His Name Shall Be Wonderful (revised)
Grandes lignes: Wonderful: the birth of Jesus, predictions of His coming, Christ's sinlessness, love for sinners, power to forgive sins, miracles, teachings, poverty and humility, death, resurrection, foretelling of His return, position, influence in the world, presence with His followers today and most wonderful is that Christ is willing to dwell in our sinful hearts. Accept Jesus as your Savior.
|Numéro de texte:||MM14|
|Thème:||Hell; Resurrection of Jesus; Love of God; Saviour of Sinful Men; Birth of Christ; End Time, Second Coming; Prophecy, fulfillment of; Death of Christ; Life of Christ; Heaven; Forgiveness; Judgement; People of God; Eternal / everlasting life; Humility|
|Genre:||Bible Stories & Teac|
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Dear friends, I have a very important question to ask you. Did you ever hear of anyone by the name of Wonderful? We often meet people who have meaningful and sometimes beautiful names. But I never in my life met anyone named Wonderful, and I have never seen in any books which I have read a reference to anyone who was called by this name - with one exception. In a very old book written by Isaiah the Prophet, who lived about 2700 years ago, we find a prediction of the coming of a very great ruler whose name will be "Wonderful." Isaiah writes: "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful...of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end." (1)
Who is this person who will reign forever and whose name will be called "Wonderful"? He is no other than Jesus Christ, Who was born about 750 years after the time of Isaiah the Prophet. People of all races all over the world agree that He was the most wonderful person who has ever lived on earth. Let us consider why Jesus Christ alone deserves to be given the name WONDERFUL.
The birth of Christ was wonderful - No one was ever born as He was. He is often called Jesus, the son of Mary. Usually children take the name of their father. Why did Jesus take His mother's name? Because He has no earthly father. He was born of the virgin Mary. His birth happened exactly as it was foretold by the prophet Isaiah, as we read in the Holy Bible (Injil) (2):
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He Who will save His people from their sins."
Now all this took place that was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us. And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus."
When God created Adam, the first man, He created him from the dust of the ground. All of us are the descendants of Adam and so were all the prophets.
We are of the earth, earthy. But Jesus Christ came down from heaven. Before He came, He was in God's presence. He was One with Him. He came from above to save us from our sins. In order to do this, He "became flesh and dwelt among us." (3) Let me make it clear that the Holy Bible does not say that it was the God in Heaven, the Exalted and Unseen God, Who left His throne in Heaven and came to live on earth. No, it says it was Jesus, the Word of God and the Light of God, Who came from above. It is He Who in the womb of the Virgin Mary took on Himself the garments of humanity and was born as a man. Is there anyone else who has entered the world in this wonderful way?
2/ The predictions of the coming of Christ were wonderful. Many of the prophets such as David, Isaiah, Micah, Daniel and others foretold the coming of Jesus Christ. Hundreds of years before He came, they talked about His super-natural birth, the miracles He would perform, the sufferings and death He would endure to save sinners like us. They also predicted His resurrection from the dead and His unending rule. There have never been so many and so wonderful prophecies written in the Holy Scriptures about any other person who has ever been born.
3/ The sinlessness of Christ was wonderful. Many good men have lived on earth, but when we study their lives carefully we see that the holier they were the more conscious they were of their sinfulness, and therefore the more earnestly they prayed to God to forgive them. David did. Abraham did. Other prophets did. Only Jesus never had to ask for God's forgiveness, for He never once committed a sin or disobeyed God. He was sinless. On one occasion He said to His enemies, "Which of you convicts me of sin?" (4) Not one of them could point to a single sin in His life. Who of us would dare to make such a challenge to our enemies? Also His apostles, who had lived close to Him for three years and knew Him intimately, testified that Jesus was without sin. For example, Peter writes, "Christ committed no sin; no guilt was found on His lips. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return: when He suffered, He did not threaten." (5) And in another place of the Holy Injil it is written: "Jesus is holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners." (6) Is it not wonderful that in this evil world there has been one man who never needed to repent or ask God to forgive him?
4/ Christ's love for sinners was wonderful - Every good man hates evil, and every pure man loathes anything unclean. And since Jesus Christ was Himself sinless, it is certain that He hated sin. Therefore it would have been reasonable if He had removed Himself as far as possible from sinners. But in fact the very opposite was true!
Instead of avoiding sinners He associated with them, ate and talked with them, telling them of God's love for them, and when they repented of their sins, He received them with open arms. When the religious people criticized Him for doing this, He said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (7) So His enemies called Him "The friend of sinners." Is it not wonderful that the person who loved sinners more than anyone else is the purest man who ever lived?
