What’s In a Name?

When children are born parents have already chosen their name or names

The name chosen often honours a family member from a previous generation
The name embraces the hopes that the parents have for that child’s future
The name comes to describe who they are
Who they are known as
What they are known for

The name eventually becomes synonymous with who they are and how they live
Their character and the qualities they exhibit in life
Al Capone
Donald Trump
John McCain
This past week – new tires for my vehicle
Gave them my name for the invoice and warranty
Are you related to Nelson Howe
Went from the office to the garage part
Spoke to the lady bringing lunch
“This is Nelson’s dad…”
They think highly of my son – the respect him and thus his name
When Jesus was born – God the Father had carefully chosen a name for His Son
A very specific Name with very definite meaning…
Luke 1:31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”
His Name was to be “Jesus”
And then God told us a little about what would be connected to that Name
Luke 1:32-33 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Scripture goes on to give Him a few other names…
Matthew 1:21-23 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”
Jesus was God incarnate – “God in the flesh” – God born as a man
He was all of God in one person – perfectly represented
Colossians 1:19 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…”
So, to know what is in His Name
What the Name Jesus represents
What the Name Jesus speaks to us about
What is available to us when we say “in the Name of Jesus”
What we are releasing when we pray “In His Name”
To know what is in the Name – we need to look at God’s Name
God the Father whom Jesus came to reveal
Interesting to note that the Jewish people did not see God as a “father”
Jesus introduced this aspect of God’s character – God’s love – to the Jewish people during His three years of ministry in Galilee…
Matthew 6:9 “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name…’”
In Jesus there was all the fullness of the Father – the Creator God
There is so much contained in the Name of Jesus – in whom the fullness of God dwells
SONG: “Love Has a Name” by Jesus Culture (10 minutes)
The Name of Jesus…
Colossians 1:19 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…”
The God of the Old Testament – introduced to us in the New Testament as the Father God – Abba
Elohim – God / a general name for God
Jehovah or Yahweh – God as Lord (Genesis 12:6)
God is eternal (John 8:58)
God is unchangeable (Hebrews 13:8)
God in relationship with His people (Romans 8:38-39)
As God’s relationship with His people developed – as recorded for us in the Old Testament – He revealed more and more of who He was … more of His fullness
And, as a result, more of who Jesus is – Jesus is God
Jehovah (Yahweh) Jireh – The Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14; Matthew 6:26)
Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my banner (1 Samuel 1:9-11)
My Protector – My Defender
Jehovah Rapha – The Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26; James 5:14-15)
Jehovah Shamma – The Lord is there (Ezekiel 48:35; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Jehovah Roi – The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
Jehovah Tsidkena – The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Romans 11:26)
Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is peace (Judges 6:23-24; Exodus 33;20; Romans 5:10)
Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord Almighty – Lord of Hosts (Psalm 46:7; Hebrews 1:14)
God, our Father, goes on the reveal even more of Himself to His people through the name “El”
“El” – simply means God … used to describe other gods as well – like Baal
The context tells you which God / god they are referring to
El is short for Elohim
El Shaddai – God Almighty (Genesis 17:1)
El Elyon – God most high (Genesis 14;14)
El Roi – The God who sees (Genesis 16:9)
El Echad – The One God (Malachi 2:10)
Adonai – Lord, Master, Owner (Psalm 8:1)
Emmanuel – God with us (Isaiah 7:14)
Jesus comes along and reinforces some of these attributes of the Living God
Theos – God the Creator (Romans 9:5)
Kurios – Lord (Romans 10:9)
Despotes – Master, Lord
And, Jesus reveals even more of who God is by giving us a further name
Abba – Father (Matthew 6:9)
All of this and more is wrapped up in Jesus – in His Name
Colossians 1:19 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…”
So, everything that these names indicate and represent…
Are all in who Jesus is
And what He came to accomplish
And, what He still continues to do today
When I think about the immensity of what the Name Jesus represents…
I honestly cannot grasp the fullness of it … the entirety of it
Jesus is so much more than I can every fully understand
Jesus is all of God – all of what these names reveal – in one person
One man who is fully God … God born as a man – Emmanuel
But, I also realize that knowing Him
The aspects of who He is
The abilities He has revealed
The character that we see
Knowing Him as fully as we can…
1> Helps us to worship Him better (Judges 6:22-24)
2> Helps our prayer lives (Genesis 16:13)
3> Helps us be more secure and less shaken in times of trouble and turbulence (Proverbs 18:10)
4> Helps us to represent Him in the right way in the world in which we live
Because, as believers, we are to be like Him – become more and more like Jesus
We are literally His hands and feet today
Great book: “Be the Hands and Feet” (published this year)
Written by a man without arms or legs – Nick Vujicic
So, your name is a representation of His Name – You represent who He is
When they see you – they should see Him
When your name is spoken – they should think of His name
So, as I thought about all of this over the past few weeks…
I boiled it down – for me – to a few words
Life – Light
Love – Liberty
Life / Light
Jesus said: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14)
That “light” is the ‘life’ of God in us …
John 1:4 “In Him (Jesus) was life (Zoe) and the life was the light of men”
So, in us is the fullness of God – this God we are briefly looking at in His fullness – and this is described as “life”
And, as we release His life – His fullness that is within us – we are light to the world we relate to
This “life”
Spiritual life
Abundant life (purpose)
Eternal life (relationship)
This “light”
You – your life
Life – Light
Love – Liberty
1 John 4:8b “God is love…”
And, as we love others the way God loves us … we give others (and ourselves) the right to live in liberty
Freedom from others criticism, judgment, and rejection
James 2:12 “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.”
Last but not least … two thoughts
As I thought about this over the past few weeks there was one caution that continued to come to mind
When we pray:
When we pray “in the Name of Jesus”
Are our prayers ones that Jesus would pray?
Are we praying according to His character and nature?
Are we praying according to His words (1 John 5:14-15)
Because, if we are not, then we are taking God’s Name in vain
Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
When we worship:
We worship who He is
We rise above:
Our circumstances
Our situation
Our financial woes
Our relationship troubles
Our feelings
We worship who He is regardless of how we are doing / not doing
John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Jesus is so much bigger, better than we can ever grasp…
More glorious
More amazing
More beautiful
More powerful
More loving
More magnificent
More awesome
More exciting
More radical
More adventurous
More life-changing
More … just more
And, one day you will see Him come again … which is the hope we have
Song: Glorious Day – by Casting Crowns (5 minutes)