Names have a funny way of working their way into our culture. My husband has a way of remembering the names of wealthy zillionaires and I tend to be able to rattle off the latest actors and pop stars as if they were people I was actually acquainted with.
Names have a strange power over us. We name drop to try and show our status or connection to status. Rumors of what a certain someone has been up to spread like wildfire because their name is recognizable. Events that were previously viewed with mediocre enthusiasm are suddenly flooded with attention when the media receives the name of a surprise guest. Names identify us, and names elicit reactions.
Today, is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which is always a mental stretch for me. I can get on board with celebrating something God did or even the life of one of His saints, but simply celebrating the most holy name of our Lord does not come naturally.
Biblically, the name of Jesus has immense significance and power.
The angel Gabriel told Jospeh, Christ’s earthly father, exactly what he was to name Him. It wasn’t left to chance. He didn’t take on a family name or something really trendy in Nazarene at the time, His parents were told to call Him Jesus.
And it is that name, just that mention of that beautiful name, that will one day bring the world and all around it to its knees.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him 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. – Philippians 2:4-11, ESV
His name is exalted, not because He made Himself great, but because He humbled Himself. He took on the feeble, broken flesh that you and I carry. His life was not one of ease, but a lowly, scorned one. And despite being our immortal creator, He submitted Himself to the curse of death, even a torturous execution.Jesus. It is that name, just that mention of that beautiful name, that will one day bring the world and all around it to its knees. Click To Tweet
But because of that, because of His humble obedience, His Father exalted Him.
At the name of Jesus, we will bow.
And not just the faithful, but even the enemies of God will not be able to stand when He is announced.
Blessed be the name of our Lord. And blessed be the God who fits us with our true name.
On this feast, I’m reminded of the intentionality with which God chose the name of His Son. And I’m reminded that He is also choosing a new name for me.
Revelation 2 tells us that God will give a new name to those who are His. Today, I marvel at His beauty and wonder how I am truly known by Him.
My name is, for better or worse, how others identify me, but it is not how my Creator knows me. Some names carry the joy of an exemplary namesake, others carry a pain we’d rather forget.
Just as He changed the names of Abraham (Abram), Israel (Jacob), and others, so one day, the true name He has chosen for me will be revealed. My ears will hear my God call me, for the first time, as I have always been known by the one who formed my being and breathed life into my soul.
In the right time, I know my true name will be revealed and I will know myself as my Father, not those around me, have always seen me.In the right time, I know my true name will be revealed and I will know myself as my Father, not those around me, have always seen me. Click To Tweet
As I praise the Holy Name of Jesus, I’m going to imitate His example, and seek, not to exalt my own name, but to exalt my Heavenly Father.
I dare not seek to exalt any name other than the one who commands angel armies and welcomes the meek child into His arms. For when that name is announced and He returns in glory, every man, woman, child, and being in heaven, on earth, and in the places below will bow in adoration of Jesus.
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