Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Fully Human, Fully God

Leslie Basham: Here’s an important Christmas message from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. You and I need a Savior.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: If I go and offer to help save you today, but you’re not drowning, or you’re not in a burning house, or you don’t have something you need to be saved from, you say, “Well, that’s nice of you to offer, but I don’t think I need any salvation today.” Jesus came to offer salvation to those of us who need a Savior—that’s all of us.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of The Quiet Place, for Monday, December 11, 2017.

Who came to visit Jesus when he was first born? Most people would say shepherds and wise men. This week we’ll look at an overlooked character in the Christmas story. He encountered the baby Jesus before the wise men showed up. Can you guess who it is?

Before we get to the teaching, Nancy’s going to tell you about a “Myrical.” 

Nancy: When this dear sister was born, there were a lot of medical issues. The doctors said the only way for her to survive was for there to be a miracle.  

But this little girl's parents prayed, and when they realized she had been given the gift of life, they named her “Myrical.” 

Fast forward years later. Not long ago, Myrical was working in a school at a job she enjoyed, when everything was turned upside-down.

Myrical: I had my life completely planned out. I knew exactly what I was going to do. God began to change that. Because I'm quite hard-headed, He had to take everything away.

We had the hurricane that year, Hurricane Ivan. Also, because my of breathing, I could no longer stay there. Just before I was to leave to go back home, I had another mini-stroke or some kind of neurological event. It basically put me in bed for many months. I had to go back and live with my parents again.

So God said, "Now, do I have your attention? I want you to do what I want you to do and not follow your own path."

Nancy: Living in a new town, feeling bitter over life's circumstances, Myrical was challenged by what she encountered through the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

Myrical: God began to change my heart and speak to my heart and show me my own sin of pride and bitterness. The first pamphlet He used was the Biblical Womanhood pamphlet. I saw how awful I really had become. God began to draw me back to him.

As I went through that, I went from working in a Christian ministry to working in a public school district, which was quite a change. God began to open my eyes to the fact that there was a mission field all around me.

As I listened to Revive Our Hearts, I was introduced to Lies Young Women Believe. I was just changed by that. I took it to my pastor, who is also my brother, and said, "The young ladies in our church need to hear this. You need to get someone to teach this."

And he said, "Okay, I'll find a room for you."

That was the start of our women's ministry. We are currently going through True Woman 101, and we are seeing God transform lives through it.

Nancy: I love stories like that. It shows how the Lord can take our weakness and our brokenness and infuse us with His strength, and then use us to share our lives with others.

It's such a joy here at Revive Our Hearts to participate in those connections by providing resources and small group studies. But Revive our Hearts can’t fulfill that mission without listeners like you who support this ministry financially. Myrical's life was impacted and she was encouraged because listeners supported our various ministry outreaches, including: small group studies, daily radio, online outreaches, and publishing.  

In the publishing area, I’m excited because a revised edition of that book that so affected Myrical is coming out next year. In February, a new updated version of Lies Young Women Believe will be released. In order to share the message of that book with young women and to keep all the other ministry outreaches going, we are asking the Lord to meet some significant financial needs here in December.

As I've been sharing for the past week or so, typically, over 40 percent of the donations we need for the year arrive in December. Because this is such a critical time, some friends of the ministry have offered a matching challenge. That means that they will double each gift here in December, up to a matching challenge amount of $800,000.

Here’s what that means for you. Your gift will be doubled in December as part of this matching challenge. If you donate $50, these friends will match your $50. If you give $100, they’ll match your $100. We're asking the Lord to meet this entire $800,000 match, and even beyond, over these next couple of weeks?

So if God has used this ministry to be an encouragement and a blessing in your life, would you prayerfully consider giving a special, generous gift at this time to help make that possible? To make your donation call 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now let’s get into this series on an unsung Christmas character. Nancy’s going to set the scene in Luke 2, beginning the series, "My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation."

Nancy: It’s definitely the Christmas season. The signs are everywhere. I have Christmas music playing in my home and Christmas lights up. If you’re like most people I know, this is a really busy time of year.

