Category Archives: Life of Christ

The Beginning and the Ending

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; 
you have put all things under his feet (Psalm 8:6 ESV)

Physical creation exists in space and time. Both space and time have boundaries, a beginning and an ending. Eternity is existence outside of space and time. Eternity has neither a beginning nor an ending. We cannot imagine eternity because of the limitations placed on us by the laws of creation. We know we have a beginning. Each person who lives began their life at a specific point in time, knowing that their physical life will also end at a specific yet unknown point in time.

Jesus, the Creator God, is omniscient and omnipotent, knowing the beginning and the ending of all things and controlling the direction, purpose and outcome of all things. This does not negate the responsibility of those created in His image to willfully obey His direction. Having foreknowledge does not necessarily mean predetermining the outcome. One of the most poignant examples in the Hebrew Scripture is the story of David saving the city of Keilah from the Philistines. Saul, who was pursuing David to kill him, advanced to besiege the city of Keilah. Through the priest Abiathar, David asks God if the people of the city would give him to Saul. “Then David said, ‘Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?’ And the LORD said, ‘They will surrender you’” (1 Samuel 23:12 ESV). David and his men left the city. God foreknew what would happen and told David. What God foreknew He did not predetermine. Omniscience and foreknowledge know what would happen as well as what does happen.

God knows from eternity and determines what will happen at the end of time. There is rebellion against God by the creatures God made for relationship with Him. These creatures, whether people or angels or other powers and authorities in the heavenly places, will ultimately recognize the eternal authority of God and His Son. Those who have rebelled against Him are cast away from His life-giving presence. According to Paul, they are destroyed.

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:24-26 ESV).

Paul uses the word destroy twice in these verses. Destroy means to make idle or ineffective, to cause to cease or put an end to, to terminate all discussion, and to sever or separate. All who rebel against God are ultimately severed from Him and will no longer cause sin to flourish. God will destroy every authority and power, stopping and silencing every rebel. The last enemy destroyed is death. None who are chosen by God and eternally live in His presence will spiritually die. He will complete His decree of separating the unrighteous from the righteous, according to the justice of His Son. 

God enthroned His Son as King of all creation, whether in the physical or spiritual realm. His Son’s authority is described as having all things under his feet. Not only is Jesus the King, but He is also the head of the Church, the Body of Christ. “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22 ESV). Peter tells us that His power and authority extend to all in heaven. “Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him” (1 Peter 3:22 ESV). Nothing that exists, either physically in the created universe, or spiritually in eternity will remain outside of His control. “Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control” (Hebrews 2:8 ESV).God owns everything He created and will not allow anything, especially those creatures given His image, to rebel against Him. God knows what would have happened and what will happen. 

Jesus Christ

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings 
and crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5 ESV)

From before creation God placed His Son over all things. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Yet, there is rebellion in creation. It is against Jesus, the Son of God, that peoples and nations rage. “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?” (Psalm 2:1 ESV). This is a baffling question. Why would those created by God rebel against Him? Yet, over the nations filled with people who rebel against God are kings and rulers who think of ways they can encourage those under their authority to continue their rebellion against God. “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’” (Psalm 2:2 ESV). In the end, no created being can dictate to God who and what He is or successfully rebel against Him.

God establishes His Son on the throne over all creation. “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” (Psalm 2:6 ESV). As the King, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, exercises total authority and control over that which God created. Though nations and people rebel against Him, He will stop their rebellion and punish those who have not repented.  “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:8-9 ESV). God warns both kings and rulers over their precarious position before Him, telling them to serve His Son in fear and reverence. 

Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. (Psalm 2:10-12 ESV)

God will crown His Son, Jesus Christ with glory and honor. God gives Jesus the greatest honor and splendor, the highest reputation and dignity, and before Him every knee will bow and every tongue will declare Him God (see Philippians 2:9-11). This is what glory means. Honor means splendor and majesty, to have an ornament placed upon, as an ornate crown befitting a king. Jesus is King and His crown will declare His high and exalted position of creation and eternity.