5/ Christ's power to forgive sins was wonderful - None of the great prophets whom God sent into the world had authority to forgive the sins of men. But when a man who was paralysed was brought to Jesus Christ for healing, He first forgave the sins of this man, and then healed him. At once some of the religious teachers who were present accused Jesus Christ of blasphemy, saying that only God could forgive men's sins, and He at once proved His authority by also healing the sick man. In the same way He forgave a sinful woman who came to Him asking for forgiveness. What a wonderful authority He had, to do God's work on earth!
6/ Christ's miracles were wonderful - Though Moses and Elijah and some other prophets had the power to perform miracles, no one ever performed so many and so great miracles as Christ. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, gave sight to the blind, cast out evil spirits, stilled the stormy sea, and even raised the dead to life. Not only did He do these wonderful miracles Himself, but He gave power to His apostles to heal the sick and raise the dead. When His disciples saw Him calm the sea during a heavy storm, they marvelled. It is no wonder that they were amazed, for He was indeed a wonderful person.
7/ Christ's teachings were wonderful - When the people heard Him speak, they were amazed, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom?" Listen to some of His wonderful sayings: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (8) "Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (9) "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (10) "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (11) "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them." (12) "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave." (13) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you." (14) "When we hear these wonderful words we are also amazed, and we say what some who heard Christ long ago said, "No man ever spoke like this man!" (15)
8/ Christ's poverty and humility were wonderful - Any doctor who cures the sick may rightly accept payment from his patients, and many doctors have become rich in this way. Jesus might have accepted gifts of gold or houses or lands from the people He healed, some of whom were wealthy. Many were no doubt eager to express in a suitable way their deep thankfulness to their Saviour. But as far as we know Jesus Christ never accepted any payment or any gift from those He had healed. Not only did He refuse gifts. He also refused a crown. For when He fed a great crowd of more than 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fishes, the people wanted to take Him and make Him their king, but He would not accept, for His kingship was not material, but spiritual. On the night before His death He washed the feet of His twelve apostles in order to give them an example of humility. And when He died He left no possessions except the clothes He was wearing which the soldiers who crucified Him took from His body. How wonderful that although He gave life and healing and food and salvation to others, He did not even provide a house for Himself!
9/ Christ's death was wonderful. - During His lifetime Jesus Christ on several occasions foretold His own death, saying that He would be crucified. When Peter, His devoted disciple heard this, He said, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you." (16) But Jesus rebuked Peter, saying that this thought that He should not die was not from God, but was from Satan. When the time for Christ's death arrived, when He was about 33 years of age, His enemies, who were the religious rulers of that time, sent soldiers by night to arrest Him. The disciples wanted to defend their Master, but Jesus did not permit them to do so. After telling Peter to put his sword back into its sheath, Jesus gave Himself up to the soldiers. Later that night when the rulers mocked and beat Him, He remained silent. And next day when the soldiers nailed His hands and feet to the cross, He did not curse them, but rather prayed for them and for all His enemies, saying, "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do." (17) As He hung on the cross, the rulers came near and mocked Him, but He did not answer them. Then after being on the cross for six terrible hours He cried out to God and said, "Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit!"(18) and died. No wonder the officer who was standing by the cross marvelled at the manner of Jesus' death.
Jesus Christ was not forced to die, for He could easily have saved Himself, had He wished to do so. Rather He died of His own free will in order to take the punishment for the sins of man, just as the Prophet Isaiah had foretold long before when he said: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before his shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth." (19) The Apostle John, who stood near the cross and was a witness of the death of Christ, says of His Master: "He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." (20) Truly Christ's death was unique and wonderful.
10/ Christ's resurrection was wonderful - All the prophets and holy men of old died and were buried and their bodies turned to dirt - with the exception of Enoch and Elijah, who were taken to heaven without having to go through the valley of death. Jesus Christ died and was buried, but His body did not turn to dust. A very wonderful thing happened to Him. He rose from the dead, just as He had prophesied He would do! On Sunday, the third day after His crucifixion, He came out from the tomb, although it had been sealed by His enemies and was carefully guarded by soldiers. And He appeared to a number of His disciples in various places. Then during a period of 40 days He was seen by many of His followers.
Those who at first could not believe that it was possible for Jesus Christ to come to life again were convinced that He was truly alive when they saw Him with their own eyes. Then in front of His disciples He ascended to heaven, where He lives in the presence of His Father. Of all the people who have lived on earth Jesus Christ is the only One Who after death became alive again and did not die a second time. The resurrection of Jesus is the undeniable proof that He is as He claimed to be - the spiritual Son of God and the Saviour of the world. How wonderful is He!
11/ Christ's foretelling of His return was wonderful - None of the ancient prophets announced to their followers before their death that they were going to return to earth. But Christ made frequent mention of His coming again. He told His disciples to watch and wait for His return and to be prepared to give Him an account of their lives. He said that at the end of the world He would come from heaven, and every eye would see Him. He would sit on His glorious throne, and all nations would come before Him. He would then judge them, separating them from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Those who have accepted Him as their Saviour have eternal life; those who have not are condemned to eternal punishment. How wonderful and glorious will be Christ's return, and how terrible for those who have not obeyed Him!