I think it’s important—it is something we want to do on Revive Our Hearts over these next days—to take time during this season to ponder; to step away from the busyness and to meditate on what this is all about; to savor the reality of Christmas—the reason for the season, and to meditate on the events of that first Christmas.

Over the next few weeks, we want to do that here on Revive Our Hearts. We want to look at several events that took place shortly after Jesus was born. We are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Christ. But the passage we’re going to be looking at contains some events that took place just after the birth of Christ.

I want us to take some time to just savor, to soak in this passage in Luke chapter 2. We’re going to learn some important things about Jesus—who He is and why He came. We’re going to get some fresh glimpses of the gospel—what it means, what it’s all about, and how we can receive Christ today as our Savior and Lord.

Throughout the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke, there are scenes that you remember. You see them in the crèches. You see them symbolized. We hear about them at Christmas. Remember how the angel appeared to Mary and said, “You’re going to have a child.”

Then we have the birth of Christ in Bethlehem and the angels who appear to the shepherds who are out in the fields. Remember then how the shepherds go to Bethlehem and see and worship the newborn Savior.

Then in Luke chapter 2, we come to verse 21. We have two scenes we’ll be looking at over the next few weeks. The first scene is in verse 21. That’s what we’re going to look at today. This scene takes place eight days after Jesus was born. The second scene starts in verse 22 and goes through verse 38. That scene takes place when Jesus is about six weeks old.

In the course of these two scenes, we’re going to be introduced to two godly servants of the Lord. One was a man; the other was a woman. These were two people who were on the scene to greet Jesus shortly after His birth and to welcome him here to earth, and we’re going to learn a lot from the lives of those two individuals.

Let me read the first scene beginning in verse 21 of Luke chapter 2. “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

That’s all we’re going to look at today and in the next session. I just want to take that one verse, Luke 2:21, and unpack it for us. As I’m preparing to record Revive Our Hearts, I like to take the passage I am preparing to teach and meditate on it. I mull over it. I try to memorize it in many cases.

I remember one morning as I was meditating on this verse that we skip over pretty quickly in the Christmas story. I was just thinking about it over and over again, "When he was circumcised at the end of eight days, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

As I began to dwell on that verse, I realized there are several things this verse tells us about Jesus, and that’s what we’re going to look at today and in the next session.

  • It tells us about the humanity of Christ—the fact that He was fully human.
  • It tells us about the deity of Christ—the fact that He was fully God.
  • It tells us about the identity of Christ—who He was and why He was born.
  • It tells us about the humility of Christ. 

The humanity, the deity, the identity and the humility of Christ—the fact that God humbled Himself when Christ came to earth.

How do we get all of those things out of that verse? Let’s look first, at the humanity of Christ—the fact that He was fully human. According to this verse,

  • Jesus was conceived in the physical womb of a very physical young woman.
  • He was born as a baby in time and space.
  • He was circumcised at eight days.

This verse tells us things about Jesus that indicate that He was fully human.

  • He suffered physically.
  • He was physically crucified.
  • He died.
  • His body was physically buried.
  • His body was physically raised from the dead.

The Son of God became fully human. 

Now the humanity of Jesus is something that’s crucial to the gospel. We read in Hebrews 2 that “since the children share in flesh and blood,” since we have flesh and blood bodies, physical bodies, Jesus "Himself likewise partook of the same things" (v. 14). He took on physical flesh and blood.

“He had to be made like His brothers,” Hebrews 2 tells us, “in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (v. 17).

We won’t go into all the meaning of that verse. There is a lot in there. But the Scripture is saying that in order for Jesus to become a sacrifice for our sins, in order for our sins to be forgiven, Jesus had to take on a physical body. He had to be made like one of us so that He could be a merciful and faithful high priest to plead our case before God. We see in this verse that Jesus was fully human. We see the humanity of Christ.

But right alongside the humanity of Christ, we see the deity of Christ—the fact that He was fully human, He was fully God. The deity of Christ. It’s seen in some of the details surrounding His birth. We see two evidences of Jesus’ deity in verse 21 of Luke 2.