Hebrew syntax does not have past, present and future tense. Hebrew tenses are finished or being done. What is viewed as in the future is that which God has already completed in eternity, even though we do not see it completed in our present. The writer of Hebrews captures this when he quotes Psalm 8.

It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:6-9 ESV).

Jesus, in His infinite compassion for those He created in His image for relationship with Him, decided from eternity to redeem those who are His from their sin and rebellion. He is a true King willing to give all that is necessary to bring back those who have marched away from Him. Jesus gives Himself.

You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:18-21 ESV)

Jesus, as He walked through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem to die and be resurrected, ate with a tax collector and sinner, a hated man. Zacchaeus, humbled and convicted by the presence of Jesus in his home, and the compassion and benevolence of His forgiveness, declared his repentance and penance from a sincere and devoted heart.  Jesus then made a declaration of why He came. “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:9-10 ESV). Jesus came to find the lost and lead them back to the God who created them for Himself. We are His crown.

Heavenly Beings

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings 
and crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5 ESV)

Here is a mystery. Of the innumerable mysteries found in Scripture there are some that scream at us, capturing our attention while others lie hidden among God’s revelation about Himself. Here is a mystery. Who are the heavenly beingsmentioned in this verse? In the Hebrew the phrase is min ĕlôhı̂ym, or out of gods. ĕlôhı̂ym is the word used for God and for gods. The implication is that God is surrounded by gods. These gods are not the Only God but are servants of the only God. Translators have made this word, angels. The ESV uses the term heavenly beings. We are not told who they are but that they are.

God, speaking through David, states two specific truths about Jesus, the Son of God, in this verse. David asserts that Jesus was, in power and authority, set below these heavenly beings and then crowned with glory and honor, or raised above them. Jesus is God, the Son. How can He first be made lower than those beings He created and then raised above them?

Jesus, after opening the eyes of a blind man, declares that He is one with the Father (see John 10:30). The Jews who heard Him, believing that Jesus just blasphemed, making Himself equal with God, picked up stones to stone Him. They were ready to immediately kill Jesus because He saw Himself as an equal to God that, in their thinking, was impossible and unforgiveable.  

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came — and Scripture cannot be broken — do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (John 10:34-36 ESV; quoting from Psalm 82:6-7.)

Psalm 82 uses the word ĕlôhı̂ym a number of times to describe both God and the gods. In eternity God surrounds Himself by a council of godsheavenly beings, whom He has created as His servants just as He created Man to serve Him. God is not the greater of the gods, but the eternal God who has no beginning, who has created beings who have beginnings. 

Speaking of people created in His image for intimate relationship with Him, God declares that some of them are separated from Him, the source of life, because of their rebellion. “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince’” (Psalm 82:6-7 ESV; see John 10:34-36). Just because God created a being as His servant, for relationship with Him, does not mean that being cannot be separated from Him for eternity because of rebellion.

Jesus declares that people, those created in God’s image, are like God. God is ĕlôhı̂ym, God. The heavenly beings are ĕlôhı̂ym, gods. People are ĕlôhı̂ym, gods. The word ĕlôhı̂ym, when used of the heavenly beings and of people, is not a name but a title, a position, a description. The implication of Jesus’ words, in John 10 and Psalm 82 and many other places, is that those created in God’s image, carry the privilege and responsibility of service to their Creator. Acting in rebellion with selfish, self-centered intent, instead of in obedience to God according to their very nature and essence, will result in their separation from Him.

God does not want those He has created in His image to exist separated from Him for eternity. This is true for people. We do not know if this is true for any who are created in God’s image who do not physically exist on planet Earth or physically exist in the created universe.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:27-30 ESV).

God’s Care

What is man that you are mindful of him, 
and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4 ESV)

God is mindful of not only all people but also deeply cares for His Son. To care means to pay attention or observe, to seek and visit, to appoint and assign. Jesus does what the Father wants because of His love for His Father. 

