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Posts Tagged ‘Mary’

Ever seen two bighorn sheep “go at it”? Our pastor used to live in the Rocky Mountains area, and he has seen them. He told me it is truly something to see these 600-lb rams go full-tilt at each other, and then you hear that “CRACK” as they collide. It’s the power in that sound that gets your attention. I’d only seen it on TV programs such as National Geographic specials or Marty Stouffer’s Wild America.

When I first saw this name for Jesus, I was curious. True, Jesus is not recorded in the New Testament as calling Himself by that name, but others did. Once God loosened his mute voice upon the naming of his son John, Zacharias the priest (the father of John the Baptist) praised God, saying “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David,” (Luke 1:68-69) I had thought “horn” in this case meant something like a musical instrument, but I was mistaken.

Below are some commentaries I have copied on this verse; I found them at http://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/1-69.htm

You’ll also find the most common cross-reference from Psalms 132:17: “There I will make the horn of David grow; I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.”

“Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
(69) Hath raised up an horn of salvation.—The symbolism of the horn comes from Psalm 132:17, where it is used of the representative of the House of David, and answers to the “Anointed” of the other clause of the verse. It originated obviously in the impression made by the horns of the bull or stag, as the symbols of strength. Here, following in the steps of the Psalmist, Zacharias uses it as a description of the coming Christ, who is to be raised up in the House of David.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
And hath raised up a horn – A horn is a symbol of strength. The figure is taken from the fact that in horned animals the strength lies in the “horn.” Particularly, the great power of the rhinoceros or unicorn is manifested by the use of a single horn of great “strength,” placed on the head near the end of the nose. When the sacred writers, therefore, speak of great strength they often use the word “horn,” Psalm 148:14; Deuteronomy 33:17; Daniel 7:7-8; Daniel 7:21. The word salvation, connected here with the word “horn,” means that this “strength,” or this mighty Redeemer, was able to save. It is possible that this whole figure may be taken from the Jewish “altar.” On each of the four corners of the altar there was an eminence or small projection called a “horn.” To this persons might flee for safety when in danger, and be safe, 1 Kings 1:50; 1 Kings 2:28. Compare the notes at Luke 1:11. So the Redeemer “may be” called the “horn of salvation,” because those who flee to him are safe. In the house – In the family, or among the descendants of David.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
69. horn of salvation—that is “strength of salvation,” or “mighty Salvation,” meaning the Saviour Himself, whom Simeon calls “Thy Salvation” (Lu 2:30). The metaphor is taken from those animals whose strength is in their horns (Ps 18:2; 75:10; 132:17). house of … David—This shows that Mary must have been known to be of the royal line, independent of Joseph; of whom Zacharias, if he knew anything, could not know that after this he would recognize Mary.

Expositor’s Greek Testament
Luke 1:69…because kings were anointed with a horn of oil…because in their horn all horned animals have their power”

Many times, Christians and non-Christians alike point to the meekness and gentleness of our Savior. But do not be misled. Jesus is the mighty Horn of Salvation; only through Him can we be saved from sin. And as you’ll recall, He could be roused to righteous anger, too (just ask those moneychangers in the Temple!) Like the contemporary song states, “Our God is Mighty to Save”.

Something to think about.

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Mark 6:3 [“]Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” so they were offended at Him.”

My oldest son is about to embark on his first post-graduate job in his chosen field. Up to now, he had a job at a concrete fabrication plant. It was hard work, but it demonstrated his work ethic and provided a decent paycheck. He knew God had a carpenter’s job for him, though…it was what he wanted to do. He has good gifts for it, and graduated from our local technical school with a degree in it. Now he’ll get to fulfill his love of carpentry. I always told him that, among other benefits, carpentry is one occupation that can’t be “offshored” to a foreign country. Whenever I take that 2 week break to travel with our Carpenters for Christ, even though I’m primarily a videographer, I do pitch in and help where I can. It’s such a sense of fulfillment to see a building rise from an empty foundation, and by the time we leave, a structure for a church body is sitting on that site. You get a great sense of accomplishment.

Jesus is a builder. Of course, in the verse today, the scoffers were referencing the fact that Jesus was a carpenter, having learned the trade from his human father, Joseph, also a carpenter. That is why they couldn’t understand the wisdom and teachings he was preaching. “But, he’s just a carpenter”, they said. No, Jesus is THE Carpenter. He is the Master Builder who can take destroyed lives and fix them. He is in the business of building up, not tearing down.

Have you put your life in the hands of the Carpenter today?

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verses 6-7: “And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was not room for them in the inn.”

A couple of weeks ago, God used me in a most unexpected way: I got to witness to an atheist. He was a young college-age man working in a restaurant we just ate at. While waiting at the register station for my waitress to come back (I had to ask her a question), the young man and I started chatting about wishing folks a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukah, etc. He casually mentioned he wasn’t sure what to wish people since he was an atheist! (Talk about your invitations to witness!) I asked him would he like to know more about Jesus Christ; he said yes, but had to ring up a tab…he’d be right back. Long story short, I told him the Gospel; he was open…he was a seeker, he wasn’t hostile. Once I told him about Jesus, his eyes got so wide-eyed. He paused and said earnestly, “I wish everyone would make it that simple.” Oh, I wanted to yell, “IT IS THAT SIMPLE!”. I’ve been praying for him. God used me to plant a seed; I pray that another Christian can help water that seed and that he’ll come to know Jesus. I left that meal setting so charged up that God would use me in such a mighty way.

Imagine how Mary and Joseph felt. Both were used by God in a mighty way. I did some research on both these people from a set of books on loan from my pastor (thanks!) called “All the Men of the Bible” and “All the Women of the Bible”, both by Herbert Lockyer.

Mary:

    Greeted by the angel Gabriel: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
    Her willingness to be used by God: “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.”
    Her rejoicing, as recorded in Luke 1: 46-55, more recognizably referred to as the Magnifcat.
    Her purity, her faithfulness, and her humility.

Joseph:

    Righteous and considerate; he didn’t want to publicly disgrace Mary once he found she was pregnant.
    His willingness to be used by God: “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 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.”
    Rejoicing: seeing the face of Jesus, Joseph realized that He was the fulfillment of the prophecies about the Messiah!
    Faithful: he raised Jesus up just as if he was his own son, faithfully being an earthly father figure.

Jesus:

We recently performed a Christmas cantata called “Only Love” by Randy Vader and Jay Rouse. In it was a song, called “What Kind of King”. One of the lyrics, (courtesy of http://www.praisegathering.com/media/pdf/A08446b_lyrics.pdf, © 2009 PraiseGathering Music. Admin. by Gaither Copyright Management. All rights reserved.), says it best:

What kind of King would give up His throne,
Come for His people lost and alone?
What kind of King would give everything,
Save all His own and life to them bring?
Only a King who lays down His crown.
Only a King whose love knows no bounds.
Only a King who’s willing to wear pauper’s clothes,
For He knows He’s not only a king.

Merry Christmas to all of you! We will pick up with Proverbs again in January 2011.

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