Calvary Road Baptist Church

“HONOR JESUS”

 

 As we approach the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we must also be mindful that our Lord was first crucified, and it was His passion culminating in His crucifixion that is so frequently misunderstood or entirely overlooked by most who claim to be Christians at this time of year. When the Lord Jesus Christ rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and the people rejoiced at His arrival, they very properly bestowed upon Him great honor. They honored Him as their king, riding into their city on the foal of an ass, and coming in peace. For more than three years the multitudes that gathered in various locales to hear Him speak and to watch Him work miracles, and to perform cleansings and healings, honored Him as a teacher. Even Nicodemus, the preeminent teacher in Israel said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God.”[1] As well, did not the officers sent to arrest Him when He was on Temple grounds on a later occasion say, “Never man spake like this man”?

So you see, throughout His earthly ministry, from the time of His baptism by John the Baptist, until His final arrival into the city of Jerusalem (I should say second to the last arrival, since He will be arriving one more time. Amen?), the Lord Jesus Christ was honored for being the King of the Jews, and for being a Teacher come from God. However, the people not only did not get it quite right, not at all grasping His mission to save His people from their sins, they also did not honor Him at the end. Whether your role is one of conspiracy or complicity (actively doing something or standing by and doing nothing), you do not honor someone as king when He is apprehended, unjustly and illegally convicted in kangaroo courts, and then stripped and tortured while He is mocked, before crucifying Him. Therefore, you see, the Lord Jesus Christ was dishonored before being crucified, which is the ultimate way of dishonoring someone.

To be dishonored in western culture is shameful and embarrassing, but a westerner’s shame for being dishonored does not seem to rise to the level of agony someone in the east would experience when he is similarly dishonored. For example: When Eliot Spitzer experienced the dishonor of being forced from office two years ago while serving as governor of New York, it was not only his own fault for his adulteries, but he has recovered in the public’s eye to such an extent that the groundwork is now being laid for his return to electoral politics. Another example was Bill Clinton, who was exposed not only as a serial adulterer while running for president for the first time, but there was also a tape recorded conversation made by one of his partners in adultery of him ridiculing fellow governor Mario Cuomo. How did he react to those two shameful episodes? Deny, deny, deny, though it was obvious that he was guilty, guilty, guilty. He paused not at all on his way to being elected to the presidency, showing the place of honor in his thinking. Then, after being exposed of the affair with a young intern named Monica Lewinsky, he once again denied, denied, denied. Those are two examples of the different ways in which honor is seen in the west as opposed to the east. In the west there is no widespread sense of honor and therefore no real sense of shame when one is profoundly dishonored. In other parts of the world, however, honor is much more important.

That is not to say that the concept of honor is not distorted in the east. For example: We have all seen reports of Japanese businessmen whose sense of honor has been damaged for a business or personal failure to respond by committing suicide. Of course, that is taking the matter of being dishonored entirely too far. As well, in the Middle East there is the outrageous practice of honor killing, where a male member of a family murders a female relative for conduct he feels dishonors him or his family. Sons have murdered mothers, brothers have murdered sisters, and fathers have murdered wives and daughters for various reasons thought to be dishonoring. So you see, while honor is relatively unimportant in the west, as evidenced by the shameful and dishonorable conduct so often seen here, honor is much more important in the east, though it is frequently perverted in its application.

Honor should be considered important because honor is shown to be important in God’s Word. The fifth commandment, in Exodus 20.12, even before warnings are given about taking human life, preserving marriages, and protecting property rights, establishes the importance of honor by commanding the people to “Honour thy father and thy mother.” Thus, though honor is basically dismissed in the west and frequently distorted in many regions of the east, it is important to God, and should be important to God’s people. As well, honor should be a part of our strategy to reach the lost, especially those lost people who continue to cling to the importance that honor should occupy in a stable society.

