Updated: Jan 31
Zion (or Sion) means “highest point.” This word is often seen as a reference to the city named Jerusalem. Yet, the political movement called Zionism supports a State of Zion, where the reference is to what was once the land given by God to His people, the children of Israel. As such, the body surrounding the center has reached its highest point.
Some say Jerusalem is a combined form of “Yara-shalem,” which means “completeness, soundness, or wholeness [from shalem] is cast [ from yara].” Still, others believe Jerusalem means “Rain of Peace” or “Foundation of Peace.” When it is seen as “yahu-shalem” it means, “the wholeness of God.”
It is important to understand name meanings.
Otherwise, we read “Zion” and “Jerusalem” and we think of a place on the map. We think of a physical representation of symbolic energy.
In David’s psalm, he sings, “Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion.” Worship the LORD from center to edge, from body and soul.
In Isaiah’s song we hear him sing, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest.” Again, the two are interconnected, for one to thrive, the other must also.
The tendency is to think those two historic men of God were advising Israelites, from a place on earth, a land known as Israel, to praise God. We can lose sight of the duality of city and state; but in one way they were speaking as one whole. However, in essence they were saying, “To reach the highest point O people, do not keep silent. Praise your God to the highest. Worship the LORD for a wholeness with God, so that a foundation of peace will not rest.”
This past Wednesday we celebrated the symbolic birth of Jesus.
Today we read from Isaiah and see the garments of salvation being draped around us with that birth. We now have available to us a robe of righteousness.
It is now us who must become married to the spirit of Christ, as welcoming God’s gift to us from His presence … as us being His gift to the world … in the name of His Son, Jesus.
David told us what we become once Jesus is within us … as God sends forth his word and melts the coldness that had kept us the slaves of the Law.
Paul said the Law only kept us in a pen, because without that rule over us, we would become lost, scatter without a shepherd.
Being lost means we lose faith. The Law of Moses trains us to wait patiently in that pen until Jesus comes so we might be justified by faith. Once justified, we rule ourselves … when Jesus is within our hearts, we no longer need a disciplinarian to oversee us. We no longer notice the pen that keeps us.
John said Jesus brings light to the darkness. The darkness is what keeps us separate from God. Jesus shines the way to God.
John said, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us,” so we see Jesus as the Word.
John also wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
To understand how Jesus is the Word becoming flesh, we need to understand the word “Word.”
The Greek word written by John the Beloved was “Logos.” That Greek word means, “word,” but it also means, “Reason or discourse,” rooted from legein, meaning “to speak.”
Strong’s Concordance lists “logos” as meaning, “from legw – lego 3004; something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):–account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.”
Strong’s aligns “logos” with meaning that is synonymous with “cause, motivation, and intent.”
Thus, the “Word” is from the Mind of God, as God’s Plan for the world. This means John wrote, “In the beginning was the Plan [for Jesus], and the Intent [of Jesus] was with God, and the Motivation [of Jesus] was God.”
When Jesus was born, “the Reasoning [of Jesus] became flesh and lived among us.”
To understand this Idea, look at how John the Beloved wrote about the beginning, when Jesus was with God. John wrote, “All things came into being through him,” where “him” is God.
That is the beginning of Creation … well before John the Beloved came into the picture. Therefore, John is speaking from the position of wisdom, brought upon him through the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps it is confusing when we read John write, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” Later, shown in parentheses, we read, “John testified to him and cried out, “This was he whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”
Who the heck was John?
Was John the author of the Gospel of John? No. Was John a reference to the Baptist? No, because that really makes no sense, because Jesus was not “before” John the Baptist, if he was “after” him AND “before” is not the same as “ahead of.”
The naming of John is like the mention of Zion and Jerusalem, by Isaiah and David. It is a name so familiar, we assume it referred ONLY to a person of Biblical past, just as we knew Zion and Jerusalem are ONLY historical places. But, when we read in a way that limits and restricts like that, we miss so much information. We miss a wealth of insight.
John is the English version of the Greek name Ioannes, and that was derived from the Hebrew name Johanan (properly Yochanan). The Hebrew meaning of that name is “Yahweh is gracious.”
The name Jesus (or Iesous [Greek], a form of the Aramaic name Yeshu’a) is a contracted form of Joshua, which means, “Yahweh is salvation.” Thus, the flesh of God was Jesus, and Jesus is God’s graciousness to the world, so Jesus is john, in the lower case, becoming a descriptive term of him.
However, look at the Greek capitalization of John and someone who speaks about Jesus as, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” Then think about the Son of God, who was the Plan, Motivation, Idea and Intent of Jesus, and one finds Adam.
The name Adam is the Hebrew word for “man.” As the first “Man” who was the Son of God, Adam was a John … a statement of God’s graciousness to the world.
Rather than be the first “man,” Adam was the first “Son of God,” the first “Son as Man,” who was part of God’s master plan to bring light to a world that only knew darkness. Only Adam was not that light.
Adam was created by God to testify to the light. Adam was placed on earth “to express or declare a strong belief, especially to make a declaration of faith; to support, bear witness, to serve as evidence” [definitions of “testify”] to the light. That means Adam was the originator of the lineage that would produce Jesus.
Thus, when one reads verse 15 – the parenthesized statement on your handout – it means, “Adam, God’s first example of graciousness on the earthly plane, the first Son of Man, was a declaration of faith for a lineage to follow, leading to Jesus, as God’s salvation to a world of darkness. Adam, as John, then cried out, “Jesus is he of whom I said, “Jesus comes after me by thousands of years, yet he ranks ahead of me as the Intent, the Motivation, the Idea, and the Cause that brought about my presence, because Jesus was before me in the Wisdom of God’s Mind, who Planned a light for a darkened world surrounding mankind.”
From God’s fullness, as a child born in the flesh named Jesus, we have all received grace upon grace. We had a line of priests establish the grace of worship to the One God, through Adam and all the Patriarchs, all the faithful who remained true to the Word, the Plan, the Intent, and the Purpose of Christ.
The Law indeed was given through Moses, another in the lineage of Adam, as a disciplinarian that demands devotion, and who tests the will of the people. From that state of will, Jesus was sent to bring grace and truth.
Paul was repeating this in his letter to the Galatians, when he said, “We are no longer slaves to a disciplinarian, once we receive the gift of God, God’s Salvation to the world, the Purpose of Jesus Christ.”
Through the law we can be redeemed and be adopted as the children of God. This happens when we allow God to send the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, so we cry out, “Father!”
Last Wednesday was the beginning of a new year for God’s gift of Salvation to the world. Let it reignite or let it begin a new spirit within you.