Summary: This is the introduction sermon to a new series on the descriptive names of Jesus.
The Names of Jesus
Beginning next year we’ll be starting a new series entitled, “The Names of Jesus.”
There are somewhere over 50 names that have been attributed to Jesus, many of them are the same names that have been attributed to God, which is of little wonder seeing that Jesus is God, or what we know Him as the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead, and as the Apostle Paul said, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9 NKJV)
There have also been many and various teachings on these names, from pamphlets and books, to CD’s and DVD’s. And this study is no different with the exception that we will only look at 12 of these names, or what I refer to as the descriptive names of Jesus, and within each of these names we’ll explore some of these other names as well, some of which have been given great attention, while others hardly a mention.
Actually, the name of Jesus has become the dividing line between people. For those who love Him, it stirs up adoration, wonder, and a holy awe. For others, however, it unleashes the hounds of hell with unsurpassed hated and venomous words.
And this should not strike us as something new or something that we did not know. The name Jesus and who He is and what He has done splits people into two camps. Either they are for Jesus or against Him. In fact, Jesus doesn’t let anyone stay neutral.
Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me.” (Matthew 12:30 NKJV)
What I find sad but revealing about our society is that people can pray in almost any name and to any generic god of their making, or to the god of their religion like Buddha or Mohammed, just so long as it isn’t to, or in the name of, Jesus.
But let the name of Jesus out of our mouths in general conversation or in prayer we’ll have the politically correct gnashing their teeth. Our society is all about tolerance for just about everything that is evil under the sun and wrong, but when it comes to Jesus it has little if any tolerance whatsoever.
But this should not take us by surprise, Jesus actually spoke of this reality.
“I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.” (John 5:43 NIV)
What’s in a name?
The naming of a child is a big thing. There are books and websites given over to this very thing giving the meaning of different names in the various languages, from Hebrew and Greek to languages that are now all but extinct, such as Latin.
Often times, the names we give are based upon ancestry. My middle name, Wayne, is one such name as it was the middle name of my father and the first name of my grandfather, not to mention the name of my uncle.
Other times names were given as a prelude as to what that child is meant and expected to be. Hence my first name Dennis! I truly am a menace, or as my mother liked to say, “If she had me first she would have had me last.”
In biblical times names meant something. They spoke of a person’s character. We also see God giving people new names to match their new role and/or responsibility.
Jacob is such an example. The name Jacob means deceiver, but God changed his name to Israel, or one who prevailed with God, and upon whom the Jewish nation would descend from, Genesis 32:28.
And so was the naming of the Messiah. It is a name that holds great significance. The name He would be given would entail the description given of Him throughout the Old Testament by the prophets.
Of the coming Messiah, which is the Hebrew word for “Christ,” the prophet Isaiah said that not only will he be king, but His names would indicate the type of king he would be, not to mention that He would be the Lord God.
“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.” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)
We see the same through what the prophet Jeremiah said, even calling Him by God’s holy name, Jehovah.
“In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: (Jehovah Tsidkenu) THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:6 NKJV)
But the name that puts the exclamation point upon His name is when Isaiah said His name would be a sign that He would be the Lord God Himself living among us.