Saturday, October 5, 2013

Jesus is Yehova

I have written previously about The Name of Jesus.  In that post, I mentioned that Jesus equated Himself with the "I AM" name God gave Himself in Exodus 3:14.  Let's dig deeper into that truth and find more treasures of wisdom in God's Word.

Here is what transpired as Moses was kneeling barefoot before the burning bush.

Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exo 3:13-14)

Anyone who is acquainted with the account of the burning bush knows that God identified Himself to Moses there as "I AM." In Hebrew, this name יהוה that we translate "I AM" in English is "YHVH," the tetragrammaton for Yehova, meaning approximately "He causes to be" or "He creates".  The Hebrews understood the holiness of this name, and did not write it out in full, preferring to use only the four consonants, YHVH.  This is referred to in Hebrew as "HaShem," meaning "The Name." YHVH, the Almighty One of Isra'El refers to Himself by Name.  Rather than pronounce it, the Jews preferred to say instead, "the Lord."  For the purpose of this article, I will spell the holy name of the Lord reverently as "Yehova."  However, we may just as well have spelled it "Yahveh," so I am not saying it must be one or the other.

Now let's jump ahead to the conversation Jesus had with the Jews in the first century. "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'" (Joh 8:58).

When He said, "I AM," He described Himself with the same name that God used when He identified Himself by name at the burning bush.  Although Jesus spoke in Aramaic, His words here are recorded in Greek in the gospel of John as "Ἐγώ εἰμι" or "Egō eimi," which means "I AM."

In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, called the Septuagint, God identified Himself to Moses with the words, "Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν" or "Egō eimi ho ōn," which literally means "I AM He Who" or "I AM Who I AM."

Therefore, in both the burning bush account and the gospel account of Jesus speaking to the Jews, the same name "Egō eimi" or "I AM" is used.

It is interesting to note that in the garden of Gethsemane, when Judas came with the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews to arrest Jesus, He asked them, “Whom do you seek?”  They replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.”  And when He said, “I AM,” the Scripture says they all drew back and fell to the ground (Joh 18:6).  In the modern English versions, it may say, “I AM He,” but the Greek simply says “eimi” meaning “I AM.” It seems they were so stunned when He spoke this that it had the effect of knocking them to the ground, as if the power of God hit them.  In fact, it so immobilized them that He had to ask them a second time whom they were seeking, once again confirming His identity to them, and inviting them to come and arrest Him.

Furthermore, when Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (Lk 4:18), He was reading from Isaiah 61:1, which begins with “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me.”  In this verse, the prophet Isaiah used the word "Yehova," which would be read aloud as "Lord."  Therefore, Jesus meant, "The Spirit of Yehova is upon Me."

When Jesus said, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (Lk 6:5), His hearers would have recalled that God gave them the fourth commandment with the words, "the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yehova your God." (Ex 20:10).  So once again Jesus identified Himself as Yehova, when He said He is "Yehova of the Sabbath." 

When John the Baptist came preaching repentance in the wilderness, Matthew said, “For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet. When he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!” (Mt 3:3). The prophet Isaiah said, “Prepare the way for Yehova.” (Is 40:3). John was preaching that people should repent to prepare the way for Yehova, meaning the Lord Jesus.

Another example is when Jesus said, “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blesses is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Mt 23:39). He was quoting the psalmist who said, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yehova. From the house of Yehova we bless you.” (Ps 118:26). Jesus came in the name of Yehova. Think about what that means.

Likewise see Acts 4:26, in which the disciples of Christ prayed regarding the Lord Jesus, according to Psalm 2:1,2, which also refers to Yehova.

When the apostle Paul said, “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved," (Rom 10:9), he went on to say, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:13). He was quoting the prophet Joel, who said, “Everyone who calls on the name of Yehova will be saved” (Joel 2:32).  Therefore, to say “Jesus is Lord” is to say “Jesus is Yehova”! To use His Hebrew name, we would more correctly say, “Yeshua is Yehova.” Or to use a variant spelling, “Yahshua is Yehova.” 

In this article, I have given just a few examples, but there are many other Scriptures that also confirm my premise.  The name of the Lord is Yehova, and Jesus is Yehova.  He manifested the name of the Father to His disciples.  If there were a higher name, then God would have told us.  But the Scriptures say that this name, Jesus, is the name above all names.  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."  (Act 4:12)

 Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "King of Kings" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.  

Author's note:  I recommend reading my companion article The Name of Jesus. Other related articles include Yehova as Both Father and Husband to the Hebrews, Is Jesus God?, Christ the Beginning, The Bodily Form of God the Father, The Holy Trinity, Baptized with the Spirit and Holy Fire Baptism.

You may also access the Main Directory for this blog, or my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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