What title do you have? What does it say about you? What does it say for you? How did you get it? What did it take to achieve it? Who gave it to you? How important is it to you? Does it come with any benefits? Is there any value to having such a title?
What if the title was director? What if the title was deacon? What if the title was producer? What if the title was husband? What if the title was dad? What if the title was son? What if the title was brother? What if the title was friend? What if the title was coworker? … What titles do you have? What does it mean to you?
Seven Titles of Jesus — Day 84: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Proverbs 8:1-11, Luke 5:33-39, Luke 6:1-11, Numbers 19, Numbers 20, Numbers 21:1-3
1. Wisdom of God … Proverbs 8:1-11
1Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: 4“To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. 6Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. 10Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. — from Proverbs 8
What do you hear from today’s reading? What can you take away as you start this day? Seek wisdom! Ask God who will give without finding fault! Today’s devotional provides a first title for Jesus (Wisdom of God) and speaks to this reading as follows…
Many people today have no idea how to live. They make a mess of their marriages and other relationships. Often they wreck their own lives and the lives of others. We all need wisdom in order to live well.
Where is wisdom to be found? The New Testament answer is that, ultimately, it is found in Jesus Christ. St Paul writes, ‘Christ… the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24). The ‘wisdom of God’ is one of Jesus’ titles.
Wisdom in the book of Proverbs is personified and female (‘Lady Wisdom’; ‘Madam Insight’, Proverbs 8:1, MSG). She is contrasted with an adulterous woman who lurks at street corners when darkness falls and who speaks in secretive, seductive whispers (7:6ff). Wisdom openly competes against her ‘right in the city square where the traffic is thickest’ (8:2, MSG) and offers herself as a counter attraction – a pure bride rather than a fatal seductress.
This shows us that wisdom is not just about knowledge, but that to be wise is to live well. The first step in living well is to set the right goals and ambitions. Seek wisdom, rather than the sensual pleasures represented by the adulteress.
Wisdom is highly desirable. It, or rather she, is better than silver, gold or jewels: ‘Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her’ (vv.10–11).
If you want true wisdom, it starts with a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is far more valuable than anything the world can offer.
That relationship will have an effect on the way you live out your life. An example of this wisdom is excellence in your speech (vv.6–9) – honest, truthful communication with words that are righteous and true (compare and contrast the words spoken in Numbers 20:3–5, which reveal a lack of trust in God).
We need to trust in God! We need to seek Him first! We need to turn to Him when we need wisdom and insight! We need to avoid tripping ourselves up in order to accomplish His perfect will!
2. Bridegroom, 3. Son of Man, 4. Lord, … Luke 5:33-6:11
33They said to him, “John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.”
34Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”
36He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’ ”
–from Luke 5
1One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
3Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
6On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
9Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
–from Luke 6
The title of the ‘bridegroom’ is used in the Old Testament to refer to God himself, ‘as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you’ (Isaiah 62:5).
Jesus, in the use of this image (Luke 5:34), puts himself in the place of God, not ostentatiously, but almost incidentally. It was, for him, a perfectly natural substitution. Jesus’ assumption of a divine role is all the more impressive.
The image of Jesus as the bridegroom and us as the bride is one of greatest possible intimacy (see Ephesians 5:23). It is also an image which points forward to the ultimate consummation of your relationship with Jesus when he returns. You are called to prepare yourself with the same care and love as a bride on her wedding day, particularly focusing on ‘righteous’ living (see Revelation 19:6–9).
Jesus’ teaching is radically new. It cannot be fitted into the thought-forms or behaviour-patterns of the Pharisees (Luke 5:36–39).
This was Jesus’ favourite way of referring to himself (see, for example, Luke 6:5). This is a messianic title. Daniel 7 speaks of ‘one like a son of man’ (Daniel 7:13) and it is likely that this aspect of Jesus’ understanding of his identity and mission stems from that passage. It is a title that combines authority and power with humility and suffering.
We are reminded both of Jesus’ love for us and his authority over us. Often we can focus on the first without paying enough attention to the second. Submit to Jesus’ authority, obeying his teaching and following where he leads you.
Jesus reinterprets the Old Testament. The Pharisees ask, ‘Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?’ (Luke 6:2). Jesus replies by quoting an example in the Old Testament (vv.3–4). He shows from a wider reading of the Old Testament that the Pharisees’ understanding of the Sabbath was far too narrow.
