Names of Jesus Week Three, Day Five
A child was always at the heart of the biblical covenant. Already in the garden of Eden God promised that Eve's offspring would crush the head of the serpent, who beguiled her. Later God made a covenant with Abraham, promising that Sarah would bear him a child who would be the first of countless descendents. Then Isaiah spoke of a child who would be born of a virgin and be given the name "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." The New Testament tells of the fulfillment of that promise, and Jesus presents children as the model for his followers to emulate. The only way to enter the kingdom is with the humility and trust of little children.
Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:4 - 7
Promises Associated with His Name
I was forty-six when I adopted my first child — not as old as the biblical Sarah but a far sight older than Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus. But no matter how old you are or how long you've waited, a child can be one of life's greatest blessings, opening you again to wonder, renewing your amazement at God's good plan for the future.
Little wonder that a child was God's first promise to the world.
After Adam and Eve sinned, as they were being forced from their garden paradise, God made the greatest of all his promises, assuring them that Eve's offspring would one day crush the serpent whose temptation had pushed them out of Eden and into so much misery. No wonder Mary has sometimes been called the new Eve, her obedience a striking reversal of Eve's disobedience. And as for the Christ child — he has always been identified as the fulfillment of God's promise to crush Satan, our worst enemy, and to lead us back to paradise.
Promises in Scripture
So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:14 - 15
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Continued Prayer and Praise
Praise God for promising a child who would reign forever with his justice and righteousness. (Isaiah 9:6 - 7)
Strive to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2 - 4; Luke 9:48)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.