Acts 7:55; Rev. 3:14.
F. A. Hughes.
These Scriptures indicate ways in which our Lord is to be known and responded to — as "Jesus" and as "the Amen."
The precious Name of Jesus, announced from heaven before His birth into this world, was the Name He bore as He moved here amongst men — the Saviour! How wonderful that pathway was; what blessings it brought to men sick in mind and body, defiled by sin and in bondage to death and Satan. How rich the content of the gospel narrative as it tells of His compassion; His power, His understanding and readiness to relieve; His wonderful nearness to man and His unfailing accessibility. That precious Name shone out in all its brilliance amid the darkness of Calvary — "THIS IS JESUS" (Matthew 27:37). The gloom of Golgotha's hill passed, but the preciousness of the Name of Jesus abides — "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus" heralded the wonder of the Incarnation; the Kingly glory associated with that Name illumined His cross (cf. Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38, 42; John 19:19); that precious Name is now the centre of the glory of God; and in a day to come that same glorious Name shall be confessed by every tongue in the universe of God, His rights as Lord owned by all. The shadow of Calvary lay athwart the Incarnation (He was born to die); the glory of resurrection dispelled the gloom of the Cross — glory visited His tomb — He was "raised by the glory of the Father" — and the heavens are opened to reveal Him there — "the glory of God and Jesus" — a blessed Man the Centre of that sphere of victory and power. Stephen relates how the "God of glory" called a man out from idolatry, but man's entrance into the realm of glory must of necessity depend upon One who has laid the righteous basis upon which every whit of God's glory is sustained.
As we read the Acts of the Apostles we see that power and forgiveness and salvation are related to this precious Name of Jesus, and to that Name alone. The eunuch in Acts 8 spoke to Philip of "some other man." Did he in any way appreciate the hidden depths in his question? "Some other man" involves in its meaning "another kind of man." Ah! beloved, through infinite grace we understand who this blessed Man is — Philip "preached unto Him Jesus" — another kind of Man indeed! Precious, sinless, glorious Saviour — the only One who has resources in Himself to satisfy the longing heart.
"His life is taken from the earth." We cannot here enter into the details of the chapter in the Prophet Isaiah which the eunuch was reading. Men did not want "that blessed Man;" they would that His Name should be forgotten, but whilst man's guilt remains, the love which led the Saviour to lay down His life has been the saving, satisfying portion of countless numbers who, in faith, have been attracted to this "Other Man" — Jesus the Christ of God. Of all who sought to obliterate the Name of Jesus, Saul of Tarsus exceeded. He thought it right "to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth" (Acts 26:9) — but the power resident in that precious Name flooded his Pharisaical heart, and the words of Christ from the glory — "I am Jesus" — revolutionised his subsequent life. The preciousness of that Name and the One who bore it were the constant joy and theme of his heart and testimony. At once he preaches that Jesus is the Son of God. Glorious truth indeed! This precious Jesus is the One who ever dwelt in the love of the Father from before the world's foundation. In His own person He brought the atmosphere of heaven to earth, the motives, the thoughts, the feelings of the heart of the eternal God came to light in this blessed, unique Man — Jesus the Son of God. He has no peer!
In his ministry Paul's desire was that the affections of the believers should be preserved in chaste loyalty to Christ. In 2 Corinthians 11 he is urgent as to this, and warns the saints against any who came "preaching another Jesus." Later in the chapter he traces such speaking to the work of Satan who would ever seek to becloud in the minds of His own the preciousness and glories of this incomparable Christ.
As appreciating the preciousness of this personal Name of Jesus we can enter somewhat into the understanding of other Names and Titles of our Lord. In Revelation 3 He is presented as "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." These are remarkable words, involving both His deity and His holy humanity. The word "Amen" as one of the titles of our Lord is of tremendous import. It is a Hebrew word signifying "God of truth." It comes at the close of Paul's three doxologies in the Epistle to the Romans, the centre one of which (Rom. 9) so obviously applies to the Lord Jesus — setting the seal of divine truth on His Manhood — "of whom, as according to flesh, is the Christ;" and upon His deity — "who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." Some seventy or more times in the gospels we hear our Lord saying, "Verily I say unto you." The words "Amen" and "Verily" are the same in the original language, the "God of Truth" was here in the Person of Jesus. Let us value His sayings! A cognate of the word "Amen" suggests "going up to the right hand."
It is a blessed Person bearing the title "Amen" — the God of truth, who presents Himself to the Laodicean Church in all its breakdown and failure. Stability, truth, faithfulness and witness were all absent, are still absent, from the great professing mass of Christendom, but all seen in their power and perfection in the "Amen." Another has said, "He is the Amen, the fulfilment and verifier of all the promises, the real Witness and Revealer of God and of truth, when the assembly is not — Head over all things, and the glory and witness of what it is as from God — as the new creation" (J.N.Darby).
Beloved brethren, He who as the precious Jesus, has captivated our hearts by the superlative love which led Him to the Cross, is the same blessed Person who holds and will hold everything in stability and power for the eternal glory of God Himself. "In Him is the yea, and in Him the Amen, for glory to God by us" (2 Corinthians 1:20). God's glory and our blessing alike established in one glorious Man; how brilliant and enduring that glory — how sure and eternal our blessing! The Amen is at the right hand of God, His word is sure and stable, every promise securely vested in Him; God has triumphed! "Let us give unto the Lord the glory due to His Name."