Philippians 2:10-11 – 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)
“Jesus… the sweetest name I know”… a very familiar phrase, especially popular in today’s praise and worship music. But let me ask you a question…
Is “Jesus” really “the sweetest name” you know? If yes, why? Could you tell someone else why? Do you ever tell anyone else why? If Jesus is not “the sweetest” name to you, does that bother you? Have you ever thought about it? Do you know why there are things more precious to you than Him?
“Sweet” can mean many things: pleasant tasting, satisfying, comforting, rare, precious, valuable…. all of these meanings in various forms and degrees are applicable. For the sake of our study, we’ll use this general definition of “sweetest”: meaningful, worthwhile, endearing, valuable and life changing to the greatest degree we can imagine (not just “sweet”, “very sweet” or “sweeter” but sweetEST).
There are many aspects, reasons, facts, characteristics and events that make the name of Jesus the “sweetest”. Let’s examine over the next few days why the Name of Jesus is the Sweetest anyone can know..
The Rarest and Most Exclusive Name I Know
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
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, emphasis mine)
Think about that for moment… in this day and age of “tolerance” and “all paths lead to heaven” it is NOT popular to claim such exclusivity. Jesus Christ is set apart by His all-inclusive (“every”) and very EX-clusive (“no other”) claim that “every knee” will bow to Him, and “every tongue” confess He is Lord and that ONLY His name leads to salvation. Not exactly a recipe for popularity with the human race.
Want to be hated and persecuted?
Proclaim that EVERY person
will bow and call Jesus Lord;
and that hell awaits all who reject Him.
Jesus must not have been informed that He shouldn’t”force his religion on others” or claim to be the only Truth. Ironically, Jesus WON’T force anyone to accept Him during this lifetime…. His grace, His mercy, His offer of eternal life is a gift for “whoever” believes (John 11.26). BUT… there will come a time when the Name of Christ WILL be forced on every person who did not embrace it willingly during their earthly life, not as a gift, but as a reality. And every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
Unfortunately (but fairly forewarned) the Name of Jesus will NOT be “sweet” to those forced to bow, and forced to confess (and I say forced not in the sense that the lost will be physically compelled by God; every knee will bow because the TRUTH of Christ’s power will be known and apparent even to the lost the moment they set eyes on the King of Kings; every tongue will confess because the REALITY of His Lordship will be know to all creatures on that day; the lost will bow and confess sincerely and with complete conviction… but it will be too late for them).
To those who reject the name of Jesus in this life, far from being “sweet”, the name of Christ will be terrorizing, agonizing, foreboding and torturous… for it will represent the Name at which a lost chance of salvation will be forever gone and a justified eternal condemnation will be imminent. Hell will be an unavoidable and single step away… and the name of Jesus will be the last name uttered before being cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity because every person entering hell will fully realize their only hope was in Jesus Christ. And even as they call out His name, begging for another “chance”, it will be too late.
The name of Christ will be finally, and willingly,
uttered by every person….
but for the Lost, the Sweetest Name will forever
remain the “Rejected Name”.
Well, that’s all kind of scary, “fire & brimstone” stuff isn’t it? How does that make His name “the sweetest” to us now? Because in His mercy and through His sacrifice, we know His Name NOW, while there is still time to accept Him; to worship, honor and glorify the Name of Christ.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Why is Jesus Name the “sweetest” we can ever know? Because His name represents how God loves us (John 3.16) despite of what we deserve (punishment and death). The Name of Jesus represents the ONLY way to eternal life and because of God’s unfathomable love, He chose to reveal that Name to you (and me), opening our eyes to the Truth that saves us and sets us free.
The Name of Jesus is the Sweetest because we can bow to it now out of love and gratitude, with no need to be forced to bow later. We can confess His name now because He “so loved” us first (1John 4.19) and through that great love has chosen to draw us (John 6.44) to His Sweet Name while salvation is still an option.
If for no other reason than those, Jesus Name is the sweetest we can ever know. But there’s more…. and that’s where we will pick up tomorrow.
Most Holy God, Thank You for introducing us to the Sweetest Name of all while there is still time to accept His free gift of eternal life. May we live our lives as if we truly believe Jesus to be the sweetest of all. In the Sweetest Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Is “Jesus” really “the sweetest name” you know? If yes, why? Could you tell someone else why? Do you ever tell anyone else why? If Jesus is not “the sweetest” name to you, does that bother you? Have you ever thought about it? Do you know why there are things more precious to you than Him?
Application: If our lips say one thing, but how we live our life says another… guess which one counts (James 1.22ff)? Do you study, search, meditate and long to know more about Jesus so that His Name will become more and more sweet to you as you get one step closer every day to meeting Him face to face?
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?