Before Jesus was born God set the stage of the world for His Son. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 ESV). God did not randomly decide that Jesus should come at a particular time and place but diligently planned everything from before the fall of Adam. God knows exactly what He is doing.

Before Jesus was born, God decided who would be His forerunner, John the Baptizer, and His parents, Mary and Joseph. An angel visited Zechariah while he was offering a sacrifice (Luke 1:5-25) and Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and gave Joseph a dream (Matthew 1:18-25). Prophecy, written in the Hebrew Scripture,  tells that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the birthplace of David, the king of Israel. God directed the Roman government to bring Joseph and his pregnant with Jesus wife from Nazareth to Bethlehem. After Jesus’ birth, God warned Joseph to take his family to Egypt because of the murderous paranoia of Herod. Then God brought them back to Galilee, to Nazareth, where Jesus matured and then began His ministry.

John was Jesus’ cousin and The One sent to announce the coming of Messiah. “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’” (Mark 1:2-3 ESV; Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3-5).Jesus came to John and was baptized by him, though Jesus did not need cleansing though baptism. God uses baptism as evidence of identification. Jesus identified with sinful people through identification so that those sinful people could identify with Him through His resurrection. At Jesus’ baptism God declared Jesus, a man, His Son.

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17 ESV; see also Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:23).

God, the Father, spoke verbally to those who could hear, His love for and pleasure with Jesus.

Toward the end of His earthly ministry Jesus took three of His disciples up a mountain to pray. Often, He would go to a desolate place to pray alone. While on the mountain, Jesus was transfigured before them. Jesus may have been transfigured other times as well, but there were no witnesses at those times or in those places. This time there were three witnesses. God spoke to these three.

And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. (Luke 9:35-36 ESV; see also Mark 9:7 and Matthew 17:5)

Before Jesus’ passion, His crucifixion and resurrection, He was in Jerusalem speaking to the crowds about what was going to happen. He was troubled.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 

Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. (John 12:27-30 ESV)

God spoke to Jesus, demonstrating His love and pleasure in His Son, showing that He cares about Him and what Jesus will endure to redeem those who are His. 

Son of Man

What is man that you are mindful of him, 
and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4 ESV)

Who is the son of man? The Hebrew phrase is ben adam. Jesus used this phrase for Himself over 80 times in the Gospels. He shows how small and insignificant is man, and Himself in the form of a man, when some asked about following Him.

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

And Jesus said to him, ”Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:18-20 ESV; see also Luke 9:58)

There are two places in the Psalms where this phrase is used, Psalm 8:4 and Psalm 80:17. Ezekiel uses the phrase “Son of Man” almost 90 times to refer to himself and his prophetic office. Daniel uses the phrase twice, referring to future accomplished events that precede the end of time. Jesus, being the author of Scripture, uses the phrase to establish His place before God and the people He created in His image, as their authority.

Jesus, on numerous occasions, foretold the truth of His coming death and resurrection at the hands of men. God is mindful, which means to recall, remember and think upon and to record, of all humanity in rebellion against Him. The juxtaposition and comparison of those who rebel against God with the one blessed Man of Psalm 1:1, is stark. Only one Man has ever and will ever do righteousness inherent to His image.  All others are in rebellion against He who created them for Himself. Jesus came to redeem and recreate those who are His, fitting them for eternity. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 ESV). He accomplished this by offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus told His disciples plainly what was to happen and why He would suffer. 

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. (Matthew 17:22-23 ESV; see also Luke 9:22, Mark 9:31 and 10:33)

God sent the Son of Man, His Son, to reign over His creation.  Those created in the image of God, created for relationship yet rebelling against God, will ultimately acknowledge His authority and the truth of who Jesus is because of the evidence of His life. That evidence is His rule and reign. “I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession’” (Psalm 2:7-8 ESV). Those who rebel against God will intimately and intellectually know Jesus is God’s Son once they have “lifted up the Son of Man” (John 8:28 ESV). Jesus redeemed those who are His by taking upon Himself the sin of the world when He shed His blood. He covered them with His blood giving His righteousness. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV).