It says, “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus.” So far nothing unusual about that—that could have been said about any other newborn, so far nothing real unusual.

But then it goes on to say in this verse, that it was “the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” All of a sudden, you realize this is no ordinary baby. There’s something different about this child.

How do we see the deity of Christ in this verse? The fact that he was conceived in the womb is not so unusual. Isn’t every baby? Every baby is conceived in a womb. But this conception was different. He was conceived in the womb of a virgin. Now that’s supernatural. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. That’s supernatural. His birth was supernatural.

In the previous chapter, Luke 1, you remember how the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, who was a virgin. The angel said, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High” (vv. 31–32).

“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be [Why?], since I am a virgin?’” (v. 34). “I can’t have a child. I’ve never been intimate with a man. How can this be? It’s impossible!” is what she’s saying.

“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.’” (v. 35).

When we read that this baby was conceived in a womb, this wasn’t just any ordinary conception. This baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin—that could only happen to the Son of God. This is no ordinary human birth. The fact that he was conceived in the womb of a virgin points to His deity—the fact that He is God.

Then we read the fact that He was called Jesus. Luke 2:21 tells us, “The name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” Now parents often name their children or choose names for their children before their children are born. But they don’t generally pick a name for their child before the child is conceived. Usually they wait until the child is conceived and they find out if it a boy or girl.

But Jesus was named before he was even conceived. He’s God. This is no ordinary human that we’re talking about. The name for Jesus was not chosen by His mother. It wasn’t chosen by Joseph, his adopted father. Normally, it is the parents who would pick the name for the child. But Jesus’ name was chosen by whom? It was chosen by God and announced by the angel to Mary His mother.

In fact, Jesus was named centuries before He was born. Remember Isaiah 9:6, a verse we hear a lot during this season of the year? “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, His Father named Him. His Father was God. Jesus was God. “He will be called the Everlasting Father, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace.” We’re told, hundreds of years before He was born, who this child was—that He was God. He was one with the Father, which leads us to the identity of Christ.

We see this here in Luke chapter 2. We’ve seen His humanity. He was fully human. We’ve seen His deity. He was fully God. This was a supernatural birth. Then we see His identity.

Who was this baby born in Bethlehem 2,000-some years ago? Luke 2 tells us that he was called Jesus, the name that was given to him—revealed by the angel before he was conceived. He was called Jesus.

In Luke chapter 1, just the previous chapter, remember how the angel Gabriel came to Mary and said, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus” (v. 31). That’s what this passage is referring back to—that moment when the angel had told Mary, “Here is what you will name this child.”

The angel had also told Joseph—we don’t read that in Luke’s account, but we read it in Matthew’s account, chapter 1. The angel said to Joseph, “[Mary] will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins” (v. 21). 

The angel had told Mary, the mother, that the child was to be named Jesus and the angel had also told Joseph, the earthly adopted father, that the baby’s name was to be Jesus.

Now Jesus is the Greek form of a common Hebrew name. Do you know what that name is? Joshua, the name Joshua. Joshua was a popular boy’s name in those days. It still is today.

It was very popular in those days because all those Jewish moms and dads having children in those days remembered Joshua in the Old Testament. He was a military hero. He was a brave, courageous man. He was a deliverer, and people wanted to name their boys, “Joshua.” That was a popular name.

It’s a name that means, both in the Hebrew form, Joshua, and in the Greek form, Jesus, it means, “Jehovah is salvation.” So while there were many Joshuas and little boys even named Jesus in Jesus’ day, the Old Testament Joshua pointed to one particular boy who would be born and named Jesus—the one who would be conceived in the womb of a virgin, the Son of God who would be named Jesus.

That Old Testament Joshua pointed us to Jesus, the Savior, the One who would come and deliver His people from their sins. That name, Jesus, tells us who this baby was and why He came to earth and what He came to do. He came to deliver us, to save us. Jehovah is salvation.

What did He come to save us from? The fact that we have a Savior is not precious to us unless we know we need to be saved from something. If I go and offer to help save you today, but you’re not drowning, or you’re not in a burning house, or you don’t have something you need to be saved from, you say, “Well, that’s nice of you to offer, but I don’t think I need any salvation today.”

