What a great Name Jesus has!
It wasn’t an uncommon name for the time and to distinguish Jesus the Son of God from other people called Jesus, the Bible refers to Jesus of Nazareth (John 18:7) or Jesus son of Joseph (Jn 6:42) along with others. It’s also the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua (acknowledging I am no Hebrew to Greek scholar but I fairly certain that’s right.) which was and still is a widely used name….so why give the Son of God the same name as other people of the day?
I was thinking about the Name of Jesus this morning (hence this musing) and I find that when I stop and meditate on his name that my heart is stirred with me to worship. I don’t use it as a mantra or any kind of chant but I worship the Name of Jesus – I trust you know what I mean by that.
The name of Jesus was given to the Son of God because all names in scripture have a meaning that perhaps is lost to us in the 21st Century. Jesus means god is/is my Salvation’ (all depends on the dictionary but most will agree that this definition is correct) and that was what Jesus came to do – he came as the Saviour of the world, for me and you. He was given the name Jesus because that was who he was, and what he was sent to do. It was his identity (Saviour) and his mission statement (Saviour) all in one!
Isaiah 40:8 says that the “grass withers and the flowers fail but the Word of the Lord stands forever” Jesus is the Word, from the beginning – that’s what John 1 tells us. His Name will never pass away, he was, is and always will be the Saviour of the world, and the Saviour for me and you. In the film Gladiator (top, top, top Movie!) there is a great line. It comes from Juba (the African gladiator) talking to Maximus (gladiator and hero) as they talk about how Caesar can’t simply have Maximus executed as this would grant him martyrdom. He says: “You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.”
The enemy couldn’t and can’t hold the testimony of Jesus down because his Name will endure forever. From the hope that a Saviour was coming, to Herod failing in his murderous intent, to temptation in the wilderness, to crowds turning on Him, to the betrayal, to the cross and the depths of hell and torment of which we will never endure……the devil could not kill Jesus and take away his name! The Name of Jesus is the Name above all Names!
That’s why it is the ultimate confession we can make – that if we confess with our mouths ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in our hearts that he is raised from the dead – we will be saved (Rom 10:9-10). Why? Because we identify that it is only the Name of Jesus, the Name of salvation, that can save us. We are baptised in the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:38), we are healed by the Name of Jesus (Acts 3:15-17), we can perform great miracles for God in the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:30), we preach the gospel message fearlessly in the Name of Jesus (Acts 9:27), demons are cast out in the Name of Jesus (Acts 16:18), we bow the knee at the Name of Jesus (Phili 2:10) we do everything in the Name of Jesus (Col 3:17), we are commanded to believe in the Name of Jesus (1 Jn 3:23)
As Christians we have the Name of Jesus like a hallmark running through us – let us keep alive the testimony of Jesus in our own lives, we too have a great name!
Take some time to think upon the Name of Jesus. It can be the sweetest word and song, it can be the most desperate of cries when I have nothing else to cling to – it has and will be both to me for all my life. The Name of Jesus. Meditate on the Name of Jesus….it points you to the man himself and he is the focus of our hearts and all eternity. There are many songs we know about Jesus but the song going through my head is the one below. Let us not become desensitised to the Name of Jesus Christ but let us raise it high as a banner that all peoples will be drawn to it!
“Just the mention of your Name, causes me to bow before you. Tears flow as I adore you, at the mention of your Name – just the mention of your name.”