Though all people deserve death and eternal separation from God because of sin and rebellion, God chose, because of His love, to remember people. He desires relationship with all people and has made a way for all to intimately know Him. Not all people take advantage of God’s grace and are separated from Him. God offered His grace to all in the most intimate way by sending His Son, who set aside all of the privilege and authority of the Godhead, for a moment in time, in the likeness of sinful man. Jesus was not sinful but took upon Himself the guise of the flesh while retaining that which makes God, God (see Philippians 2:6-8). Jesus is fully God and fully man, the way God intended man, which is as a servant not a rebel. He is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.

The Star of Bethlehem

The moon and the stars, 
which you have set in place” (Psalm 8:3 ESV).

Two thousand years ago, a mysterious star, or a great light, appeared in the heavens that captured the attention of a group of men far to the east of Israel. 

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 ESV)

Who these men were and where they were when they saw the light is not relevant. The word star is the word astēr, from which we derive the word asteroid. The word star can mean any great light found in space but most often means a star, a fixed ball of light suspended in the heavens, put into place by the finger of God. He set the stars in place where He wanted them. Yet, there are other great lights in the heavens such as comets, meteors and asteroids that move from place to place, usually in a wide arch, circulating back around after a period of time. Asteroids are large and meteors are significantly smaller. More than likely what these men saw was a comet making its loop around our Sun.

These men resided to the East of Israel and were probably philosophers, astronomers and priests of their land. We do not know from where they came or their occupations. They are called “wise men.” What they saw in the sky they interpreted as a sign of greatness, that someone was born who would lead the world and all people. They called Him King of the Jews. How they knew He was born and that He would be King is another mystery. They knew and they traveled far to pay homage and worship Him.

1400 years before the birth of Jesus, Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land.  They are traveling East of the Jordan River through the lands of their distant relative, Ishmael. Balak, the king of Moab, summoned Balaam to curse God’s people. Balaam would not but instead, three times, blessed God’s chosen people, and cursed those who would seek to destroy them. Balaam prophesied the star and the coming of the King of the Jews.

And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.” (Numbers 24:15-17 ESV) 

Jesus declares at the beginning and ending of the book of Revelation that He is the “bright morning star.” “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16 ESV). 

Just as God set the moon and the stars in the exact place He determined in eternity, so He has set His Son as King over all Creation. “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill” (Psalm 2:6 ESV). No one can move a star. No one can move Jesus out of His rightful, eternal place.

Your Heavens

“When I look at your heavens, 
the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
which you have set in place” (Psalm 8:3 ESV)

Who owns what you see when you look up into the night sky? That is an absurd question. Yet, humans are obsessed with ownership. We want to own because ownership gives control and security. Look at a political map of the world. How many countries are there? Some count 193 while others count over 200. Some places that recognize themselves as a nation are not recognized as a true nation by many other nations. There are physical places in the world where countries fight over ownership. But, does anyone fight over ownership of the Sun or Moon or any other star or planet?

God created everything. Does this not mean everything belongs to Him? In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in the universe and on the planet, He made Man in His image. He made Man with the ability to study creation so Man might know God, both intellectually and intimately by examining Creation.

It is arrogant to suggest and believe God does not own all that He created. Yet, sin has corrupted the thinking of everyone. God’s enemies, His foes, speak about Him in ways that reveal their complete misunderstanding of who He is. Their machinations and hatred for God do not affect Him and cannot change anything about Him. “You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”? (Isaiah 29:16 ESV). 

People have intelligence and reasoning ability superior to animals, birds and fish. There is no other physically created being given the ability to intimately know God and thoroughly examine and understand His creation. Man has built equipment that can examine the heavens in the vast array of galaxies, solar systems, stars and planets. Man has built equipment that examines the smallest particles of matter. Yet, the heavens contain more than any one Man could ever know. Though we have seen the smallest particles there are things even smaller. God knows everything in the vast universe down to the hidden things only He can see and know. Still, even with these vast differences, Man, all people, can know God both intellectually and intimately.

