that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(NKJV)
So far we’ve learned that the Name of Jesus Christ is:
The Rarest and Most Exclusive – there is salvation through Jesus and NO other (Acts 4.12); every person will admit this fact some day, the only question is when (Phil 2.10)
The Most Understanding & Compassionate – Jesus is the caring Shepherd and He protects and provides for His sheep (Isa 40.11); Jesus is uniquely qualified to understand and respond to our deepest needs and hurts because He is both absolutely Divine, and absolutely human (Heb 4.15-16)
Isaiah 40:11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young. (NKJV)
I’ve always been amazed at the effect it has on people when someone says the name “Jesus Christ” (not in a profane way; ironically, that doesn’t seem to bother people much at all!). It brings about a singularly unique response and atmosphere (typically uncomfortable). You can mention “God”, “church”, “heaven”, “religion” or a number of other terms without causing too much of a commotion. (It has become vogue to be “spiritual”, and mentioning religious things in general terms denotes no particular intolerance or reaction).
But bring up the name of Christ, and often the tension, discomfort, embarrassment and opposition tangibly and rapidly escalates. Jesus Christ claims sole ownership of salvation (Acts 4.12) and the pride of man will not stand for that!
Bringing Jesus into the conversation, quickly differentiates a
generic “spiritual” discussion from the truly saving one.
In other words, when you are talking to an unsaved person, or an immature/casual believer, you can quickly move from a pleasant conversation about “spirituality” or “church” to a truly effective conversation about salvation and holiness by bringing Jesus Christ into the exchange. We are forced to accept or reject the clear proclamation that there is no other salvation possible apart from Him, and that following Him involves significant sacrifice and persecution:
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (NKJV)
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (NKJV)
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (NKJV)
Jesus Christ is the most definitive and effective means by which you can define a “spiritual” conversation from an authentic “salvation” one.
The Most Meaningful and Purposeful Name I Know
There is no other name under heaven in which more meaning or purpose can be assigned or discovered. The real question is, how meaningful is it to you? If someone were to ask you today, “what about Jesus?”, would your heart and tongue overflow? Or would you struggle to communicate anything more than a few basic, well known facts?
I am talking about more than surface knowledge of Him. In other words, you might know that Tiger Woods is a great golfer, that he is an American and that he wears red shirts on Sunday. But what do you know about his purpose in life? Publicly, what meaning is attached to his name other than “golf “?
How about President Bush? Regardless of your political opinion of him, what purpose do you attach to His name that transcends the basic facts that he is President, he’s from Texas, and he unashamedly pronounces “nuclear” like alot of people do (“nuke-kyi-ler”)? Maybe to you his name means “defending American against terrorism”. For some Americans, his name means something negative to them. For most people, George Bush’s name has some meaning or purpose attached to it beyond a few simple facts about who he is.
Does the name of Jesus having any meaning to you transcending simple, well known facts? Of course it is good (and arguably even sufficient) to be aware of the basic truths about Jesus (He died for my sins; He is God; He cares for me; Salvation is only found in Him). But given the depth of purpose and breadth of meaning associated with the name of Jesus Christ, you could devote a LIFE TIME discovering something new every day about Him and not come close to exhausting the total. Let’s take a look at a few:
- The Name of Jesus means that man has the opportunity to avoid well-deserved condemnation
Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (NKJV)
We all deserve eternal death for our sins, plain and simple (Rom 6.23). Only in Christ, because of Christ, and through Christ is there an opportunity to escape hell. It’s not popular today to present Jesus as “fire insurance”… regardless, Jesus Christ represents the only “insurance” you have of not going to hell. This was His purpose (Rom 5:12-20). Could anything another name approach such profound meaning for us?
- The Name of Jesus gives us the only path to a guilt free conscience
Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (NKJV)
No matter how much we ignore it, medicate it, or try to escape it, we all (before Christ) must live with and suffer the consequences of a guilty conscience. No amount of denial removes the innate and inborn knowledge that we “have all gone astray” (Isa 53.6). There is no clear conscience apart from Christ. There is no fulfilling, purposeful guilt-free life without Jesus. He alone makes it possible and available.
- The Name of Jesus makes it possible to receive and enjoy the TRULY good things in life
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (NKJV)
Of course, this rightly depends on a correct definition of “good things”: victory in suffering (Rom 8.37); peace (Phil 4.7); purpose (Rom 8.27-28); hope (Titus 2.13); love (1John 4.17-19)… just to name a few. Material blessings certainly come from the Lord as well, but they pale in comparison to eternal spiritual blessings.
Notice one thing about this verse, the phrase “how shall He not with Him also freely give”. Do you see the implication? It’s not that God CAN give “all things” to us, but that He WILL give all things. If God did not spare His Own Son for His children, how can He NOT give “all things” to us? The key is to understand what God means by “all things”. But that’s a whole other study….
- The Name of Jesus means that we can have the very best marriage possible
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, (NKJV)
Ever thought of that? Without Christ’s example and His sacrifice, we would be left with only a sin-cursed opportunity for marriage. Because of Jesus, we now have the example and the power to love our spouses in way that would have otherwise been impossible. If you have a wonderrful Godly marriage, it’s because of Jesus. If you don’t, you can… if you turn your heart to Him.
- Jesus came to free us from fear and bondage
Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (NKJV)
People who live in fear (and they are many) live in bondage as sure as a person in a cage or straight jacket. Fear of life, fear of death, fear of rejection, fear of sickness, fear of poverty, fear of loneliness…. the list goes on and on. Fear is crippling, debilitating, destructive and UNNECESSARY (we’re not talking about the fear of God, or appropriate fear of true danger). Jesus has destroyed the power of death for us. The worst thing that could ever happen to one of His children, is insignificant compared to what Jesus has waiting for them in heaven (Rom 8.18).
Well, I could go on and on, maybe you feel like I already have! There is so much to say about the meaning and purpose of Christ, that I could devote a lifetime of devotionals to this subject alone. I hope this will stir your curiosity and desire to discover more about why the Name of Jesus is the most meaningful, and “purpose-filled” name in the universe.
Tomorrow, we will continue with our look at the “sweetest Name” we know.
Father, thank you that in eternity past You secured our salvation, knowing before You ever created us that it would cost You your only Son. There is more meaning in that fact alone than we could ever hope to know, or thank You for. In the Sweetest Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Have you ever thought about all that the Name of Jesus implies, or stands for? Did you know that throughout the Bible you can discover dozens of purposes attached to Jesus Christ: why He lived, why He died, why He suffered, why He chose to save us? Jesus represents the only opportunity for eternal life, instead of the hell we deserve… what does that mean to you?
Application: There is nothing more valuable, or more worthy of our time and study than to study the person of Jesus Christ. It should be a cause of concern if your knowledge of temporal things is vast, but knowledge of Christ is comparatively little. What we know, what we long for, what we DESIRE TO DISCOVER speaks the truth about what is important to us.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today? What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?