The Messiah on Yahweh’s Throne –
The NT Witness to Jesus’ Divine Sovereignty over all Creation Pt. 2
He whose name is above all others
Not only does Yahweh alone reign from on high over all creation, his name is also the only one that is exalted above every other name that exists:
“I will bow down toward your holy temple, and give thanks to your Name for your loving kindness and for your truth; for you have exalted your Name and your Word above all.” Psalm 138:2
“let them praise Yahweh’s name, for his name ALONE is exalted. His glory is above the earth and the heavens.” Psalm 148:13
The NT, however, claims that Jesus possesses the name that is above every name:
“Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above EVERY name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
Here, the blessed Apostle depicts Jesus as receiving the same exact worship which Yahweh is supposed to receive:
“I have sworn by myself. The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and will not be revoked, that TO ME every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.” Isaiah 45:23
This confirms that Jesus is being confessed as Lord in the sense of his being Yahweh, e.g., the blessed Apostle is stating that every creature should and eventually will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Yahweh to the glory of his Father.
Jesus himself stated that the Father had bestowed on him his very own name:
“I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are one. While I was with them, I was protecting them by Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled.” John 17:11-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
This explains why Christ is said to be the eternal Word who was/is God as to his essential nature, and the Agent of creation that became flesh at a specific point in time,
“In the beginning the Word existed; and the Word was face to face with God; yea, the Word was God Himself. He is the One who was face to face with God in the beginning. It was through Him that everything came into existence, and apart from Him not a single thing came into existence. It was by Him that life began to exist, and that life was the light of mankind… The real light, which sheds light upon everyone, was just coming into the world. He came into the world, and though the world through Him began to exist, it did not recognize Him. He came into His own world, but His own people did not welcome Him… So the Word became human and lived a little while among us, and we actually saw His glory, the glory of One who is an only Son from His Father, and He was full of spiritual blessing and truth. John testified to Him and cried out, for this was the one who said, ‘The One who is coming after me has been put before me, because He existed before me.’” John 1:1-4, 9-11, 14-15 Williams New Testament
And why the risen Christ allowed the Apostle Thomas to worship his Lord and his God:
“And Thomas answered and said UNTO HIM, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:28-29
The Lord of glory who owns all
According to the OT, Yahweh is the King of glory who owns the earth and all that it contains:
“The earth is Yahweh’s, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein. For he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods… Lift up your heads, you gates! Be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in. Who is the King of glory? Yahweh strong and mighty, Yahweh mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? Yahweh of Armies is the King of glory! Selah.” Psalm 24:1-2, 7-10
Here is how the LXX translates the Hebrew:
“The earth is the Lord's (tou Kyriou) and the fullness thereof; the world, and all that dwell in it. He has founded it upon the seas, and prepared it upon the rivers… Lift up your gates, ye princes, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the king of glory (ho Basileus tes doxes) shall come in. Who is this king of glory (ho Basileus tes doxes)? the Lord (Kyrios) strong and mighty, the Lord (Kyrios) mighty in battle. Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the king of glory (ho Basileus tes doxes) shall come in. Who is this king of glory (ho Basileus tes doxes)? The Lord of hosts (Kyrios ton dunameon), he is this king of glory (ho Basileus tes doxes).” Psalm 23:1-2, 7-10
And yet Jesus claims to be the Son who owns everything that the Father possesses, and who knows the Father in the exact same way that the Father knows him:
“At that time, Jesus answered, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight. All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.’” Matthew 11:25-27
It is clear from the context that by all things Jesus meant that the Father had entrusted both heaven and earth and everything within them to his control, a fact brought out by the following passage:
“When they saw him, they bowed down to him, but some doubted. Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:17-20
Christ states that he possesses absolute universal sovereignty in the same context where he accepts worship from his disciples, claims to possess the same divine name that both the Father and the Holy Spirit possess, and where he even assures his followers that he will be personally present with every one of them till the end of this present age!
Matthew isn’t the only inspired evangelist to affirm that the entire creation belongs to Christ:
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.” John 3:35
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and was going to God,” John 13:3
“All things whatever the Father has are mine; therefore I said that he takes of mine, and will declare it to you.” John 16:15
“All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” John 17:10
Since the Father owns all of creation this means that all of creation equally belongs to the Son!
Christ is further identified as the Lord of glory,
“which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory (ton Kyrion tes doxes).” 1 Corinthians 2:8
The Lord who is said to be glory itself:
“My brothers, don’t hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory (tou Kyriou hemon, 'Iesou Christou, tes doxes) with partiality.” James 2:1
The Greek literally reads “the Lord of us, Jesus Christ, the Glory,” a reading that has baffled translators as to how to correctly render it into English. This can be seen from the way the following versions translate the expression:
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” English Standard Version (ESV)
“My brothers, as you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Glory, pay no servile regard to people.” James Moffatt New Testament (Moffatt)
“My brothers, stop trying to maintain your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious presence of God on earth, along with acts of partiality to certain ones.” Williams New Testament
In our estimation, Moffatt and Williams have captured James’ intended meaning, since by identifying Jesus as “the Glory” it seems certain that James was describing Christ as the visible presence of God, what is commonly referred to in Judaism as God’s Shekinah/Shekhinah, God’s manifest presence that permeates the entire creation.
Hence, Jesus is none other than Yahweh Incarnate, the very King of glory himself for whom all creation was made:
“who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For BY HIM all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created THROUGH HIM, and FOR HIM. He IS before all things, and IN HIM all things are held together. He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that IN ALL THINGS he might have THE PREEMINENCE.” Colossians 1:13-18
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word… And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’… He also says, ‘In the beginning, Lord [the Son], you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3a, 10-12 New International Version (NIV)
Astonishingly, the writer of Hebrews has taken the following Psalm, which describes Yahweh as the unchanging Creator and Sustainer of all creation,
“Hear my prayer, Yahweh! Let my cry come to you… But you, Yahweh, will remain forever; your renown endures to all generations… I said, ‘My God, don’t take me away in the middle of my days. Your years are throughout all generations. Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed. But you are the same. Your years will have no end.’” Psalm 102:1, 12, 24-27
And applied it to the Lord Jesus!
In light of the foregoing, could the Holy Bible be any clearer in describing Jesus Christ as Yahweh God Almighty in the flesh, the Father’s eternally beloved Son who sits enthroned with him as the King of all creation? The answer is quite obvious.
This concludes our discussion. Yet do make sure to read the addendum that goes along with this series of articles.
Unless noted otherwise, all biblical citations will be taken from the World English Bible (WEB).