Who do you say that I am? This is the most important question of all time and history. Who is this man, Jesus? What are His claims? What did He do? What does He do today? As it was at that literal moment, so it is today. It takes God's help to know who God is! It takes the ministry of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us who this glorious man Christ Jesus really is.
Upon entry into the district of Caesarea Philippi in Luke 9, Jesus began asking His disciples, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" (Matt. 16:13b). Some answered, "Some say that You are John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets" (Matt. 16:14). Jesus then penetratingly, personalized the question, "But who do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:15b). Simon announced with zeal, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16b). Jesus then said, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17).
Some said that Jesus was John the Baptist brought back from the dead. Perhaps they saw the power of proclamation and the piercing word of knowledge in operation of Jesus' life like that of John's. Others saw the comparison of the miracle working power in His life as was in the life of the prophet Elijah. They saw how He had power over the natural elements of the wind and the sea and remembered how Elijah took his cloak and would part the Jordan River to cross over. Yet others reflected on his tears, compassion and intercession and perceived that He was the embodiment of the weeping prophet Jeremiah.
Whom Do I Say Has Sent Me?
Who are you, God? What is your name? This is a question that Moses asked as God was about to send him forth to be His prophetic ambassador. "Who are you, anyway?" "How will they believe that You have sent me?" "Whom will I say has sent me?" "By the way, what is Your name?" (see Exodus 3:11-14).
In Exodus 3:13 we find Moses' question, "When they say to me, "What is His name?" what shall I say to them?" The following verse states, "And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; ... "You will say this to the children of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you.'"
Moses was familiar with the Egyptian habit of having a name for every god, so he was naturally anticipating this question. He was asking ahead of time to be prepared for what was on the horizon. God's response in Hebrew is Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh. This can be translated, I am that (who or what) I am, or perhaps, I am the self-existent One; the eternal, the One who always has been and always will be. This is shortened to I AM here, the ever-present and living One. It is equivalent to Jehovah the eternal.
Over the past years, many have taught us about the compound names of God from the Old Testament. He is Jehovah Nissi– the Lord Our Banner (Ex. 17:15). He is Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness (Jer. 23:56). How wonderful it is that He is Jehovah Shalom – the Lord Our Peace (Judg. 8:23). He is Jehovah Rophe – the Lord Who Heals (Ex. 15:22-26). He has revealed Himself as our Jehovah M'Kaddesh– Jehovah Who Sanctifies (Lev. 20:8). Consider the meaning of Jehovah Shammah – The Lord Who Is Always There (Ezek. 48:35)! The name Jehovah Jireh tells us that God's provision will be seen (Gen. 22). He is Jehovah Rohi– the Lord Our Shepherd (Psalm 23). You see, His names reveal His character.
God's presence, power and character are all contained within His names. The Bible is full of a great variety of God's names. Let's take a more detailed look at them.
The Names of the Son of God
I have discovered at least 140 different names in the Old and New Testaments combined describing the Son of God. For this study, I am bringing you the 100-plus majestic names from the New Testament alone. Get to know who He says that He is. Then rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal to you who Christ Jesus fully is.
1. Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:1)
2. The Son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1)
3. The Son of David (Matt. 1:1; 9:27)
4. Christ (Matt. 1:17; 2:4)
5. Jesus (Matt. 1:21)
6. Emmanuel (God with us) (Matt. 1:23)
7. King of the Jews (Matt. 2:2; 21:5)
8. Governor (Matt. 2:6)
9. Nazarene (Matt. 2:23)
10. The Son of God (Matt. 4:3)
11. Master (Matt. 8:19)
12. The Son of man (Matt. 8:20)
13. Physician (Matt. 9:12)
14. The Bridegroom (Matt. 9:15)
15. The Friend of Sinners (Matt. 9:19)
16. The Beloved (Matt. 12:18)
17. The Sower of the Seed (Matt. 13:3)
18. The Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32)
19. The Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
20. The Dayspring (Luke 1:78)
21. Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11)
22. Savior (Luke 2:11)
23. The Consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25)
24. Salvation (Luke 2:30)
25. Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 4:34)
26. Holy One of God (Luke 4:34)
27. The Word (John 1:1,2)
28. God (John 1:1-3; 20:28; Heb. 1:8)
29. The True Light (John 1:9)
30. Only Begotten Son (John 1: 18; 3:16)
31. Lamb of God (John 1:29; Rev. 5:6)
32. The King of Israel (John 1:49)
33. Teacher (John 3:2)
34. Gift of God (John 4:10)
35. Savior of the World (John 4:42)
36. The Bread of God (John 6:33)
37. The Bread of Life (John 6:35; 48-51)
38. Light of the World (John 8:12)
39. Door of the Sheep (John 10:7)
40. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
41. The Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6)
