Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace. He is called, "the Christ," "the Messiah,"
"the Son of the Living God," "the Son of Man," "the Son of David."
These names are only a few of the titles ascribed to Jesus, the Christ.
He is, for me and countless others who have faith in Jesus Christ,
the most remarkable Person inside and outside of history, because our lives
are being radically transformed through God's self-revelation and
within the context of the relationships we have with one another, as God
has allowed us to have all relationships in, by and through His Grace.
The relationship we have with God is for us an "I-Thou" relationship, where
God is the "Thou" and we are the "I". God is the First Cause
of our individual and community relationships with the God Who IS.
God saw my need, and your need, and Perfect Love acted, moved and worked
in order that you and I might come to know God in true relationship.
I would certainly say that my life has been radically altered through Jesus'
pro-active encounter with me, especially of late, as I have tried to come
closer to the root of Christianity. I am a new parishoner of
the Roman Catholic Church in Missoula, Montana, the St. Frances Xavier
Who Is Jesus?
There are certainly many titles that Jesus answered to in life, as we follow the record of the Gospels and Epistles of the Holy Scriptures. The Bible, composed of Old and New Testaments, is clearly where the most reliable and complete record of Jesus is found. As I have read those pages, I have witnessed Jesus on almost every page of the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The Holy Scriptures are the authoritative documents for the Church, pursuant to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church in Her early years identified for all of professing Christendom the content of the Bible, the Sacred Scriptures. While, other mystical writings exist that were written by those who later became Jesus' disciples, and there are some who claim a personal revelation of Jesus, the Bible still remains the authoritative basis for the Church's dogmas related to Jesus. The Holy Apostolic Church Conciliar actions have correctly and authoritatively re-emphasized the divine and human natures of Jesus, and the Trinity. These will be examined later in another reflective paper.
My approach to this paper is one that comes of a living faith in Jesus Christ. I propose no new revelations of Jesus, nor, am I inclined at all to disagree with the dogmas of the Church. I am fully inclined to see in the Person of Jesus how God has revealed Himself in accordance with Holy Scriptures. The dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church, as the Church has followed the apostolic tradition, have served to guide Christians in the true revelation of Jesus. I make no excuse for this approach, since I clearly see that the historical Jesus is best represented by such an approach. I have experienced other approaches which have proven themselves catalysts of instability amongst professing Christians.
The name, Jesus, derives from the Greek form, "Iesous," probably from the Hebrew name, "Yehoshua, " or "Yeshua." Names always have meanings in Hebrew. The biblical contexts of the common Hebrew name, Jesus, require now that I capitalize the "Name," such that it will always refer to the self-revelation of God in Christ. Something has happened, when Jesus was revealed, and that has changed the way we must look at this blessed Name forever. Therefore, the Name that means, "Yahweh is Salvation," or, "Salvation is of Yahweh" must refer to the self- revelation of God in Jesus of Nazareth, born of the blessed Virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem of Judea, according to the Gospels. There is the present tense to the Name, Jesus. It is the Name, whereby, God declares that God is doing a work. The Name of God is "Yahweh."
It is important for us to describe, somewhat, the thrice Holy Name of God. Yahweh God is HOLY. Yahweh God is "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY..." -- "QDSH, QDSH, QDSH IS YAHWEH GOD ALMIGHTY, THE WHOLE EARTH IS FILLED WITH HIS GLORY." This is the essential nature of Yahweh, as God is described in His self-revelation in the Old and New Testaments. The response of the prophets and St. John to this self-revelation of Yahweh God was utter prostration before the immensity of His Holiness. It evokes utter abandonment of one's own merit outside of the Grace of God and renders all of us to the reality that St. Paul has stated of humanity in his Epistle to the Romans. We have all missed the mark and all have fallen short of the Glory of God.
St. John of the Cross expresses this immensity of the Essential Divine Holiness and our meager presence before the Presence of God, and, the radical transformation that is available to us in Jesus Christ, when we are encountered by and encounter God. In the Living Flame of Love, he says poetically -- "Oh, sweet burn! Oh, delectable wound! Oh, soft hand! Oh, delicate touch that savors of eternal life and pays every debt! In slaying, thou hast changed death into life. Oh, lamps of fire, In whose splendors the deep caverns of sense which were dark and blind with strange brightness give heat and light together to their Beloved." He speaks of Jesus, and, when any of us encounter, and are encountered by Jesus, Who Is, Who was, Who Is to Come, then, we are likely, if open to such change, to be transformed by that vision of the Holy One. Whether we want to be changed, or not, we will never be the same after we have been encountered by the LORD (Yahweh).
"YHWH" seems to derive from two Hebrew words -- "HYH" and "HWH." The meanings of these two different, but similar verbs of being, respectively, are -- "he is" and "he becomes." By simply dropping the "H" from each of the two verbs, and combining the words into one word, the Name "YHWH" comes into being. The meanings of both thereby may be seen to merge into the one composite meaning. Whether or not this was the intent of the Hebrews, or God, is clearly uncertain, but, it does make for an interesting understanding and reflection upon what could be the fuller meaning of the Name of God, when we consider the self-revelation of God in human history in Jesus Christ.