12/ Christ's position is wonderful - Whoever becomes truly acquainted with Jesus Christ realises that He possesses a position higher than that of any other man. This is clear from the titles which He bears. The people of Islam call Him Spirit of God. He is also called Word of God. But the title which is most often given Him in the Holy Scriptures is Son of God. Before His birth the angel Gabriel said to Mary the Mother of Jesus, "He will be called the Son of God." (21) Since God is spirit, Jesus is of course the spiritual and not the physical Son of God. Jesus often called God "my Father", and on two occasions the voice of God was heard from heaven addressing Jesus as "my Son". When one of the disciples asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus replied, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me? He who has seen me has seen the Father. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" (22) And on another occasion Christ said: "I and the Father are one." (23) No prophet of God ever made such a claim. Truly the position of Jesus Christ is unique and wonderful!
13/ Christ's influence in the world is wonderful - It is remarkable that Jesus Christ did not do many of the things that the great men of the earth have done. He did not write a book, or win a battle, or establish a kingdom, or sit on a throne, or invent some wonderful thing. On the contrary, most of His life was spent in a little town of the Middle East as a humble carpenter, and even His ministry on earth lasted only 3 1/2 years. But in spite of this, Jesus Christ is the most known person in the world today. The Holy Injil, written about Him by His disciples, has been translated into more than a 1000 languages, and has been spread more than any other book which was ever written. In almost all the countries of the world there are groups of people who love Jesus Christ and are happy to call themselves by His name. Many of the institutions that exist today have their origin and derive their power from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. How wonderful is the Man Who after nearly 2000 years still exercises such an influence in the world!
14/ Christ's presence with His followers today is wonderful - Before Christ ascended to heaven He not only foretold His return at the end of the world, but also promised His disciples that He would always be with them. He said to them, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations... and lo, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (24) And on another occasion He said, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (25) Therefore, when Jesus Christ went to heaven, His disciples were not left alone. Nor was there any need for someone else to come in Christ's place to care for them, for Christ Himself by His Spirit remained with them, and will be with them to the end of the world. He guides them, strengthens them, comforts them, forgives them, cleanses them from sin, and reveals God to them. Since He rose from the dead and is alive forevermore, He is able to help us in a way that dead prophets can never do. He invites everyone to come to Him and be His friend, saying, "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (26) How wonderful is the friendship and love of Christ!
15/ One more wonderful thing - For these reasons which have been given, and for many others which have not been mentioned, we see that Jesus Christ truly deserves the name WONDERFUL which the prophet Isaiah gave Him long before He was born. Everything about Him is wonderful! But perhaps for us the most wonderful thing of all is that Christ is willing to dwell in our sinful hearts. For He says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." (27)
Dear friend, this wonderful Saviour has come to the door of your heart today, and wants to enter. He died to save you from your sins, and He lives in order to give you eternal life. He knows your cares, your troubles, your sins, your fears, and all your needs, and is eager to bless you and make you happy. If you want Him as your friend you may just now open your heart to Him, and ask Him to enter. Take Him as your Saviour, and commit yourself wholly to Him. Listen again to what God says: "Behold I bring you good news of a great joy... for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour Who is Christ the Lord." (28) Jesus Christ is more than a prophet, He is the Lord! The Saviour is not a mere man, He is God in Christ. Won't you accept Him as your Lord and Saviour now? He says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to God the Father but by me." (29) He also says, "He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out." (30)
Come to Him now and accept Him as your Saviour. Confess your sins to Him, ask him to forgive you and thank Him for shedding His blood for you. He will hear you where you are and forgive you. He will come to live in you through His Holy Spirit and make you a new person. He will give you holiness in place of sin, love in place of hate, peace in place of restlessness and tension.
When you die, He will take you to heaven to live with Him forever. If you believe in Him and accept Him as your Saviour, you will start to understand why God gave Him the name WONDERFUL and you will learn to love Him and honour Him more and more.
Bible references: (1) Isaiah 9:6,7 (2) Matthew 1:18-25 (3) John 1:14 (4) John 8:46 (5) I Peter 2:22, 23 (6) Hebrews 7:26 (7) Mark 2;17 (8) Matthew 5:8 (9) Matthew 5:28 (10) Matthew 5:39 (11) Matthew 5:44 (12) Matthew 7:12 (13) Matthew 20:26, 27 (14) John 13:34 (15) John 7:46 (16) Matthew 16:22b (17) Luke 23:34 (18) Luke 23:46 (19) Isaiah 53:5-7 (20) I John 2:2 (21) Luke 1:32 (22) John 14:9, 10 (23) John 10:30 (24) Matthew 28:20 (25) Matthew 18:20 (26) Matthew 11:28 (27) Revelation 3:20 (28) Luke 3:10, 11 (29) John 14:6 (30) John 6:37