He heals a man on the Sabbath and asks this question, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?’ (v.9). In other words, he looks behind the letter of the law to the spirit of the law and shows that as ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ (v.5), he is not bound by the letter of the law.
Jesus is radical in his reinterpretation of the Old Testament and we need to read the Old Testament through this lens. We need to understand it in the light of the fact that Jesus says, ‘These are the very Scriptures that testify about me’ (John 5:39). We see this in our Old Testament passage in three particular ways.
5. Mediator, 6. Rock, 7. Great high priest … Numbers 19:1-21:3
The Water of Cleansing
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2“This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. 3Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. 4Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. 5While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines. 6The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. 7After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. 8The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening.
9“A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin. 10The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening. This will be a lasting ordinance both for the Israelites and for the foreigners residing among them.
11“Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days. 12They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on the third and seventh days, they will not be clean. 13If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse, they defile the Lord’s tabernacle. They must be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, they are unclean; their uncleanness remains on them.
14“This is the law that applies when a person dies in a tent: Anyone who enters the tent and anyone who is in it will be unclean for seven days, 15and every open container without a lid fastened on it will be unclean.
16“Anyone out in the open who touches someone who has been killed with a sword or someone who has died a natural death, or anyone who touches a human bone or a grave, will be unclean for seven days.
17“For the unclean person, put some ashes from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water over them. 18Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop, dip it in the water and sprinkle the tent and all the furnishings and the people who were there. He must also sprinkle anyone who has touched a human bone or a grave or anyone who has been killed or anyone who has died a natural death. 19The man who is clean is to sprinkle those who are unclean on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is to purify them. Those who are being cleansed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and that evening they will be clean. 20But if those who are unclean do not purify themselves, they must be cut off from the community, because they have defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean. 21This is a lasting ordinance for them.
“The man who sprinkles the water of cleansing must also wash his clothes, and anyone who touches the water of cleansing will be unclean till evening. 22Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”
Water From the Rock
1In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.
2Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! 4Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? 5Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”
6Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7The Lord said to Moses, 8“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
9So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
13These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.
Edom Denies Israel Passage
14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:
“This is what your brother Israel says: You know about all the hardships that have come on us. 15Our ancestors went down into Egypt, and we lived there many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors, 16but when we cried out to the Lord, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.
“Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 17Please let us pass through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway and not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”
18But Edom answered:
“You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.”
19The Israelites replied:
“We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock drink any of your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through on foot—nothing else.”
20Again they answered:
“You may not pass through.”
Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army. 21Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.
The Death of Aaron
22The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24“Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. 26Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there.”
27Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, 29and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.
1When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. 2Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.” 3The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.
–from Numbers 21
These passages about the blood of goats and bulls and the ‘ashes of the heifer’ (19:9) foreshadow Jesus’ death in our place on the cross.
The writer of Hebrews draws attention to these sacrifices, but then explains: ‘How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason, Christ is the mediator’ (Hebrews 9:14–15a).
God tells Moses to bring water out of the rock. Moses strikes the rock twice and water gushes out for everyone to drink (Numbers 20:1–11). ‘Water came out abundantly’ (v.11, AMP).
The apostle Paul also tells us how to interpret the water coming out of the rock. He says, ‘They… drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ’ (1 Corinthians 10:3–4). He is the one who quenches our thirst. Material things alone do not satisfy.
God is so generous to us. Water did not come out in a trickle – it came out abundantly. Jesus came to give you abundant life (John 10:10, RSV). He promises to satisfy your spiritual thirst with ‘rivers of living water’ (7:37–38).
Jesus is the ‘great high priest’ (Hebrews 4:14) who lives forever to intercede for us. As we read of the death of Aaron (Numbers 20:28–29) we are reminded that one of the weaknesses of the Levitical priesthood was that the priests died.
The writer of Hebrews contrasts those priests like Aaron whose ‘death prevented them from continuing in office’ with Jesus who ‘lives forever’ and ‘has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:23–25).
This reminds us of the certainty that you can have in your faith. You do not have to worry about whether you will be ‘good enough’, you can be totally confident in the salvation that you have in Jesus.