Summary: Names of Jesus
“Something About That Name”
12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
What’s in a name?
When the 1960s ended, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district reverted to high rent, and many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married, too, though in no particular sequence. But they didn’t name their children Melissa or Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing Frisbee with little Time Warp or Spring Fever. And eventually Moonbeam, Earth, Love and Precious Promise all ended up in public school.
That’s when the kindergarten teachers first met Fruit Stand. Every fall, according to tradition, parents bravely apply name tags to their children, kiss them good-bye and send them off to school on the bus. So it was for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boy’s name was odd, but they tried to make the best of it.
"Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?" they offered. And later, "Fruit Stand, how about a snack?" He accepted hesitantly. By the end of the day, his name didn’t seem much odder than Heather’s or Sun Ray’s. At dismissal time, the teachers led the children out to the buses. "Fruit Stand, do you know which one is your bus?"
He didn’t answer. That wasn’t strange. He hadn’t answered them all day. Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didn’t matter. The teachers had instructed the parents to write the names of their children’s bus stops on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word "Anthony."
In a listing of names by popularity we find that Michael, Jacob, Matthew, Joshua, and Christopher were the most popular boys names and Emily, Hannah, Samantha, Ashley, and Sarah were the most popular girl names. There are common names and unusual names. I went to school with a boy named Sundown. A man in Springdale is named Rusty Nail, my cousin had a friend named Chrystal Chanda Lear. I had an uncle named Dine and believe it or not I had an uncle named Cat! But of all the names throughout the history of mankind, the names of God are the most special.
I. His Name is Mysterious v. 7
a. The revelation of God
The Names of God used in the Bible act as a roadmap for learning about the character of God. Since the Bible is God's Word to us, the names He chooses in scripture are meant to reveal His true nature to us.
"ELOHIM" (or Elohay) is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it's used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. Elohim comes from the Hebrew root meaning "strength" or "power", and has the unusual characteristic of being plural in form. In Genesis 1:1, we read, "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth." Right from the start, this plural form for the name of God is used to describe the One God, a mystery that is uncovered throughout the rest of the Bible.
"EL" is another name used for God in the Bible, showing up about 200 times in the Old Testament. El is the simple form arising from Elohim, and is often combined with other words for descriptive emphasis.
"YHVH" is the Hebrew word that translates as "LORD". Found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times), the title is also referred to as the "Tetragrammaton," meaning the "The Four Letters". YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb "to be" and is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you... this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations'" (Exodus 3:14-15).
The LORD who revealed Himself as YHVH (Jehovah) in the Old Testament is revealed as Yeshua (Jesus) in the New Testament. Jesus shares the same attributes as YHVH and clearly claims to be YHVH. In John 8:56-59, Jesus presents himself as the "I AM." When challenged by some Jewish leaders regarding His claim of seeing Abraham (who lived some 2000 years earlier), Jesus replied, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM." Those Jewish leaders understood that Jesus was claiming to be YHVH. This is clearly established when they tried to stone Him to death for what they considered blasphemy under Jewish Law. In Romans 10:9, Paul declares, "if you confess with your mouth Yeshua as LORD... you shall be saved." Immediately thereafter, in Romans 10:13, Paul backs up this declaration by quoting the Old Testament, "Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD (YHVH) will be saved" (Joel 2:32). Calling on Yeshua (Jesus) as Lord is the same as calling Him YHVH, because Yeshua (Jesus) is YHVH (LORD), the Messiah foretold throughout the entire Old Testament.