Summary: Jeremiah declared that Jesus would be a King, a righteous branch, and our righteousness. What do those titles mean to us and what is it about Jesus that would give us comfort and joy?
What was the name of that song in the video?
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.
Did you notice the power the video gave to that song? That wasn’t done by chance. The carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was meant to be a bold declaration of the strength we have in Christ.
When I hear the title of the song “God rest ye merry gentlemen” it almost sounds to me like it was saying we can go home after church to take a nap. In fact, some people (I’m told) don’t even wait that long – they just nod off right in church.
But that’s not what the song title originally meant.
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is actually an “old English” phrase which means something entirely different. The title of the song isn’t about “resting.
In the language of that day “REST” meant “to make” and MERRY meant “mighty” or “powerful”. Thus, the title of this song actually meant “God MAKE You MIGHTY, Gentlemen.”
And you know, once you know that, the song makes a whole lot more sense:
“God make ye mighty, Gentlemen, let nothing you dismay”
Why? How is God going to make us MIGHTY?
And how is He going to make it so we don’t DISMAY???
“For Jesus Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day.
To Save us all from Satan’s power ere we were gone astray
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, oh tidings of comfort and joy.”
The Song is loudly and proudly declaring – Jesus is our strength.
Because of Him we have no need to dismay or fear.
Because of Him we’re saved from Satan’s power.
And Because of Him we have comfort… and joy.
Essentially, that’s what Jeremiah was prophesying in our text from this morning.
Our sermon series for this month is: Do you SEE what I see?” and it refers to the fact that prophets were known as “seers” because they “saw” things other mortals were not allowed to see.
And what Jeremiah saw, as a “seer”, was a nation in trouble.
He saw “lost sheep”.
“People in need of salvation.”
The people of that day were dismayed. They were in fear.
Even if you went by the Old English terminology - there was "no rest"… and there were "no merry Gentlemen."
The shepherds of the people had failed.
The Kings and the priests and the prophets had turned their backs on God.
The nation had become easy prey for invading armies and they were always in danger.
It’s against that backdrop that God made a promise through this “seer” Jeremiah:
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:5-6
Now who do you suppose Jeremiah was describing in this prophecy?
That’s right = Jesus.
1. Jesus was the King God was going to raise up.
2. Jesus was the “righteous branch.”
3. And Jesus would be called “The LORD our Righteousness.”
According to what Jeremiah saw - this King, this Righteous Branch, this LORD who will be Our Righteousness - this Jesus was going to give us power, might, confidence and hope.
He was going to free us from that which would enslave us.
And I got to thinking on this.
I saw all those titles that were being given to Jesus, and I asked myself what all these titles were about. What was it about Jesus being all those things that should inspire me to confidence?
And then it came to me (this is so neat).
1st the prophecy declared Jesus was going to be my King.
God said “I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a KING who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. (vs. 6)
Now, Jesus wasn’t going to be just any old King.
Back in the Old Testament, God warned Israel about asking for a King. He told them mortal Kings weren’t all they were cracked up to be, and that they would soon regret their decision.
But Israel wanted a king just like everybody else had.
They wanted someone who would protect them.
Someone who would administer justice.
Someone who’d lead them to prosperity and success.
Someone they thought they could count on to do what had to be done.
ILLUS: We do the same thing with the folks we want elected to the Presidency.
We believe, if only the man/woman I want is elected to office, they’ll SOLVE all of our problems. That person will always do what is right (not like the other guy). If my favorite candidate is elected they will FIX everything.