A lot of folks my age are starting to get married and now, quite a few of them are having children of their own. It’s always interesting to hear what names they come up with for their future kids. They are very unique and original and usually nothing that I’ve heard before or even thought of as legitimate names. The best part about this process is that this original name given by the parents will make their child stand out, be identified as their own, and most importantly, keep them from being confused with anyone else.
Taking my own example, my parents named me Benjamin because it was a biblical name and it meant “son of my right hand.” By giving me that name, my parents were implying that I am unique and special to them, but most of all, that I am their son who will always have a position by their side. But there are so many Benjamin’s out there, what made my name different from any of theirs?
I was always shy about my last name growing up because it was long, hard to pronounce, and even harder to spell. I was always told that I should change it to something else when I grow older so that it would be easier when I started working and establishing a career for myself. The truth of the matter is that I don’t have anything to be shy about because that name identifies me. Going through school and into my career, no one knew any other “Ben Puthukeril’s” – only me. That is the significance a name gives us. It belongs to us and identifies who we are to everyone else.
Now, there is one name we know that is greater than all other names out there. It is the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But what does that name mean and what is its significance for us?
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. | Isaiah 9:6
This verse was a prophecy given about Christ almost 700 years before His birth. Christ’s name doesn’t literally mean all those things, it is literally translated as “Jesus the Messiah.” Each of those names given in Isaiah for Jesus were descriptions of His person and the great work of salvation He would do for all of mankind.
He is called the Wonderful Counselor because He was incomparable in counsel and excellent in wisdom. Jesus is a wise counselor. He is able to advise His people thoroughly because He is qualified in ways no human counselor is. In Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, including the knowledge of all human nature. Jesus always knows what we are going through, and He always knows the right course of action. Christ’s position as our Wonderful Counselor means we can trust Him to listen to our problems and guide us in the right direction.
He is called Mighty God because He is omnipotent, meaning that He is in complete control of everything that has ever happened from the beginning of time. Nothing has happened or will ever happen that is out of His power or control.
He is called the Eternal Father because He has existed from eternity past to eternity future and is not bounded by space or time. He is referred to as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; He is beyond those parameters that were created in the minds of man.
Lastly, He is the Prince of Peace, which means that He has brought peace between God and man. He reconciled the relationship between us and God by taking our place on the cross for our sins and dying in our stead so that WE wouldn’t have to suffer and die for our sins. We read of this more clearly in the following passage –
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. | Philippians 2:5-11
This is the reason that there is so much significance in the name of Jesus Christ. It is because of what He has selflessly done for us, who He is to us, and how helpless and hopeless we would have been without Him. Many people who we come into contact with take the name of the Lord in vain, use it in derogatory ways, to cast curses on others, and to provide emphasis when trying to make a statement.
We should ask ourselves how much significance do we hold for this name? As believers this name should always be on our lips – but for the purposes of loving others, not casting curses on them, emphasizing who HE is, not making emphasis for what we have to say. Consider to yourself – to what importance do we hold the name of Jesus Christ? I was listening to the following song while driving to work earlier this week; pay close attention to the lyrics –
Who has the power to raise the dead?
Who can save us from our sin?
He is our hope, our righteousness
Jesus, only Jesus
Who can make the blind to see?
Who holds the keys that set us free?
He paid it all to bring us peace
Jesus, only Jesus
Holy, King almighty, Lord
Saints and angels all adore
I join with them and bow before
Jesus, only Jesus
Who can command the highest praise?
Who has the name above all names?
You stand ALONE, I stand AMAZED
JESUS, ONLY JESUS
Jesus is the only name that should be constantly resounding from our lips because He is the only one who chose to save us when we didn’t deserve salvation. He is the only one who loved us when we were unlovable, He is the only one who thought of us when we were lost in our sins, and He is the only one who will always be there for us when everyone else abandons us: JESUS, ONLY JESUS!