42. The Vine (John 15:1 – 8)
43. Lord and God (Jn. 20:28)
44. Holy One and Just (Acts 3:14)
45. The Holy Child Jesus (Acts 4:27)
46. A Prince and a Savior (Acts 5:31)
47. Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
48. A Propitiation (Rom. 3:25; I John 2:2)
49. Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23)
50. The Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
51. Christ Jesus (I Cor. 1:2; I Tim. 2:5)
52. The Power of God (I Cor. 1:24)
53. The Wisdom of God (I Cor. 1:24)
54. Sanctification ((I Cor. 1:30)
55. Lord of Glory (I Cor. 2:8)
56. Our Passover (I Cor. 5:7)
57. Spiritual Rock (I Cor. 10:4)
58. Christ the First fruits (I Cor. 15:23)
59. The Last Adam (I Cor. 15:45)
60. The Second Man (I Cor. 15:45 – 47)
61. Image of God (II Cor. 4:4)
62. Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29)
63. The Beloved (Eph. 1:6)
64. Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
65. Head of the Church (Col. 1:18)
66. Firstborn from the Dead (Col. 1:18)
67. Christ Jesus our Lord (I Tim. 1:12)
68. Mediator (I Tim. 2:4,5)
69. The Man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5)
70. Ransom for All (I Tim. 2:6)
71. Seed of David (II Tim. 2:8)
72. Lord Jesus Christ our Savior (Tit. 1:4)
73. Blessed Hope (Tit. 2:13)
74. Great God and Savior (Tit. 2:13)
75. Brightness of His glory (Heb. 1:3)
76. Express Image of His Person (Heb. 1:3)
77. Upholder of All Things (Heb. 1:3)
78. Captain of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
79. The Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Heb. 3:1)
80. Forerunner (Heb. 6:20)
81. Minister of the Sanctuary (Heb. 8:1)
82. Testator (Mediator) of a New Covenant (Heb. 9:16,17)
83. Author and Finisher of Faith (Heb. 12:2)
84. Great Shepherd of the Sheep (Heb. 13:20)
85. Shepherd and Bishop of Souls (I Pet. 2:25)
86. Chief Shepherd (I Pet. 5:4)
87. Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (II Pet. 1:11)
88. Daystar (II Pet. 1:19)
89. Advocate (I John 2:1)
90. Jesus Christ the Righteous (I John 2:1)
91. Eternal Life (I John 5:20)
92. Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
93. First Begotten of the Dead (Rev. 1:5)
94. Prince of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
95. Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)
96. The Beginning and the Ending (Rev. 1:8)
97. The First and the Last (Rev. 2:8)
98. Morning Star (Rev. 2:28)
99. The Amen (Rev. 3:14)
100. Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14)
101. Beginning of Creation (Rev. 3:14; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:15 – 18)
102. Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
103. The Root of David (Rev. 5:5)
104. The Word of God (Rev. 19:13)
105. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, (Rev. 19:16)
106. Root and Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
107. Bright and Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
A Revelation of Who He Is
As you ponder upon the richness of who He says He is, it will change you. Meditate on His name. Let it sink deep inside of you. As this occurs, doubts and fears flee, and you will find that you are changed into the character of Christ Himself.
One of the great weapons of spiritual warfare is to exercise the authority of His name. We are to declare the wonders of His great name. Stake your all in His name and watch the enemy be driven off. As the disciples of old came to realize, so will you, "even the demons are subject to us through [His] name" (Luke 10:17b). We do not serve a God who is impersonal and unknown. But rather, He has made Himself known unto us through the revelation of His name.
But you will come to realize that there is even something greater than demons fleeing at the mention of His name. At His name the angels bow. At His name rulers and kings tremble and fear. At the whisper of His name, hard hearts are melted. There is only one who is worthy. It's not us. It is Christ and Christ alone.
In a historic moment sometime in the future, every knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. What an awesome occasion in history! The climax of all things is wrapped up in the loveliness of this one man—Christ Jesus Our Lord and the vindication of His name.
As you get to know the names of God and bask in the reality that He has given to you His name, you will be overcome with worship and deep affection. He has given us His name: Christian. What's in a name? Oh, just a few things: authority, power, provision, identity, security a relationship. Wear His name with honor. Declare the glory of His name to the ends of the earth. Boast in His name. For His name is great and greatly to be praised.
The names of Jesus are like a spiritual jackhammer to breakup anything in which we might attempt to have security or identity other than Jesus alone. The jealousy of God sometimes places special demands on us. He is not satisfied until the identities of His special names are placed deep within our own identity, until we find our total security and identity in only Him.
In recent years, I don't prepare for meetings primarily by seeking to get a "word from the Lord" for a congregation, city or an individual who might be present. Rather, I attempt to simply seek God for God and let the Lord take care of the rest.
Our focus must faith toward God—not just having a ministry via a gift. We need to seek God for Him and Him alone. As we pick up His presence by communing with the King of hearts, His name will be exalted and lifted up.
Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.