Alleviating the Pain

Daily Post:  Relieved

Doctor is In

Pain and suffering come to each of us at different times and in various ways.  Some folks around us bear up under the most intolerable of circumstances, causing us to wonder how they do it.  Aching internally, and in obvious emotional or psychological distress, we seek out a physician to aid us and relieve our misery.  Said Doctor finally joins us (after a 45 minute wait in the examination room), and like the image above, smiles and says, “How you doing?”   In times like these, I often have the urge to answer, “Oh, great doc, I just wanted to see if you had time to grab a quick 18 before lunch!”

Pleasantries and trite cliches are not what I need in those moments.  Pain, real or imagined, must be hunted like a terrorist and alleviated. When the pain (again real or imagined) is chronic unabated suffering, a person can become jaded, angry, debilitated, or paralyzed, except that a physician accurately diagnose and treat the illness.  Relief from persistent pain can often be elusive, perhaps that is why they call it, “practicing” medicine.

The spiritual suffering in the world today is just as horrific, and just as real as any other physical disease known to man today.  Every day people awaken in total despair, their world in a perpetual state of emotional stress, and their outlook dim, for they see no relief in sight.  But here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be this way.  There is a way to be relieved of spiritual, emotional, and psychological struggles.

God has revealed Himself in the Old Testament by giving us His names as descriptive titles in terms of how we are to relate to Him personally.  You can find several of these names in one chapter, Psalms 23.  Often read as a comforting passage to someone in trials or suffering, imagine how our mindset might change if we understood what God was really communicating.  David is led to reveal the primary title of God is LORD, which we often translate Jehovah.  When you add the characteristic nature names to this title, six specific revelations become clear.  The LORD is…

  • The Lord is my Shepherd = Jehovah ‎ra`ah , feeder caregiver, provider
  • The Lord is my Peace = Jehovah shalom, peace
  • The Lord our Healer = Jehovah rapha, restoration
  • The Lord is our Righteousness = Jehovah tesidqenuw, righteousness
  • The Lord is our Victory = Jehovah Nicciy, banner, victory
  • The Lord is our Presence = Jehovah shammah, abiding presence

One day as it happened, Jesus was passing by and saw Matthew (a tax collector), invited him to join the other disciples by proclaiming, “Follow Me!”  Later they were having supper in Matthew’s home, the disciples along with Jesus, other tax collectors and outcast of Jewish society (sinners the Bible calls them).  The elders in the Hebrew faith condemned Jesus for this, but His only reply was,

“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick;  I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  [Mark 2:15-17]

If you look closely Jesus is saying “I AM the great physician!” (implied)  In this way, Jesus is referring every listener (or reader) back to Psalm 23 where the attributes of shepherd, peace, healer, righteousness, victory, and abiding presence are described.  Jesus is saying, “I am that shepherd.”  Later, trying to connect the dots for His own followers Jesus said,

I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
[John 10:11]

Jesus doesn’t have to ask us, “How are you doing?”  He already knows how you are, and knows your need to be relieved.  Being relieved spiritually in this world today means trusting the great Physician; allowing Jesus to heal, guide, give peace, give us His righteousness, His victory, and His abiding presence… so we can live as God intended.

Who is your shepherd?  The Doctor is IN!

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Full Measure



The only people who walk around calling themselves by their own name are sports maniacs, politicians, or overstuffed actors. No normal person says, “Jim is going to write an article, then have breakfast, and after that Jim is going to play golf.”  A normal person says “I am…” regarding these activities.  In English we call this speaking in the third person.  Not first, not second… but third.  Names are essential but only exists for the benefit of the outsider.  They are like handles to help the outsider identify a person.  A coffee mug has a handle, but holds no coffee.  The purpose is to allow the holder to have a relationship with the mug, which allows the holder to partake in the coffee.  Names are relationship handles.

As human beings we don’t have a relationship between our identity and our name, but those around us do.  My dad’s name is James, my son’s name is James, there is a man in my Sunday School class is named James.  So when I think of the name James, I don’t think of myself, I think about one of these other men I know, named James.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew people never called God by His true name, and if it was written down it was: YKVK.  Absent any vowel sounds this word is impossible to pronounce correctly.  It was never spoken so no one really knows what it sounds like.  Some have tried to say Yahveh, but even that is purely speculation.  The name YKVK represented the infinite aspects of God which are beyond our human understanding or comprehension.  This name is actually a combination of 3 Hebrew words: Haya, Hoveh, and Yeheyeh, which mean past, present, and future.  The concept isn’t just that God was, is, and always will be.  The concept is that God transcends time itself, and that God is present, was present, and will be present … simultaneously.

Whether in the first century or in the twenty-first century, Jews refer to God as Hashem, which literally means, “The Name.”  It is forbidden to speak God’s true name (YKVK) so The Name became the expression for the essence of the Jewish relationship with God.  To them it was the same thing as saying “Dad.”

Jesus was a Jew.  He understood these concepts better from a human perspective than any of his Jewish brothers.  He also got into big trouble because He explained these concepts as though He were talking about Himself.  At one point He said plainly and boldly, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) On another occasion Jesus said, “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent me.” (John 8:16)

These radical statements by Jesus threw the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem into a rage.  This attitude was inflamed when on several separate occasions Jesus invoked a name or moniker, previously used for God, and took that title for Himself.  These statements began with the words: “I am…”  The very name God told Moses to use when speaking to Pharaoh in Egypt.  Listen to what He told them:

John 8:24
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.

John 8:28
When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

John 8:58
Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.

John 6:35
I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

John 8:12
I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.

John 10:7
Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 11:25
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.

John 14:6
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 15:1
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

When Jesus was born, God instructed Joseph to name this male child Jesus.  We lose so much understanding because we are not Jewish.  In fact His name in Hebrew and Aramaic (the languages which Jesus spoke), He was called “Yeshua,” which means salvation.  For His whole life Jesus was known in His own culture and world as Yeshua!

When Jesus lived on earth, kings were given authority in ceremonies where they were anointed with olive oil.  Yeshua became known as the “Mashiach” (Messiah) or “Anointed One.”  He was anointed with God’s authority, and so became known as Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Yeshua the Anointed One.

So why do we say His name is Jesus Christ as though referring to His first and last name? New Testament manuscripts written in Greek translated Yeshua (Hebrew) as “Iesous” (pronounced yay-soos).  This Greek word translated into English is “Jesus.”  The word for Mashiach (Anointed One) in Greek is “Christos” (anointed).  In English “Christ.”

Jesus Christ is … the Great “I AM”… the full measure of God’s revelation … of His nature, character, deity, authority, sovereignty, and grace.

Do you know His name?  What is your relationship with Him?


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