Allow me to bring together in your thinking the importance of honor and the person of Jesus Christ. We know from Proverbs 3.9 we are to honor the Lord: “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” One not only disobeys who does not give to the Lord, but also dishonors. Should we see honoring the Lord Jesus as also being important? Consider Second Peter 1.17: “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Peter reminds us that God the Father honored our Lord. If it is fitting that the Father should honor the Son, should not creatures honor the Son of God? As well, Revelation 5.12 speaks to this matter of honoring the Lord Jesus Christ: “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ should be honored because He is honored by God the Father. However, there are three other reasons the Lord Jesus Christ should be honored, because He is worthy:

 

First, THE BIBLE DECLARES THAT JESUS IS THE FATHER

 

Honor the Lord Jesus Christ because He is the Father.

 

Isaiah 9.6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

 

Attend, if you will, to that solitary phrase that designates the Lord Jesus Christ as “The everlasting Father.” It is important that you understand in what sense the Lord Jesus Christ is in this prophecy identified as “The everlasting Father,” because the very nature of the Godhead as a Trinity is dependent upon the First Person and the Second Person of the Godhead, God the Father and God the Son, somehow being distinct. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be “The everlasting Father” in the sense of Him being God the Father without destroying our understanding of the tri-unity of God.

What, then, is meant here by the prophet Isaiah? Let me share some views:

 

·         John Calvin, the great reformer of Geneva, understands the phrase “The everlasting Father” to mean “The father of the age.” He writes, “The name Father is put for Author, because Christ preserves the existence of his Church through all ages, and bestows the immortality on the body and on the individual members.”[2]

 

·         Keil and Delitzsch, German Hebrew scholars, write, “The title Eternal Father designates Him, however, not only as the possessor of eternity . . , but as the tender, faithful, and wise trainer, guardian, and provider for His people even in eternity (ch. 22:21). He is eternal Father, as the eternal, loving King, according to the description in Ps. 72.”[3]

 

·         Matthew Poole writes, “The everlasting Father, Heb. the Father of eternity. Having called him a child, and a Son in respect of his human nature, lest this should be misinterpreted to his disparagement, he adds that he is a Father also, even the God and Father of all things; the work of creation being common and commonly ascribed to each of the persons of the blessed Trinity, the Maker and Upholder of all creatures, as he is said to be, John i.3; Heb. i.3, and the Father of all believers, who are called his children, Heb. ii.13, and the Father of eternity.”[4]

 

·         Finally, I turn to my old standby, the eighteenth century English Baptist scholar and pastor, John Gill. He writes at length,

 

The everlasting Father; which does not design any relation of Christ in the Godhead; and there is but one Father in the Godhead, and that is the first Person; indeed Christ and the Father are one, and the Father is in him, and he is in the Father, and he that has seen the one has seen the other, and yet they are distinct, Christ is not the Father; the Son and Spirit may be considered with the first Person as Father, in creation and regeneration, they being jointly concerned therein, but not in the Trinity: it is easy to make it appear Christ is not the Father, but is distinct from him, since he is said to be with the Father from eternity, to be the Son of the Father in truth and love, his own Son, his only begotten and beloved Son; Christ frequently calls the first Person his Father, prayed to him as such, and is our advocate with him, as well as the way unto him; he is said to be sent by the Father, to come from him, and to go to him; and many things are said of Christ that cannot be said of the Father, as his being made flesh, suffering and dying in the room of his people; and the Father is said to do many things unto him, as to anoint him, to seal him, to show him all he did, to commit all judgment to him, and give him to have life in himself as he had: but Christ is a Father with respect to chosen men, who were given him as his children and offspring in covenant; who are adopted into that family that is named of him, and who are regenerated by his Spirit and grace: and to these he is an “everlasting Father” he was so from everlasting; for regeneration and faith do not make men children, but make them appear to be so; God’s elect are children previous to the Spirit’s work upon them, and even to the incarnation and death of Christ; adoption is an act of the will of God in covenant from eternity: and Christ is a Father to these unto everlasting; he will never die, and they shall never be left fatherless; he and they will ever continue in this relation; he as such supplies them with everlasting provisions, he clothes them with everlasting raiment, he gives them an everlasting portion, promotes them to everlasting honour, saves them with an everlasting salvation, bearing an everlasting love to them. Some render the words, “the Father of eternity”; the author of eternal life, who has procured it for his people, and gives it to them; or to whom eternity belongs, who inhabits it, and is possessed of it, is the everlasting I AM, was before all persons and things, was set up in an office capacity from everlasting, and had a glory with the Father before the world was, in whom eternal election, and with whom the everlasting covenant, were made. The Septuagint version is, “the Father of the world to come”; of the Gospel dispensation; so called, (Hebrews 2:5) the legal dispensation, when in being, was the then present world, at the end of which Christ came; this is now at an end, and a new state of things has taken place, which with respect to the Old Testament saints was the world to come, and of this Christ is the Father or author; as the law came by Moses, and he was the father of the legal dispensation, grace and truth are come by Christ, the Father and author of the Gospel dispensation; the doctrines of it are from him, and the ordinances of it by him; and he is the father of that state or world to come after the resurrection, the New Jerusalem church state, and also of the ultimate glory.[5]

