saving. Son of God means great Sacrifice made by a Father to save a family. Son of God means Redemption has come, wrapped in love, for each of us.
Jesus, with the Father and the Spirit, was there before the beginning of time and will be there when time as we know it closes and eternity becomes our absolute reality – forever in the best way we can’t even imagine! But Jesus Christ as Alpha and Omega reminds us that God isn’t just about eternity. He also values the middle. Alpha, is the beginning of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the end of the Greek alphabet, so it’s also a way of saying He is the A to Z. He is our A’s and our Z’s and every letter in between. Without Him, things lose their purpose, their meaning, because they lack the Writer of each word, each story. In Him, we see the letters of our days come together and Hope springs new!
This particular Name of the Messiah is couched in a prophetic passage from God through the prophet, Isaiah. And not only is He our Wonderful Counselor, but our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace. He comforts and guides us with His Spirit. He demonstrates His might when He emerges from the tomb, victorious over death. He was, and is, and is to come; He leads His people with an Everlasting love as a father leads his children. His counsel, might, and care bring peace to our hearts…and not the peace people like to talk about during this season. The Peace that He brings is the kind that will remain and even grow in difficult times; it saturates the heart with the assurance of His love in spite of the darkness of the world and our own sinful nature. It changes and covers and blesses.
The same Word spoken at Creation, the same Word spoken through prophets of old, this Word has come to dwell among us. He is God’s Word of love and mercy to a broken world. And not merely to the world, as we might send a text, email, or even letter, but the Word of love in our world. His name, whispered into our hearts broken by sin, brings grace and healing. When we speak His name aloud, we invite more grace into our day. Praise the Word of Life! Where can you speak of Him today?
In John 14:6, Jesus responds to the question of a man named Thomas, but really we all have been in that place, asking the same question – “How can we know the way?” How often in life do you wonder which way to turn, which way to walk, or even where to ask the questions? Every time we ask, Jesus willingly answers our questions in His Word. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is the Way means He is the Answer to every question, every road we need to walk, and every fork in that road. Jesus, today we ask You to Show us the Way. Show us Yourself, dear Savior.
Death stands in strong opposition to the Life that God created in the beginning. When sin came, death was not far behind as the consequence. However, Jesus is stronger than Death. He swallows it up and brings Life – life as new as a tiny Baby and eternal as God Himself – to a world held captive to sin and death. And at the end of time, we will witness with the whole world, the resurrection of all the dead at His second coming. We praise Him who is our Resurrection and Life!
The people of Israel complained a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. You can read the backstory of today’s passage from 1st Corinthians in Exodus 17:1-7. The beautiful part, though, is that God answers even complaints. That is part of Jesus Christ’s title, “The Rock.” He doesn’t change, whether we’re full of praise or full of grouching. He is solid, faithful, always giving free, Living Water to thirsty souls in need of love, compassion, and grace.