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Saturday, November 30, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Hebrews 1:1-5(NASB)
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? And again, "I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME"?
This is one passage that will blow away the concept that Jesus was merely an angel. The writer (Paul's the leading candidate, but there isn't a consensus on that) alludes to John 1, which not only has Jesus creating the universe but declares Him to be God. The writer even has a bit a sarcasm in verse 5. Jesus does have a more excellent name than any angel, but the word "name" means more than what we commonly use it for; it's referring to reputation and honor. I'm often taken aback by the Hispanic tradition of having Jesus be a common name for boys (as in blogger Jesus Gil); the northern European tradition has the name off-limits for mortals. If you see Jesus as a first name, you pronounce it Hey-Seuss like you're hailing The Cat in the Hat author, since it will typically have a Spanish pronunciation. However, we northerners have no problem with Joshua, which is a better transliteration of Yeshua than "Jesus" is. The OT Joshua was Yeshua as well, but it's a name we associate with the Jericho guy rather than with our Lord and Savior. I wondered why that was, whether we northerners were stuck up or whether the Catholic tradition of paying attention to saints and Mary downgraded Jesus to the point where using his name for your boy seemed OK. However, us northerners aren't lily-white, either; we might not use it as a common name up north, but His name gets used as an expletive far too often. We all need to respect the glory and majesty that is Jesus and better respect his name.

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