Seeing Jesus in Jeremiah 1

Reading Jeremiah 1 this morning, I see Jesus front and center. Sure, God is speaking to Jeremiah. But, this is really about Jesus. He’s in all the scriptures according to Luke 24.

The name Jeremiah means something like God founds, raised up or appointed by God, or exaltation of the Lord. Philippians 2:9-10 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Because of his humility and submission to death on a cross, God exalted Jesus.

In Jeremiah 1:5, God speaks to Jeremiah and says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

John 1:1-2, 14 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” God knew Jesus, the Word, before God formed him in the womb, before he became flesh.

In Luke 1:31-33, the angel told Mary, the mother of Jesus, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” When Mary was pregnant she visited her relative, Elizabeth, who also was pregnant with John the Baptist. When Jesus, in the womb of Mary ,entered into the presence of John, in the womb of Elizabeth, John leapt in the womb. And, in Luke 1:42, Elizabeth says, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Indeed, Jesus was consecrated, set apart, to be king before he was born and this was recognized by Elizabeth and by John in the womb.

Prior to his death, Jesus was transfigured so that Peter, James, and John could get a glimpse of what Jesus would be after his resurrection, in his exaltation (remember what Jeremiah means). In Matthew 17:5, God says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Indeed, Jesus was a prophet to the nations. He eclipses all other prophets (Moses and Elijah disappeared in his transfiguration) and is THE prophet that we, all nations not just Israel, should listen to.

In Jeremiah 1:7-8, God says to Jeremiah, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”

In Luke 2:41-52, we read about Jesus as a boy of 12 teaching in the temple. The Bible also says that he was tempted in every way that we are. So, do you think he might have talked to God saying, “How can I teach the priests and scribes in the temple when I’m just a boy?” Wouldn’t we have said that? Moses did as an 80 year old man when he was told to go to Pharaoh. And, he was afraid to speak to Pharaoh. The difference is Jesus didn’t succumb to the temptation to not speak, to disobey. Indeed, just as it says in Jeremiah, Jesus was given a command by the Father and he spoke it. John 12:49 says, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak.”

Jeremiah 1:9-10 says, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

We already saw above in Philippians 2 that God has given Jesus a name above every other name and to Jesus every knee will bow because he is Lord. But, in Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Further, Revelation 15:4 says, “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Indeed, Jesus is over all nations and all kingdoms as he has all authority in heaven and on earth.

What an amazing witness to Jesus are these words of Jeremiah that he received nearly 500 years before Jesus was born.

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