A name is important. From the day of our birth, our parents use our name to link us to their own preferences and values. Parents will name their children for example Jenifer, Roxie, Rachel, Jared, Raeann, Reina, David and Jason. We even name our pets with names like Rocket, Shorty, Lovely, Sandy and Dukie.
The significance of a name was particularly true in Bible times. In both the Old and New Testaments, names were used to reflect personal experiences or express the character of a person.
Jacob (Genesis 25:26) which means “supplanter” was named that because he would overtake his older brother, Esau, in position and significance. Naomi (Ruth 1:20) means “delightful one.” However, she changed her name to Mara which means “one who is bitter.” Why? Because in the land of the Moabs, she had suffered the loss of a husband, two sons and a daughter-in-law. In the New Testament, we find a man in Acts 4:36 call Barnabas which means “son of consolation” or “son of encouragement.”
In your Bible, we also find in Matthew 1:21 a name that means “Savior.” The angel spoke to Joseph and said, “You shall call His name Jesus, which means ‘Jehovah, our Savior’.” Whether or not we have accepted the claims of the New Testament regarding Jesus to be our Savior, it’s important for us to see that the scriptures also honor the name Jesus for several reasons.
•It is the name by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).
•It is the name that is to set the tone for everything a Christian does. (Colossians 3:17.)
•It is the name at which, one day in the future, every knee will bow. (Philippians 2:10-11).
From the time of Jesus’ birth until now, many have dismissed the significance of His name. In our generation, many know Jesus only as an expression of anger, alarm or profanity. Jesus asked His disciples two questions: in Mark 8:27-29, “Who do men say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”
The first question is important because it allows us to get a read on the minds of people who are around us. The second question, however, is eternal because it is only by acknowledging Jesus Christ and responding to His gift of forgiveness by faith that a person can live forever. How will you respond to His gift today?
Have a blessed day.