But we do see. God gave man eyes to see and ears to hear and a mind to think. When Isaiah was commissioned as a prophet God told him what to expect from the people. He would speak and teach and rebuke and call to repentance, like every other prophet sent by God, but the people would not respond.

“Go, and say to this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:9-10 ESV)

People refuse to see and hear God. Jesus raised Lazarus from death, witnessed by many people. The evidence was a man walking around who had been in a tomb four days. Yet, though the people, especially the Jewish religious leaders could see the evidence firsthand, God closed their eyes because they refused to know the truth of who Jesus is. 

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. (John 12:39-41 ESV)

God owns all of creation. Those created in His image have the unique ability to intellectually and intimately know Him. Does creation rebel against God? People do. Those who can know Him do not want to know Him. God wants us to know Him, making Himself knowable in all of His creation.

Stilling the Enemy

Out of the mouth of babies and infants, 
you have established strength because of your foes, 
to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2 ESV)

Jesus regularly confronted the Jewish religious leaders about their unreasonable expectations of God and their false worship of Him. It was the children shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9 ESV) who truly worshipped God, not the religious leaders with their legalistic, unscriptural traditions and unrighteous deeds. 

When God created Adam and Eve in His image they were innocent and teachable. They were God’s authority over the  world, given dominion. Their purpose was to learn about God by examining and learning about what God created. They were not created with a full understanding of God or their world, but had to grow and learn as they matured. They were childlike without being children. 

Children exclaimed over Jesus as He entered Jerusalem and taught in the temple. These children recognized who Jesus was, something the religious leaders refused to do. For the religious leaders, the traditional decorum of the temple excluded children, the poor and sinful, the physically imperfect or handicapped and any who did not, could not or would not adhere to their legalistic worldview. The religious leaders were the politically correct police of the first century. They were tyrants and God’s enemy.

Who is the enemy? Who is the avenger? How do the words of a child or baby still both the enemy and the avenger?

In the first part of this verse (Psalm 8:2) the word foe is used. A foe is anyone who physically or vocally tries to bind up, or shut up, those toward whom they are actively hostile. Up to this verse, the Psalms are filled with descriptions of the wicked and sinful person. There is one spiritual being who is totally depraved. He is the Deceiver who tempted Eve and Adam in the garden. Many are taught and trained by the Deceiver to stand against God. “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2 ESV). Foe is another word for enemy, those who violently oppose God. Ultimately, God’s foes are silenced and stilled by His judgment.

Jesus, speaking through David, poetically foretells the speech of a child will silence the aggressive and antagonistic teachings of God’s foes. To still means to cause to cease to act, to put an end to or destroy, and to cause to rest. The allusion is that not just any child or a number of children will do this but a specific child. God has already told us who this child is. In response to the raging of the nations and the leaders of the world, God establishes His Son as King of kings. “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:7-9 ESV). The child that will silence the enemy and the avenger is, of course, His Son, Jesus.

Isaiah gives a divine prophecy about the child, Jesus, the Son of God, who will lead the kingdom of God.

For to 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. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

We know who this child is. He is Jesus, who was incarnated as a child, who grew into a man who welcomed children and confronted the religious leaders.  Jesus, by His sacrifice, puts an end to the hostile war against God by His enemies. 

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

Out of the mouth of babies and infants, 
you have established strength because of your foes, 
to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2 ESV)

