“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
This familiar quote is from Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet. The reference is to Romeo’s family where Juliet is arguing that it doesn’t matter that he is from the rival house of Montague. Regardless of his name, she loves him.
This line is often quoted out of context to imply “there is nothing in a name.” This is often used in religious discussions, to suggest one name is just as good as another name. Of course, if you’re going to quote Shakespeare, remember the Bard of Avon also said this about a good name in his play Othello
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
The wise man wrote, “A good name is better than fine perfume…” (Eccl 7:1) One’s name speaks to who he or she is. Their reputation. Character. And influence.
When the angel appeared to Joseph and said Mary had conceived a child of the Holy Spirit. He said, “You shall call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins.”
The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, predicted the birthof Jesus with these words:
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
There are over 200 names, titles and designations for Jesus in the Bible. They each bear witness to Jesus’ greatness. His prominence. And His Preeminence. I am reminded of the statement of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The name of Jesus is not so much written as plowed in the history of the world.”
Last week, we discussed the name “Wonderful.” In coming weeks, in this column, we will discuss a few of the other wonderful names ascribed to Jesus.
Here are just a few names to consider for now. Read through these slowly. Thoughtfully. And prayerfully. Think about Jesus. His life. His teaching. His Divinity. Reflect on Friday’s sacrifice. Sunday’s resurrection. And His current Kingship. Remember each name is important. Every title is significant. Each metaphor is meaningful.
THE ALMIGHTY-Revelation 1:8
ALPHA & OMEGA-Revelation 22:13
THE AMEN-Revelation 3:14
AUTHOR & FINISHER OF OUR FAITH-Hebrews 12:2
THE BELOVED-Ephesians 1:6
BREAD OF LIFE-John 6:35
BRIGHT MORNING STAR-Revelation 22:16
CHIEF CORNERSTONE-Ephesians 2:20
THE DOOR-John 10:9
EVERLASTING FATHER-Isaiah 9:6
FAITHFUL & TRUE WITNESS-Revelation 3:14
GOOD SHEPHERD-John 10:11
HEAD OF THE CHURCH-Ephesians 5:23
HIGH PRIEST-Hebrews 6:20
HOLY ONE-Mark 1:24
IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD-Colossians 1:15
KING OF THE JEWS-Mark 15:26
KING OF KINGS-1 Timothy 6:15
LAMB OF GOD-John 1:29
LIGHT OF THE WORLD-John 8:12
LIVING WATER-John 4:10
LORD OF LORDS-1 Timothy 6:15
MEDIATOR-1 Timothy 2:5
ONLY BEGOTTEN SON-John 3:16
PRINCE OF PEACE-Isaiah 9:6
THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE-John 11:25
ROCK-1 Corinthians 10:4
SHEPHERD & BISHOP OF SOULS-1 Peter 2:25
SON OF MAN-Matthew 20:28
TRUE VINE-John 15:1
THE WORD-John 1:1
THE WAY, THE TRUTH & THE LIFE-John 14:6
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11)
It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman