THE GLORIOUS NAMES OF JESUS
REPRINT OF AMOS R. WELLS 1926
The lion of judah
Something To Consider:
A title of Jesus from an old-time understanding and was certainly used far more often in our ancestors’ days than more recent is “The Lion of the tribe of Judah.” It is used as a title in Revelation 5.5, and happily links the last book of the bible with the first book of the bible, for the dying Jacob, calling his sons together and bestowing upon Judah this name of the lion in Genesis 49.9. The lion is said to have become the symbol of the tribe, always visible on its banners at the head of the march.
What is meant by this name of Jesus? First, it means that our Lord was of the tribe or lineage of Judah. It also means that Jesus was in the line of descent from the great kings of Israel, from David and Solomon, from Asa and Jehoshaphat, from Hezekiah and Josiah, and from Zerubbabel who led the return from exile.
From the human perspective of the nation of Israel, Jesus’ blood should have been considered the best blood from the best race of men that had yet ruled the earth. Though Jesus was the son of lowly toiling peasants and came from the despised village of Nazareth of Galilee, His by descent was Judea and Jerusalem with its palaces and throne.
Something Else To Consider:
More than that, as the Revelation goes on to say, our Lord was the “Root of David”; He was the far-off source of the kingly power of Judah. From Judah sprang all the greatness of His people which was in turn to culminate in Him, in Jesus, the Messiah to come.
Jesus did not derive from Judah or from David, but Judah and David and all the other heroes of Israel derived from Him. Therefore, the Jewish people should glory in Jesus as the splendor of their race; but far more they should be grateful to Jesus, for He and not Abraham was the Father of their race.
Let us, therefore, never forget those majestic words of our Savior while speaking of Abraham’s true descendants in John 8.58; “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM“. And let us not forget that the so-called religious leaders who heard those words of Jesus, immediately took up stones to throw at Jesus in order to attempt to kill Him before His time.
Lion is a fit title of our Lord because it signifies royalty. The lion is the king of beasts, and Christ Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Let us never be so absorbed in the love of our Savior as to forget His matchless authority and incomparable might, strength, and power. His alone is the right to rule!
As soon as we know that a command is from Him, nothing more is needed, no approval of human reasoning, no impulse of human desire, and no backing from the church or a denominational headquarters, or a tax exemption status from the state or from the federal government should hinder or deter our efforts.
Christ Jesus is His own law and His own authority. Heaven needs no temple, for He is there. Eternity needs no court, for He is on the throne. Instant obedience and utter submission is the only attitude of the human soul toward Jesus. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is our King! The name Lion also stands for strength.
Who can stand before this kingly and yet atonement acceptable sacrifice? He establishes His will because He can command it. By sheer force of physical power, He rules His domain. That is another reason why Christ Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, simply because of His over-powering might.
Jesus holds the worlds in the hollow of His hand. The winds and the sea obey His slightest whisper. At His Word the sun would veil its light and all the stars would stand still. Summer and winter are His, and the cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him and are at His disposal. Nothing can safely defy Him, withhold His hand, or stay His judgments. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah because He is the Omnipotent One.
Something More To Consider:
And again, Jesus is the Lion on account of His courage. The lion is fearless, as well as he is feared. When he roars all the jungle trembles, but he himself does not know what trembling is. So also, our Lord is perfect courage. The Roman soldiers fell down before Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but He shrank before no earthly power.
Satan used all his arts of deception and fiery darts of doubt upon the Son of Man, Jesus, but was completely defeated. The central power of the entire world did its worst when it nailed Jesus to the cross, only to discover Him to become and to remain victorious over death and the grave and risen with a convincing majesty that was to subdue the empire itself before long.
A Few Final Words:
We are told that in the Savior’s kingdom of peace the lion shall lie down with the lamb. It is most meaningful, therefore, that the Savior Himself should be called both Lion and Lamb, the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. Wonderfully does our Lord combine gentleness and strength, lowliness and majesty, the terrors of His just wrath and the melting winsomeness of His sacrificial atonement.
Into that strange and marvelous combination Christ’s followers also are to enter. They are to go forth as lambs in the midst of wolves, and they are to fear nothing for He, Jesus, will be with them always and forever more, even unto the end of this age, or unto the end of our lives.
Our Father in heaven, may we truly grasp the significance of Jesus being the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King of our hearts, minds, and eternal souls. Teach us the lessons of a lifetime concerning Jesus becoming our personal Lion and King over our lives and our reason for living. May Jesus become both our Lion and our Lamb in the remaining days of our lives. In Him Always, Amen!