Jesus stood in the outer temple court, encircled by the blind and lame, many of whom He healed. Children, cried out in the court “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9 ESV). They were surrounded by the remnants of the money-changers and merchants Jesus had just driven way. The chief priests were also there, witnessing the challenge to and destruction of their traditions and authority. They fumed. Jesus quoted this verse from Psalm 8 to them as a rebuke to the thinking of their hearts.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the traditional mount of a king. The people witnessed His royal entry and shouted their praise for Him. “And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matthew 21:9 ESV, also Mark 11:9-10). They exclaimed over Him like He was a king. Then, Jesus entered the temple and violently drove away those who were buying and selling in the court, desecrating the House of God, His Father’s House. Children followed Him into the temple and continued calling out praise and exclaiming over Him. The priests, who allowed the desecration of the temple by sanctioning the selling of animals and the exchange of money, were indignant with the words and loudness of the children. “But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant, and they said to him, ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’” (Matthew 21:15 ESV). Jesus knew exactly what the children were saying. They were worshipping God. “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” (Matthew 21:16 ESV)

Children hold a special place before God. They are teachable and trainable. Until they are trained to not listen to God, children willingly seek Him and want to be near Him. It isn’t until they grow and are taught to turn the wisdom of God upside down that they begin to rebel against God. Jesus recognized the simple, untainted by the world, values of the child. “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Matthew 11:25-26 ESV). Yet, Jesus also knows that people who rage against Him were once children who had been taught to hate God and anything having to do with God. 

Earlier, Jesus settled an argument among His disciples by stating the importance of being childlike and the danger of corrupting any child by teaching them how to sin.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.  

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! (Matthew 18:1-7 ESV)

Being childlike is important to God, so much so that He first revealed Himself to the world as a baby. God tells us that His Son would be born. “The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7 ESV). His birth as a human child was announced to a small group of shepherds by Angels.

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:9-11 ESV)

Hosanna is an exclamation of adoration and means to save now. Before the angels disappeared from the sight of the shepherds the sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14 ESV). Jesus entered Jerusalem to the praise of people who adored Him and was followed by children who continued the refrain. Praise for God cannot be stopped or silenced. All creation will declare His glory.gels

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Out of the mouth of babies and infants, 
you have established strength because of your foes, 
to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2 ESV)

Jesus began His life in the womb, was born and lived as a baby and an infant, growing through all the natural stages into adulthood. We have none of His recorded words as He grew, until He was twelve years old. The boy Jesus and His family traveled to Jerusalem during Passover and He stayed behind, speaking to the teachers in the Temple, listening and asking questions. His parents searched for Him for three days. When they found Him, Jesus’ responded with “why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49 ESV). Jesus did not suddenly become inquisitive and interested in spiritual matters at twelve. Luke tells us that as a child He impressed people. “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40 ESV).

In this Psalm, the word babies means a child or a boy, and the word infants means a child who suckles or nurses. It was common for children to nurse until they were walking and talking and playing in the streets. Children express themselves in the most innocent manner, speaking truth, as they view truth, without inhibition or filters. As they learn to speak, they are taught what is appropriate and not appropriate to say from their parents and those around them. Every person is trained by their immediate family and surrounding culture. Yet, God declares that He establishes, which means to ordain or appoint. Strength, is personal, social or political power and might. God puts in children the desire to know Him. God does this because of His foes, those who would bind, tie up, or shut up the truth with their lies and hostility. It is not the socially accepted who are wise and understanding in the ways of God, but children. “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Matthew 11:25-26 ESV; Luke 10:21).

As Jesus entered Jerusalem during His last week, crowds followed Him, singing His praises. He went to the temple and cleansed it, driving out the merchants bought and sold, and the moneychangers, from the outer temple court. People came to Jesus so He could heal them. The children in the temple continued their refrain from His triumphant entry in Jerusalem. Everyone loved Him except the religious leaders.

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, ”Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” (Matthew 21:25-26 ESV)

Jesus tells us that God reveals Himself to children and hides Himself from those who adopt the rebellious wisdom of the world, their own flesh and the Deceiver.  “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Matthew 11:25-26 ESV; see also Luke 10:21). In eternity, God’s kingdom is consummated as His original intent in creating Man in His image, with dominion over creation. Isaiah paints an image of the kingdom of God, led by Messiah who gives righteous judgments. “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6 ESV; see 11:1-10). Ultimately, it is Jesus who is eternally strong and eternally established by God to have victory over those who are His foes.