I suppose after an extremely long hiatus from blogging that your first post back better be a good one, or at least one with a “catchy” title. I decided to go with one about that probably gets a few hits daily in the blogosphere; that great Fisher of Men, Jesus. For someone who only lived to be in his thirties, (which really makes my impending 30th b-day all that more looming,) Jesus is not someone to be fully contained or explained in a mere blog post. So let’s focus on something most of us know about the Son of God; his name.
Names are important. If you are a parent, think about how you came up with your child’s name. If you are anything like my husband and I, then you bought a name book or two, researched names on the web, took suggestions from family, friends, and even random strangers, and probably had a tiff or two over who had selected the better and more fitting name. We think carefully about the meaning behind a name; its origins and whether or not it has a special person or memory attached to it. We put a lot of stock in names because it is what helps identify us from all the other billions of people out there. Names can be sacred, cherished, tarnished, beautiful, traditional, forbidden, strong, and so many other different things to different people. But often, there is power in a name.
Jesus. Such a simple name. A common name in some cultures even. But there is something about that name. There is a reason we are taught to pray in Jesus’ name, to ask for miracles in Jesus’ name, and to believe in Jesus’ name. Jesus’ name is The Name of Power. Through Jesus we are saved, healed, restored, and made new. If that isn’t power, I’m not sure what is. Yet, it is a name we don’t utter as often as we should, at least not in public. Why is that? Why are we silent with a name that holds so much power and beauty? Because there is something about that name that offends. As Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv mentioned in a recent sermon on Boldness, the name of Jesus is as offensive today as it was two-thousand years ago, if not more so. Why?
Because there is power in the name of Jesus Christ. “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all names, 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 2:9-11. Sounds pretty much like the most powerful name to me.
So why don’t we use it more and use it boldly as Groeschel encourages? Why aren’t we shouting it out from the mountain tops that Jesus Christ is real and ready to respond to all who call upon his wonderful name? If you are short of mountain tops, then climb the nearest water tower and right next to “Billy Ray loves Susie” tag ‘Jesus loves YOU” as big as possible. (I do not actually encourage or condone the defacing of public or private property, nor have I ever engaged in such illicit activities.)
Stop being content and comfortable in the way our culture has turned the name of God into an “acceptable” generic name. Don’t be afraid of offending people by sharing the name above all names. Share what the name means to you. Share the stories behind the name. Share the grace that the name is drenched in. Remind yourself that there is just something about that name.