My Thoughts. . .Thursday, 12-24-2020

God was silent for four hundred years between the last prophet of the Old Testament until the announcement to Zacharias that his son’s name would be John (Luke 1:5-60). An angel told Joseph that Mary’s son was to be named Jesus (Matthew 1:21). Two related babies were born six months apart. John first, then Jesus.

“John” means “Yahweh has been gracious” and “Jesus” means “Yahweh is salvation.” Both babies were named by an angel rather than by the parents (Matthew 2:21; Luke 1:59-63). Both names included the divine name “Yahweh.” So, when people say “John” or “Jesus,” they are mentioning Yahweh whether they realize it or not! But the divine reason for doing so goes much deeper than that.

John announced Jesus as the expected Messiah (Anointed One). John prepared his Jewish audiences for that arrival by calling upon them to “repent” and be immersed “for the remission of sins.” Hundreds, if not thousands responded to his preaching. Even Jesus went to John to be immersed by him. The difference between Jesus’ immersion and theirs was, Jesus did it to “fulfill all righteousness,” they did it to receive “the remission of sins.” Also, the Spirit descended upon him with Yahweh stating, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:15, 17).

John was arrested and murdered, whereas Jesus continued to move toward Golgotha and a Roman cross. Although a modern comedian has a familiar statement, “Gitter done,” God is not on our timetable. How many generations lived and died during that four-hundred-year delay? Think of those people waiting patiently for their prayers to be answered and dying disappointed because the Messiah did not arrive. We are living about two thousand years after his time on earth. He promised to return. Some hope he never will come and catch them in their sins. Some are impatient, believing two thousand years equals a failed promise. Some have given up hope. Some are disappointed that their predictions of his return were not true. Some continue to give dates even though they are marked with failure. Some do not allow their failed predictions to stop them from giving newer ones. Their interpretations will always end in failure.

When Jesus does return, every knee will create a small dust storm. Wailing will begin with some and never stop. Disbelief will disappear. Fear will be the common emotion. Some will hear the word “Depart,” but will know it was their destiny before it was ever spoken. The judgment that was laughed off by some will no longer be their joke. Begging will be heard but with no success. There will be shouts of joy when the two words “Well done” are uttered.

Everyone will go home. Some will not be happy with the dwelling they chose. Others will be speechless, unable to take in the magnificent sight of dwelling with God throughout eternity. Two thousand years ago, two related baby boys were born six months apart, and each with “Yahweh” in their name.