Yahweh God is the One and Only True God (the Way, the Truth, the Life) Who BECOMES and IS the BEING -- God's self-revelation. He "is being" and "becomes" in full accord with Who God IS. Yahweh is exactly Who He says HE IS. With the triune use of the related word for "I Am" (Hebrew, "EHYH") -- It is YHWH Who expresses for all eternity the essential nature of the One True God in dynamic historical self-revelation. Most profoundly, and wonderfully, it is God that self-reveals in the many cultural terms in order that His creatures may enjoy and cherish and respond in love toward Him and one another. Perhaps, we have a lot to learn about this self-revelation method that God employs.
When God comes to save, Jehoshua is the One God Who IS, born of the blessed Virgin Mary. Yahweh is, and becomes, Salvation on behalf of God's creatures. The message is of the One described by St. John, "God is Love." Our love needs to be His Love. For it was God Who so loved the world (mankind), that He gave His Only Begotten Son in order that whosoever believes (trusts) in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life. This is the awe-inspiring and pro-active Love Who moves and works in the Saving Way . It is reflected again and again in the types (figures) throughout the Old Testament.
Moses and Joshua present some interesting figures (types) of this Love. Moses is the deliverer of the Hebrews is sent with a commission to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. Pharoah wants no part of it. But, it is Moses who acts on behalf of God. It is God Who is the Deliverer in God's Triune self-revelation. God always wins, because Yahweh IS Who He IS.
Interestingly, God self-reveals to Moses in the context of His being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When one reflects a bit on the contexts of the scripture passages surrounding these three patriarchs, it is becomes easy to sense that, as Abraham was a Father of many nations, so, IS God the Father's ultimate redemptive purpose in Jesus. The Deliverer's redemptive purpose is also to bring many sons home to glory. It is still father Abraham who was, became, and is, the father of many nations. However, it was Abraham's Seed Who was, became and is the means of Salvation. Likewise, it may be sensed that as Isaac (Abraham's seed) was named "laughter," so, does Christ "laugh" in the context of Psalms 2:4. It would be wise to see the whole context of this Messianic psalm of the Chosen One, "Yahweh's Anointed." In this passage, Yahweh will have them (those in rebellion) in derision, as Yahweh laughs. Will not the Son of God so conquer in His Parousia? Lastly, it is as though Jacob, YAAQOB, a name which means something like, "heel catcher, supplanter, or, one who trips up or causes to stumble," becomes, was and is Israel, YISRAEL, meaning, "He will rule as God." This happened for Jacob when that old man encountered his own "dark night of the soul," and wrestled with One at the brook of Jabbok, the name of that brook meaning, "struggle." Does this not in a way illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit Who comes to those God so loves, as Perfect Love IS so ready to do for hearts that struggle within for true identity within Christ, and, therefore, God acts and works accordingly to the need?
Triune God, Yahweh, certainly self-revealed to Moses, and, Jehoshua followed through with Moses' shepherd staff by completing his part of the deliverance of the Deliverer (in type,) reflecting the three fold ministry of Christ Jesus (Prophet, Priest and King) throughout the events of the continuing (becoming) self-revelation of God in history on behalf of those creatures God chose to Love through the redemptive work of Christ Jesus. But, enough of this for now. I dare not become too much more wordy with all of this, since the record is sufficient to declare that God is, has been, and will be, active on behalf of those God loves, those called according to His purpose. Jesus is, therefore, Yahweh is Salvation. That is -- Yahweh IS Salvation has self-revealed. The Father has self-revealed. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in self-revelation, speaking of Jesus.
It is my hope that the reader will experience more the reality
that awaits us in Christ, as we move closer to the God Who IS ever Present
and moving close to us through Christ our LORD (Yahweh).
1. The author on many occasions, while in graduate school, found himself taking the Roman Catholic position concerning Trinitarian / Christological dogma.
2. The reader should remember the triune use of Hebrew "QDSH", or "QODESH" in Isaiah's and Ezekiel's visions of the Most High and St. John's vision on the island of Patmos in the Revelation (Apocalypse of St. John).
3. See Isaiah 11:2, when Messiah is spoken of in terms of "Spirit of Yahweh," "Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel, and might, the spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD (Yahweh):" See Isaiah 7 through 14 for a fuller comprehension of the context of Isaiah's message.
4. Romans 3:23
5. I Peter 3:8-16 ff
6. Isaiah 7:14
7. I John 4:7-21, esp. vv 7-9
8. See Exodus 3
9. Messiah, Christ, Anointed are synonymous
10. Apoc. 19
11. St. John of the Cross
12. St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, chapter 8, v 28
13. Gospel of St. John chapter 14, v 15 through chapter 17, v
26. The struggle is declared in the Person of Jesus Christ, as we
are in the world's (mankind's) domain