Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Today’s Topic: What’s In A Name?
Today’s Text: Isaiah 9:6 …and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
According to a story in the publication Christian Reader, a little church in the country had a problem with the reading of the liturgy one Sunday. The person who put together the church bulletin every week frequently used technology to make the work easier. She would take computer shortcuts when possible using the “global search” feature. One week, technology backfired when she commanded the computer to change the name of the Scripture reader from “Will” to “Murray.” The reader’s name came out fine, but the “global search” did its job a little too thoroughly: in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done in earth” became “Thy Murray be done in earth”!
There is a lesson in that mistake that is deeper than the obvious ones about proofreading and not taking shortcuts. Can my name be associated with the will of God? When people say my name, do they think of Jesus Christ? When people observe my behavior do they see the grace and holiness of God? Does my name really mean anything?
So far, in just three short prophecies in the book of Isaiah, the coming Messiah has been given specific five names and one intimated name. He will be called Immanuel, or God with us. He will be the great light that shines in the darkness. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The names of the Messiah mean something.
- Immanuel – God Himself, with no degree of diminished Deity, becomes completely human to relate to us and redeem us.
- The Light of the World – showing people the way out of the darkness of sin and into the eternal glory of the Father
- Wonderful Counselor – Jesus is an extraordinary consultant. That’s what it literally means. No matter what is going on in our lives, Jesus not only knows it, but He understands it because He pre-approved it for our good and for His glory. He will help us to understand and accept it as a gift of His love if we will seek His wisdom and not live according to our own understanding. (See Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Mighty God – He is able to manage and/or conquer anything in our lives. Years ago a dear older woman in our church who is now with the Lord gave me a little sign to put on my desk. It said, There is no problem so great that God cannot handle it. Jesus personally brings the eternal power of God to us.
- Everlasting Father – With no beginning and no end, Jesus comes to us as the complete and personal revelation of Jehovah. He is the great I Am. And as Father, he created us, then re-created us in His own image when we were saved, and now provides us with protection and provision. He alone is worthy of our love and respect as Abba, Father, our spiritual Daddy!
- Prince of Peace – He is Lord! He is the supreme ruler of all eternity, and the product of His reign is peace. Even though for a time now the world does not accept Him as Sovereign, and we must live in the realm of the enemy, in our hearts we have set Christ apart as Lord and know the indescribable and unfathomable peace of God. We have been placed into an eternal relationship of peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, so that we now know the peace of God in our hearts.
May God use this very brief outline of these names of our Blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ to challenge you to think deeper about His Names and what they represent to us. May it also stimulate us to think deeply about what our name means to others, and whether or not we are trying to make a name for ourselves or living up to the new name we have been given in Christ Jesus.