The Bible’s View
Why Did Jesus Christ Call Himself the “Amen”?
IT WAS to the Christian congregation at Laodicea that the resurrected Son of God said: “These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God, ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.”—Rev. 3:14-16.
There certainly was a great contrast between Jesus Christ and many of his disciples at Laodicea. Whereas the Son of God was faithful and true, the Laodicean congregation was in a state of serious spiritual decline. It was not stimulatingly hot nor refreshingly cold, but lukewarm, halfhearted and lacking in zeal.
Because of the bad spiritual condition of that congregation, it was especially appropriate that Jesus Christ call attention to his being the Amen. The term “Amen” means “sure,” “truly,” “so be it,” “truth.” Jesus Christ is indeed a speaker of truth, a true prophet or spokesman of God. And his referring to himself as the “Amen” served as a reproof to the Laodicean congregation. This is because members of that congregation had failed to live up to what their Lord represented—truth and faithfulness. In being lukewarm, they were actually unfaithful to what was required of them.
As the Amen, Jesus Christ, though, is more than a speaker of truth. He affirms or guarantees that all of God’s promises will come true. This is what the apostle Paul pointed out at 2 Corinthians 1:20, saying: “No matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him. Therefore also through him is the ‘Amen’ said to God for glory through us.”
But how did Jesus Christ become the one through whom all the promises of God are confirmed? To answer this question, we must consider why this became necessary.
When the first man Adam disregarded divine law, he lost his holy standing before his Maker and ruined his perfection. As a sinner, he could no longer father sinless children. Hence, all humankind came into slavery to sin and death. The Bible tells us: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) Moreover, Adam’s descendants were alienated from Jehovah God, who is holy, pure or clean and who has nothing in common with sin.
So the human race needed to be released from enslavement to sin. Only by being ransomed from this slavery could they become reconciled to God. Since Adam had forfeited perfect human life, the ransom price would have to be the exact equivalent—perfect human life. No imperfect descendant of Adam could pay this valuable price. That is why the Bible says: “A person can never redeem himself; he cannot pay God the price for his life, because the payment for a human life is too great. What he could pay would never be enough to keep him from the grave, to let him live forever.”—Ps. 49:7-9, Today’s English Version.
Jesus Christ, however, did possess the needed ransom price. By a miracle, he was transferred from a heavenly existence as a spirit person to an earthly existence that had its start in the womb of the virgin Mary. (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1, 2, 14) Hence, Jesus was perfect. Unlike Adam, who ruined his perfection, the Son of God maintained his sinless standing in the flesh.
Commenting on this, the apostle Peter wrote: “He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2:22) Even Judas Iscariot could not point to any sin on Jesus’ part. Though an intimate who could observe the Son of God when he was not in the public eye, Judas could not justify his betrayal of Jesus. He was forced to admit: “I sinned when I betrayed righteous blood.” (Matt. 27:4) Then, too, the bitterest enemies of Jesus Christ could only present false witnesses against him.—Mark 14:55-59.
Therefore, when Jesus Christ willingly laid down his life, he paid the price needed for mankind’s ransom. He “gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”—1 Tim. 2:6.
Persons who acknowledge that they have been ransomed and who want the atoning benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice to be applied in their behalf can become reconciled to God. With reference to this, the apostle Paul wrote: “Christ, while we were yet weak, died for ungodly men at the appointed time. . . . For if, when we were enemies, we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, now that we have become reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only that, but we are also exulting in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Rom. 5:6-11) All who are thus reconciled will see the fulfillment of the divine promises, which fulfillment was made possible through Jesus’ perfect life course, including his sacrificial death.
Of course, it was Jehovah God who arranged for the human race to be ransomed, doing so at great cost to himself. He loved his Son deeply and yet permitted him to die a shameful death so that sinful humans could be redeemed. Since the Most High demonstrated such superlative love, there is absolutely no promise that he will fail to keep. The apostle Paul emphasized this by means of the following question: “He who did not even spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all, why will he not also with him kindly give us all other things?”—Rom. 8:32.
As for the Son, because of his faithfulness to the very death, he was greatly rewarded. We read in Scripture: “God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2:9-11.
In agreement with this, all prayers should be directed through Jesus and the “amen” should be said in his name. Because the Son of God is the Amen, all proper requests will be answered. He said to his apostles: “If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name. . . . Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” (John 16:23, 24) “Whatever it is that you ask in my name, I will do this, in order that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”—John 14:13, 14.
Surely, Jesus Christ rightly called himself the “Amen.” Because he is such, we can be confident in the certain fulfillment of God’s promises. Also, all prayers offered in faith and in harmony with the divine will are bound to be answered. The fact that Jesus is the Amen should also remind Christians of the importance of remaining faithful, imitating his example as the “faithful and true witness.”