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06/12/2009 / Test All Things

What Does The Word Mediator Mean?

This is an important New Testament word, and is found six times in the epistles. The first part of the word is “medi” which means between or middle.

A number of other words have the same origin.

For example: when we say someone is of medium height we mean they are middle-sized, not tall or short.

The media is a word to describe the means by which communications are sent between people.

In mathematics, the median is the number in the middle of a series of numbers.

A mediator is therefore someone who is in the middle, and is between two people or two opposing sides.

We sometimes hear of someone mediating between two sides, perhaps between two nations in conflict, or between a company and its employees. Someone acceptable to both sides comes between them and brings them together, hoping to reach agreement.

When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, at first God and man communed directly together.
There was no need of a mediator then. That is until man fell by breaking the commandment of God in taking the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve knew they had sinned and were now afraid of a holy God, and so they hid themselves amongst the trees of the garden.

Our God is a consuming fire. He is infinitely holy. If a sinner were to approach God directly, he would be condemned. So the sinner needs a mediator, someone acceptable to God to stand between.

The mediator must be someone without sin to be acceptable with God.

The word “mediator” is not found in the Old Testament, but there is a word which means the same thing in Job 9:33.

The word is “daysman”. Job is speaking of God’s holiness and righteousness, and of his own sinfulness. He says: 

“Neither is there any daysman betwixt [or between] us, that might lay his hand upon us both.”
(Job 9:33)

Thanks be to God, God has given His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to be the Mediator of His people. It was ordained before time began, that God the Son should take into union with His divine nature the nature of man, yet without sin. He was made like unto His brethren. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, His Father declared: 

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
(Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5)

As God, the Lord Jesus has union with the Father. As Man, He was like unto His people, and could therefore lay His hand upon both God and His sinful people.

Since the Lord Jesus stands between God and His people, they are accepted in God’s sight, and may safely draw near to God.

“But since my Saviour stands between,
In garments dyed in blood.
‘Tis He, instead of me. is seen,
When I approach to God.”

(J. Newton)

There is no other way to approach a holy God, but through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,” says Christ.

No mere man is good enough. There is One, and One only, “Mediator between God and man: the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

This too, is why we should ask our prayers “for Jesus’ sake,” and why we should pray in the name of Jesus. Otherwise, prayers cannot be accepted in God’s sight.

May we be taught by the Holy Spirit to know something of our state before God, and may we also be brought to know the Lord Jesus as our Mediator.

From The Friendly Companion – February 2009

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