Jesus came to offer salvation to those of us who need a Savior—that’s all of us. We needed to be saved from our sin. We needed to be saved from the wrath of God. We needed to be saved from the judgment of God. Jesus was God's Savior, God’s lifeline, God’s life preserver, the Deliverer, the Savior, the One who came to save us from our sins.

That name of Jesus is a precious name, and I think those of us who have been around the things of God for a long time can tend to take it for granted. It just slips so easily off our lips. It’s something that I’ve always been exposed to. Since I was in the womb, my parents were talking about Jesus. 

But as I was studying this passage, I found that God was reminding me afresh how precious that name is. Let me just mention four things about that name. First of all, the name Jesus is the source of salvation.

The book of Acts tells us that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (v. 12). The name of Jesus is the only source of salvation.

Muhammad cannot save you. Buddha cannot save you. Confucius cannot save you. Your pastor, your priest cannot save you. Your denomination cannot save you. Your church membership cannot save you. Your Christian parents cannot save you. Your Christian reputation, that fact that others think you are a Christian, cannot save you.

There is only one name that can save you. That is the name of Jesus. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

I talked this past week with a woman whose husband is in a horrible, sinful bondage right now. I’ve been meditating on this passage. I encouraged her, and I reminded her. I said, “Remember that Jesus came to save your husband from his sins.” The name of Jesus is the source of salvation.

He's a Christian. But right now he's stumbling; he's in bondage to a particular sin. Jesus came to deliver him. That's the gospel; that's the hope that we have in the name of Christ. Not only did Jesus come to save her husband from the sins that he is battling right now, but Jesus came to save her and me and you from our sins this day. The name of Jesus is the source of salvation.

Then the name of Jesus is supreme. It’s the name above all names. It’s the sovereign name. Philippians 2 tells us, “Therefore God has highly exalted [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (vv. 9–10).

The name of Jesus cannot be compared with any other name. It can’t be compared with any other person in history. His name is above every name—above all earthly kings and rulers. His name is above the wealthiest, the brightest, and the most famous. His name is above all religious leaders, all political leaders, and all human leaders. His name is supreme above every name.

Then His name is strong and secure. His name is strong and secure. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower,” Proverbs 18 tells us. “The righteous man runs into it and is safe” (v. 10).

I don’t know what fears you may be facing at this time of year, but I want to tell you that the name of the Lord is a strong tower. It is your place of safety. It is your place of security, and you can run to His name and be safe and secure.

Finally, the name of Jesus is sweet. It’s our source of salvation. His name is supreme and sovereign. His name is strong and secure. But His name is sweet. I love that verse in the Song of Solomon that says, “Your name is like perfume poured out” (1:3).

Remember those words of that great hymn by John Newton.

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds 
In a believer’s ear! 
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, 
And drives away his fear. 

Dear name, the Rock on which I build, 
My Shield and Hiding Place, 
My never failing treasury, filled 
With boundless stores of grace!
 
Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend, 
O Prophet, Priest and King, 
My Lord, my life, my Way, my End, 
Accept the praise I bring.1

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, who will be right back to pray. She’s been unpacking a couple of names you hear all the time—Jesus and Savior. That message is part of a series on Simeon called "My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation."

If you missed any of it, remember, you can always hear each program at ReviveOurHearts.com

Tomorrow, Nancy will continue the series and show how you can see marks of humility in Jesus, even as a baby. Find out more next time, on Revive Our Hearts. Now, Nancy’s back to pray.

Father, we do want to lift up praise to You this day, praise for the name of Jesus. We give You thanks. We worship You for the name that is above every name.

Father, I pray that some listening today will believe and be saved as they run to the name of Jesus and place their trust in Him and Him alone. Lord, I pray for many listening who are in a place of hardship, a place of trials, and of struggling. May they run to the name of Jesus and find safety and security.

Lord, may all of us during this season worship and praise You for that sweet name, the name of Jesus. We pray in that name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is spreading the truth that sets women free. It's an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

1John Newton. How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds. Newton and Reinagle.

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