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January 5, 2024

Who is Jesus?

The Name and Ancestry of Jesus

Luke 2:1-21 & 3:23-36
Derived from the transcript of Craig Trierweiler

Who is Jesus?

In this moment here: the shepards have announced it, Mary has received it; she's pondering that in her heart, and here He is, the Boy, the Boy who has been born, the Child, the Son, the Firstborn, and he doesn't have a name yet – because it's Jewish custom. 

One more verse. The Government gives a mandate while God sends a savior, and His name is… What's His name? Read it like it's your first time. This is an Old Testament family doing Old Testament things in an Old Testament economy, “and at the end of eight days” – In Jewish custom, they wouldn't name the child for seven days. They would wait until day eight to have a holy convocation, a holy event. Much like, maybe, Catholics will do with baptizing an infant or what Protestants would do in dedicating a child or baptizing an adult – They would invite family members and friends, and day eight was the day in which they would do two things. They would circumcise the boy. Why? It dates all the way back into the Old Testament to Genesis, when God established it as a covenant with his people, Israel. It was a sign of the covenant that, “we are the covenant people of God.” It was a cut. God was cutting a covenant between God and His people. And that act of circumcision was an identification that we are God's people.

But also on day eight – they wouldn't just cut – they would name. Oftentimes that name would be after the dad or after the granddad or after some significant male member in the family. In this case, His name maybe should have been Joseph or it should have been after another relative. And here we have it; read it like you’ve never read it before. What's his name? Let's take a look, “and at the end of eight days when He was circumcised” (There it is, the bris, the holy event) “He was called Jesus.” 

Jesus means the Lord is salvation. The name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. This is the fulfillment. He was named by his Heavenly Father. The Heavenly Father announced it through the Angel Gabriel given to Marry, “You shall call his name Jesus.” For the first time on the stage of world history the Boy has a name.

Jesus. It would be the name that would be the most recognizable name in the history someday, but at this moment, just a boy. It would be the name that would divide history into B.C. and A.D. It would be the name of a man who would come and He would give sight to the blind and give physical health to the leper. And he would raise the dead! It would be the name of a man who would give the most profound sermons that you could ever imagine, full of the Holy Spirit and power. It would be the name of a man who had died because of a Roman mandate, but would also defeat death, reverse decay, and rise triumphantly, proving that he was the Lord of Heaven and earth.

The name, Jesus: The Lord is Salvation. 

The Ancestry of Jesus

Well, what of his DNA or his ancestry? If you took His ancestry back through history, where does He come from? Let's go to the end of chapter three. Luke gives us His ancestry and he gives it to us from a human perspective.

I love how it starts in chapter three verse 23. “Jesus, when he began his ministry was about 30 years of age, being the son, as was supposed, of Joseph.” What Luke does is trace the ancestry of Jesus back through His supposed father, Joseph, and he does it with a point. Fom a human perspective, he wants to showcase for us his descendancy to the throne of David.

Luke says, He's “the son of… the son of… the son of… the son of… the son of… the son of…” and 40 names later, “the son David.” He's pointing to the rightful rule of this person, this Boy, Jesus, as the One who rules over the kingdom, over the line in the tribute of David. And His rule is forever and ever. 

It doesn't stop there. He gives 12 more names, he says, “the son of… the son of… the son of… the son of…” He goes all the way back to the son of Jacob, Isaac and Abraham – Genesis 15, when God formed a covenant with the people saying that you shall be a blessing to the world.

But he doesn't stop there. He gives 11 more names, tracing the ancestry of Jesus, “the son of… the son of… the son of… the son of… the son of Noah.” Have you heard of him? The one chosen to rescue and to redeem the world. After God destroyed the world, there were left eight people in total, and Jesus descended Noah.

It doesn't stop there. He continues to go. “The son of… the son of… the son of…” He's the son of Adam. Here he is, Jesus the Christ, from a human perspective, descended all the way back to Adam. He is the true and the better Adam; the one who lives a perfect life, dies of substitutionary death, conquers the grave, rises triumphantly. This is the true and the better Adam, the one who has the perfection of humanity in the flesh! I love it! He is the son of Adam. But, my friend, if you take a look at the end of chapter three, he doesn't stop there. Because right at the end of chapter three, there's something bigger going on in the ancestry of Jesus than some human lineage that goes all the way back to Adam.

There's one thing more, because if you precede Adam, you go back to the eternal nature of the Father when only God existed in Triune form. Take a look at it in chapter three. What does it say? “The Son of God.” Here it is. He's the son of Adam. Perfect flesh, perfect humanity, able to represent humanity before a holy God. But my friend, He is the perfect Son of God, able to represent a perfect holy God before sinful people so that we know what God is indeed like. That's who Jesus is. Luke is framing for us the miracle of what we call the “Incarnation.” And the Incarnation is that God has become flesh.

“We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, He has appeared to all mankind, giving grace and salvation.” His name is Jesus – The Lord is Salvation

Perfect God, perfect man; Son of Adam, Son of God. All together in one.

In Him being perfect God, we can now understand who God is and what God does in laying down His life for the people, only to take it back up again. And being perfect man, He is able to represent us before a Holy God. Why? So that we are saved in Him and through Him and for His glory. This is where salvation comes from! It comes from the person and the work of Jesus. Perfect God, perfect man; Son of Adam, Son of God. All together in one.

And there are eight days old they give him the name Jesus, the Savior of the world. And here we are, my friend, 2,000 or so years later, still proclaiming good news of great joy that is for all the people. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased. 

Action. Step: Renew your faith. Maybe some of you, for the very first time embracing Christ as Savior.

And if you have done that already, a renewal today, a rededication. There is no better time to embrace Jesus and admit your need of a Savior than today; where you recognize that in the midst of the futility of life, and the difficulties of life, and the sinfulness of life – that self reflection – there is one who was born into this world, the Savior who is Christ the Lord!