The Truth of Love: Yeshua/Jesus
Over 30 years ago a little girl came up to me, at an out-of-state art exhibition, pointed to my painting of Yeshua/Jesus and asked, "Why didn't they name him after his father?" Upon returning home, I asked an orthodox clergy friend what he would have replied. His witty response, "You should have told her that they didn't want to call him junior."
Amusing, but not really helpful, for God is the designation of diety, not our God's name. The Hebrew tetragrammaton, four letters of our God's name, is so revered that in our Hebrew scriptures we use Ha Shem/The Name or Adonai/Lord. There are over 350 titles, names, characters and attributes of our God in scripture but when Moses asks, "Who shall I say sent me?" our God responds with, "I am that, I am," in Exodus 3:14. We are provided with the powerful tremendous revelation of the depth of the eternal existence of the God above all other gods and later Yeshua/Jesus, the word made flesh, states the same identification.
Yeshua/Jesus, in response to the pharisees' question of "Who do you think you are?" said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was overjoyed." "Why you are not yet fifty years old," the Jews (scribes and pharisees) said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" Yeshua/Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Yeshua/Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds" (John 8: 56-59).
The response to the "I am" declaration was one of violence because Yeshua/Jesus was stating that he was the eternal God incarnate equating himself with the "I am" God himself gave to Moses. There is no doubt that they understood what he was saying because they took up stones to kill him for making himself equal with God (John 5:18). That statement would be blasphemy and punishable by the Mosaic Law of Death (Leviticus 24:11-14). But Yeshua/Jesus committed no blasphemy as he is God.
Yeshua/Jesus makes seven more "I am" declarations in the book of John, I am the bread of life, I am the light of the world, I am the door, I am the good shepherd, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the way, the truth, and the life, I am the true vine.
The very name of Yeshua/Jesus confirms the presence of "I am." The spelling of Yeshua, meaning salvation, in Hebrew is yod, shin, vav, ayin. Studying the ancient script of paleo-Hebrew we find specific pictures and words designated for each letter: Yod = paleo-Hebrew picture of a hand. Shin = often represents "the almighty" (I am); the paleo-Hebrew is teeth and means 'one who judges' Vav = paleo-Hebrew picture of a nail or peg. Ayin = paleo-Hebrew picture of an eye means "look behold." The paleo-Hebrew word salvation, Yeshua = "behold the nails in the hands of the almighty, the judge."
We understand why in Phillippians 2:10,11 "that in honor of the name of Yeshua/Jesus, every knee will bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ is Adonai/Lord -- to the glory of God the Father."
I pray that we daily take to heart the depth of love we have received and joyfully return our love toward our God, living our lives in honor of him, meditating on the depth and meaning of the name above all names Yeshua/Jesus, salvation/God our savior.
My intercessory prayers also include a little California child, today an adult, praying that the Lord put workers in her life giving her the right answers and that she reads the word of God with the eyes of her understanding being opened. Then I give a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for sending an innocent child to spur me toward ministry.
Blessings and Shalom