What a costly thing it can be to make a promise - it cost Jesus His life.
The fulfillment of this promise of God had a name, and His name is Jesus
We name some of our promises, too, don’t we:
- there’s the "Oath of Office" that public officials take
- there are "Wedding Vows"
- there are various pledges, such as the pledge of allegiance
- political parties have promises called platforms, that include not only promises, but the position which the parties take on various issues
One candidate, Dave Barry, not a serious candidate for president, and if you’ve ever read his column you’ll know that’s true,
made this promise about foreign policy:
I am sick and tired of watching the United States get pushed around by dirtbag nations such as Iraq. If I were president, and Saddam Hussein gave me any trouble, I would unleash the ultimate weapon on him. That’s right: I would have a bomber fly right over downtown Baghdad, open the bomb doors, and drop: lawyers. If that didn’t paralyze Iraq, I would drop more lawyers; and if THAT didn’t work, I would put parachutes on the lawyers.
With the role lawyers are playing in our national election today, it’s good to realize that they could serve some useful purpose
So, it’s not unusual to name promises, and Jesus, among the many titles given him in scripture and outside of scripture, was called The Promised One.
In this passage we just read from 2 Cor., he’s called God’s Yes, as well as God’s Amen
- He’s God’s Yes to the promise of redemption, and all the other, related promises
- and that is reiterated by noting He’s not just Yes, but Amen
Let’s take a closer look at this passage and a few other related passages to see what we can learn about the promises of God
The Message paraphrase of 2 Cor. 1:20 says:
"Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus."
The great commentator Matthew Henry noted about this passage:
1. these promises are the promises of the God of truth
2. they are made in Christ Jesus, the Amen, the true and faithful witness
3. They are confirmed by the Holy Spirit. He is in our hearts as a deposit… a deposit secures the promise, and is part of the payment. …
A look at the words Paul used in this passage is helpful
The original language of the word yes is a stronger affirmation than we would normally think of:
In other words, yes really means yes, probably with an exclamation point
even so, surely
adding amen to it only strengthens its force:
The Greek word amen is of Hebrew origin
- figuratively, it means surely, or so be it, or trustworthy
- more literally, it means firm
In Hebrew, it means sure, and its root word means to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent
"Amen" functioned as a positive affirmation at the end of a prayer, just as it does today
and Jesus became the amen and yes to all the biblical promises of a truly faithful God
Jesus is a firm Yes, not a definite Maybe
Jesus is also referred to as the Amen in:
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.