The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name.
Every fall or at the beginning of each play production, I have students introduce themselves to the rest of the group. I like to ask them to think about their name, and to tell the group a story about their name. It could be how they “got” their name, who named them, what and why or even how their name may have had a positive or negative influence in their life or in the life of someone closely related to them.
It is such a powerful way to begin a group activity. It gives me insight into the students, gives the students the opportunity to open up and process, or to listen to another person “work” and reveal something about themselves simply by sharing their name.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) William Shakespeare
In this scene Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague.” Romeo, vows to “deny (his) father” and instead be “new baptized” as Juliet’s lover. This one short line encapsulates the central conflict and tragedy of the play Romeo and Juliet and is one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes.
It is a good question.
What is in a name?
Most often, the first thing we learn about a person is their name. That first impression that we have upon learning someone’s name often sets the stage for future interactions.
Names are markers. Your name not only identifies who you are but whose you are.
Names represent things and people and are often designed to remind us of those who came before us or to remember something important about ourselves. For example, the Latin meaning of Montague is “from the peaked mountain.” (I find this interesting and I will explain later).
Why do we need to remember? To remember is to bring to your mind an awareness of someone or something that has been seen, known, or experiences in the past; is to emphasize what is most important.
“There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ” (Mosiah 5:8).
Jesus asks us to “always remember Him.”
We cannot remember what we do not know. If we do not know His name we cannot truly remember Him.
The scriptures are filled with many references to who Jesus is to us. Each name is designed to help us “remember” Him in our thoughts, words and deed. The names remind us of His nature, His mission/purpose and His power. Here are a few of my favorites:
Son of God: (Luke 1:35; John 1:49) – Jesus is the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Used 42 times in the New Testament, “Son of God” affirms the deity of Christ. I also like to remember the “Son” is one letter off from “Sun”. Both give life and light to the world. Also, when I remember that I am a child of God, the title Son reminds me that Christ is my brother.
Word: (John 1:1; 1 John 5:7-8) – The Word is the power, who speaks and His is done, who spoke all things out of nothing in the first creation, who was in the beginning with God the Father, and is God of this world by assignment from the Father, and by whom all things were created.
Alpha and Omega: (Revelation 1:8; 22:13) – Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and end of all things, a reference to no one but the true God. This statement of eternity could apply only to God. He begins and ends my salvation through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Emmanuel: (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23) – Literally “God with us.” Both Isaiah and Matthew affirm that the Christ who would be born in Bethlehem would be God Himself who came to earth in the form of a man to live among His people.
I Am: (John 8:58, with Exodus 3:14) – When Jesus ascribed to Himself this title, the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy. They understood that He was declaring Himself to be the eternal God, the unchanging Yahweh of the Old Testament.
Bread of Life: (John 6:35; 6:48) – Just as bread sustains life in the physical sense, Jesus is the Bread that gives and sustains eternal life. God provided manna in the wilderness to feed His people and He provided Jesus to give us eternal life through His body, broken for us. As we eat the sacramental bread it becomes a part of us. The bread gives us energy and nutrients. When we consume Christ, He becomes a part of us, giving us energy and nurturing our souls. You could add to this Living Water. Without water, all thing die; without Christ we would remain dead both physically and spiritually. However, His infinite Atonement claims victory over physical death with the resurrection and over spiritual death with the opportunity of forgiveness for our sins.
Bridegroom: (Matthew 9:15) – The picture of Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride reveals the special relationship we have with Him. We are bound to each other in a covenant of grace that cannot be broken. A bridegroom promise to care for and protect the bride, as the bride promise to follow the bridegroom and to trust him in righteousness.
Deliverer: (Romans 11:26) – Just as the Israelites needed God to deliver them from bondage to Egypt, so Christ is our Deliverer from the bondage of sin.
Good Shepherd: (John 10:11,14) – In Bible times, a good shepherd was willing to risk his own life to protect his sheep from predators. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, and He cares for and nurtures and feeds us. The Good Shepard knows the names of His sheep. The sheep KNOW Him, know His name, know His voice, and choose to follow Him.
Lamb of God: (John 1:29) – God’s Law called for the sacrifice of a spotless, unblemished Lamb as an atonement for sin. Jesus became that Lamb led meekly to the slaughter, showing His patience in His sufferings and His readiness to die for His own. It was His choice. He chose to be obedient to the will of the Father.
Mediator: (1 Timothy 2:5) – A mediator is one who goes between two parties to reconcile them. Christ is the one and only Mediator who reconciles men and God.
Rock: (1 Corinthians 10:4) – As life-giving water flowed from the rock Moses struck in the wilderness, Jesus is the Rock from which flow the living waters of eternal life. He is the Rock upon whom we build our spiritual houses, so that no storm can shake them. He is the true foundation of our faith, testimonies and souls.
Way, Truth, Life: (John 14:6) – Jesus is the only path to God, the only Truth in a world of lies, and the only true source of eternal life. He embodies all three in both a temporal and an eternal sense.
Resurrection and Life: (John 11:25) – Embodied within Jesus is the means to resurrect all who have lived on the earth. Jesus gives life, eternal life to those who exercise faith in Him, who repent, are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. Our sins are buried with Him as we rely on His grace and we are resurrected to walk in newness of life.
Savior: (Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11) – He saves His people by dying to redeem them, by giving the Holy Spirit to renew them by His power, by enabling them to overcome their spiritual enemies, by sustaining them in trials and in death, and by raising them up at the last day.
King of kings and Lord of lords: (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16) – Jesus has dominion over all authority on the earth, over all kings and rulers, and none can prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes. He directs them as He pleases.
Light of the World: (John 8:12) – Jesus came into a world darkened by sin and shed the light of life and truth through His work and His words. Those who trust in Him have their eyes opened by Him and walk in the light.
Prince of Peace: (Isaiah 9:6) – Jesus came not to bring peace to the world as in the absence of war, but peace between God and man who were separated by sin.
“Jesus was in very deed the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, who left His Father’s royal courts on high and condescended to come to earth as a babe born in the most humble of circumstances. His birth was foretold centuries earlier by Isaiah, who declared prophetically, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
This Jesus Christ of whom we solemnly testify is, as John the Revelator declared, “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” He “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” (Revelation 1:5–6).”
Who can top the testimony of prophets, seers and revelators?
What is in His name?
If you would like to read or study the testimony of Jesus Christ by modern prophets, follow this link:
If you are interested in discussing the names of Christ further with you family, follow this link:
Posted 3 weeks ago by Wendy