 

I burdened you with the comments of those scholars separated by centuries to show you that the Lord Jesus Christ is referred to by Isaiah as “The everlasting Father” in a very restricted sense with respect to believers. Nevertheless, being the eternal Son of God the Father with respect to the Trinity, there is a sense in which the Second Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, is “The everlasting Father,” and worthy of being honored as such.

Do you so honor Him? Do you bow before Him and confess Him as Lord? Do you honor Him with the firstfruits of your increase? Do you honor Him with your worship, adoration, and praise?

Please pardon me for taking so long to deal with that point, but I wanted to make sure of two things: First, that Jesus be honored as a father, but also that there be no confusion about His identity in the Trinity as the eternal Son of God.

 

Next, THE BIBLE DECLARES THAT JESUS IS THE TEACHER

 

Once again reminding you of the words of Nicodemus, in John 3.2: “The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” The word teacher translates the very common Greek word for teacher, didaskalos. That same word is far more frequently translated in the Bible into the English word master:

 

·         In Matthew 8.19, we are told of a scribe approaching the Lord Jesus Christ and addressing Him as master, our Greek word didaskalos.

·         In Matthew 9.11, we are told of Pharisees making reference to the Lord Jesus Christ when speaking to His disciples as master, this same Greek word didaskalos.

·         In Matthew 12.38, both scribes and Pharisees together acknowledge the Lord Jesus to be a teacher, addressing Him as master, once again using our Greek word didaskalos.

·         In Matthew 17.28, men who received tribute money, who would be publicans, tax collectors, referred to Him as master, using our Greek word didaskalos.

·         In Matthew 22.16, we see that even Herodians are included among those who acknowledged the Lord Jesus Christ to be master, using our Greek word didaskalos.

·         In Matthew 22.24, we find Sadducees addressing our Lord as master, using our Greek word didaskalos.

·         In Matthew 22.36, we find a lawyer addressing the Savior as master, using our Greek word didaskalos.

·         Of course, He instructed His disciples to refer to Him as master, Matthew 26.18, with even His betrayer, Judas Iscariot, referring to him as master, Matthew 26.49, even as he betrayed Him in the Garden of Gethsemane with a kiss. Yes, our Greek word didaskalos is used in each case.

·         The multitudes addressed Him as master.[6] The rich addressed Him as master.[7] He even admitted Himself that He was master, in each case making use of our Greek word didaskalos.[8]

 

My friends, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who did not admit that the Lord Jesus Christ is the master, meaning that He is the teacher, including Himself. Therefore, with Nicodemus speaking for them all when he said, “we know that thou art a teacher come from God,” on what basis, and by what line of reasoning, does one deny Jesus Christ the honor due Him as the Teacher come from God?

 

Finally, THE BIBLE DECLARES THAT JESUS IS THE KING

 

Keep in mind that although the Lord Jesus Christ is identified as the Prince of Peace by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 9.6, the very next verse says this about Him: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Since He will sit on the throne of His father David, what must the Lord Jesus Christ be? He must be the King of the Jews to fulfill this prediction.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, we are told that wise men came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”[9] Matthew’s gospel provides for the reader a legal genealogy showing the Lord Jesus Christ being heir to David’s royal throne through His adopted father, Joseph.[10] Luke’s gospel provides for the reader a bloodline genealogy showing the Lord Jesus Christ to be heir to David’s royal throne through His mother, Mary.[11]

Add to this the belief of the multitudes that Jesus was the King of the Jews. When He rode into Jerusalem, this is what Luke reveals to us, in Luke 19.37-38:

 

37     And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

38     Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

 

Less than a week later, when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and eventually brought before the Roman governor, Pilate asked Him, “Art thou the King of the Jews?”[12] Our Lord Jesus Christ did not deny, but replied, “Thou sayest.” Then to the crowd that cried out for His crucifixion, Pilate said, “Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?”[13] Moments later, he asked once again, “What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?”[14]

Topping it all off, when Pilate finally condemned the Lord Jesus Christ to death by crucifixion, he directed that the superscription, the charges that were typically nailed to crosses above the heads of the condemned, read in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, “THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.”[15]

Predicted to be the King of the Jews by Isaiah. Recognized as the King of the Jews by the wise men from the east, by the multitudes of His followers, and even by Pontius Pilate, let us praise Him as more than the King of Jews. At the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power and in great glory, He will have written on His vesture and on His thigh the words, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”[16]

 

I am told that there are still parts of this wicked world where the concept of honor is held in high esteem, where men and women take great pains to conduct themselves with honor, and do whatever they can to distance themselves from both dishonorable people and dishonorable behavior.

I applaud such people. I rejoice in such cultures. I am persuaded that there remain aspects of different cultures which retain the light of God’s truth about such things, and where honor is rightly esteemed there remains a glimmer of the light of God’s truth. Perhaps a sinner who has grown up with a sense of honor will see from this message from God’s Word that the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of honor. He is worthy of honor as “The everlasting Father.” He is worthy of honor as the Teacher sent from God. Finally, He is worthy of honor as not only the King of the Jews, but also as the King of kings and as the Lord of lords.

Do you honor the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you honor the Lord Jesus Christ? One honors Him by bowing before Him, by confessing that He is Lord, by serving Him as King. To do otherwise is dishonorable. One honors Him with his firstfruits, his tithes and offerings. To do otherwise is dishonorable.

I close with Paul’s charge to Timothy, in First Timothy 1.13-16:

 

13     I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

14     That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15     Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

16     Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.



[1] John 3.2, 10

[2] John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries 22 - Volume Set, Vol VII (Grand Rapids, MI: reprinted by Baker Book House, 1979), page 311.

[3] C.F. Keil & F. Delitzsch, COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT, Vol 7, (Peabody, MA: reprinted by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1996), page 164.

[4] Matthew Poole, A Commentary On The Whole Bible, Volume 7, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers reprint), page 161.

[5] John Gill, The Baptist Commentary Series Volume I, John Gill’s Exposition Of The Old And New Testaments, Vol 5 (Paris, Arkansas: the Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., reprinted 2006), page 56.

[6] Mark 9.17

[7] Mark 10.17

[8] John 13.13

[9] Matthew 2.2

[10] Matthew 1.1-17

[11] Luke 3.23-38

[12] Matthew 27.11

[13] Mark 15.9

[14] Mark 15.12

[15] Matthew 27.37, Mark 15.26, Luke 23.38, John 19.19

[16] Revelation 19.16



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org