Why Names Are Important!
Names are very important to God. He began naming things from the beginning of time. It is noted that God knows the name of every star in the universe. He gave Adam the important task of naming all the animals.
Names identify us. Names make it possible for us to bring up a mental picture of others, even when they are not present with us. Try it now. Think of someone you love, say their name, and enjoy the picture that comes to mind.
Names sometimes connect us with our past. If we are named for someone, we may think of them when we think of ourselves.
Names sometimes connect us with our purpose on earth. God often changed a person’s name when He gave them a new purpose. Interestingly enough, God did not eliminate all thoughts of the old person. Abram became Abraham. Saul became Paul.
So it is no surprise that one of the important tasks God gave Mary and Joseph was to name their new baby. Naming Him was so important that both Mary and Joseph were told what name to use.
… an angel of the Lord appeared to him [Joseph]
in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid
to take Mary home as your wife,
because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will give birth to a Son
and you are to give Him the Name, Jesus,
because He will save His People from their sins.”
But the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
You will conceive and give birth to a Son
and you are to call Him Jesus.”
Note, the angel called both Joseph and Mary by name!
As Mary and Joseph agreed with God on the Name of their Son, all heaven rejoiced, in anticipation of another day yet to come!
Name Above Every Name!
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.
Jesus and The Father!
Jesus was given another Name equally significant to the Name Jesus. In the Name Jesus, Jesus’ Mission was proclaimed: He would save His People from their sins.
Isaiah 7:14 records what the Prophet Isaiah saw long before the birth of Jesus.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son,
and will call Him Immanuel.
Mathew 1:23 repeats this Prophecy
with a note that Immanuel means,
“God with us.”
Was this a reassurance to Jesus that God was with Him? No, remember from our last devotional, John 1:1 proclaims that Jesus was Himself God. So, the Name Immanuel is a shout out to us, to say, “I am here! I am God, with you!”
Jesus Immanuel reiterated this when Philip asked to see the Father. Hear Jesus’ Answer of Revelation!
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father
and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered, “Don’t you know Me, Philip,
even after I have been among you such a long time?
Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father,
and that the Father is in Me?
The Words I say to you, I do not speak on My Own Authority.
Rather, it is the Father, living in Me,
Who is doing His Work.
Isaiah also foretold the wonderful unity of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit when He spoke of Jesus, as recorded in Isaiah 9:6.
For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is given,
and the government will be on His Shoulders.
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Prince of Peace!
Points to Ponder
Close your eyes and say the Name of Jesus at least seven times. What comes to mind? Who is this Wonderful One, Who lives inside you?
Close your eyes and listen for the sound of God’s Voice in your spirit, speaking your name. Imagine Him speaking your name with all His Love that fills up the Universe.
Spend some moments in wonder at a God Who would care so much about you that He called you by name. Just as Jesus’ earth parents named Him, so earth people named you. But note who really named you!
… I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name,
you are Mine!
Did you know God also named Himself, long before the appearance of Jesus on earth? Do you know God’s Name? In our next devotional, we will look at the Infinite Power God gives us through His Name!
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