The Bible emphasizes the importance of a good name. A good name is better than great riches (Prov.22:1) and is more valuable than costly ointment (Ecc.7:1). Businesses recognize the necessity of a good name in order to sell their product. Hopefully it is our desire to pass on a name to our children that they don’t have to live down. Our name means something. When we think about names, we call to mind some names that will forever live in infamy—Hitler, Stalin, Sadaam, Osama bin Laden, etc. Other names bring to mind more favorable thoughts—Abraham, Moses, David, Lincoln, Jefferson, etc. There is one name that stands out above all others. His name cheers the heart and delights the soul. We sing about that name. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There’s just something about that name.” “There is a name I love to hear. I love to sing its worth. It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.” What does the Bible teach us about the name of Jesus? What does it represent?
His name represents his PURPOSE. The name Jesus is a divinely appointed name. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph to tell him about the coming birth of this promised child, and instructed him to name the child Jesus, “for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt.1:21). Others in Scripture have worn the same name (Joshua, Hosea), but the name of Jesus stands out from these. Only Jesus came to save people from their sins. His very name reflects his purpose for coming to this world. He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came to serve as our Savior. We need to be saved, for we are all sinners (Rom.3:10, 23), and as such we deserve to pay the price for our own sins (Rom.6:23). Jesus came to deliver us from sin. His name reflects not only his purpose, but also his pity and compassion. He came to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves (Rom.5:6-8)! In order to be the Savior, Jesus wore a crown of thorns (Matt.27:29).
His name represents his POWER. The name of Jesus represents his authority. He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt.28:18). When we speak of the name of Jesus, we often are referring to his authority. We are commanded to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col.3:17). We are instructed to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). This means that what we do and say must be backed by the authority of the Lord! It is by the authority, the power, of Jesus that we have been granted certain privileges. To those who believe on the name of Jesus, to them he gives the right to become the sons of God (John 1:12). Through the name of the Lord we are granted life (John 20:30-31). Salvation is given to those who call upon the name of the Lord (Acts 2:21). Calling upon the name of the Lord indicates an appeal to his authority. In other words, we call on the name of the Lord Jesus when we comply with his commands. The name of Jesus represents his power. He exercised that power in conquering death, sin, and hades (Heb.2:14-15). He has gained the victory! As one who has all power, all authority, he is my Lord. As my Lord, he wears yet another crown—the crown of victory (Rev.6:2).
His name represents his PREEMINENCE. Jesus has been given a name which is above every name (Phil.2:9-11). His name is far above every name that is named (Eph.1:20-23). He is the preeminent one (Col.1:18). He is to be above all, before all. We must put him first in our lives. He is either first in our hearts, or he is nothing to us at all (Rev.3:15-16). Jesus will accept no other place in our lives other than his rightful position of preeminence! God has set him apart. He is the Christ, the anointed of God. The anointing signifies that Jesus has been set apart for a specific, holy purpose. As the preeminent one, Jesus is the Christ. As the Christ, he wears the royal diadem (Heb.1:1-9; Psa.8:1).
- Patrick Morrison
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