“9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2.9-11
What’s in a name? Most of our names are give to us by our parents, or grandparents. Sometimes names are passed down from family lines. I had a friend in high school whose name was Oran Hardy McAlister III and they called him ”Trey,” as in ”the third.” Another friend Murphy was named after his dad with the same name, and we called them Big Murph and Little Murph. And my first two names, Russell and Hendrix are my two grandfathers middle names, Alfred Hendrix Freeman and Phillip Russell Simmons. Name are inherited from family members. We see this happening all the time.
Jesus’ name was not unlike our names in that it was given to him. He did not chose it himself. He was given his name, ”Jesus,” meaning ”God saves” by God himself. Jesus’ name was an imitation of his father who went before him and who was with him in the beginning of time.
But unlike my name which carries with it only family sentiment, Jesus’ name carries power. Paul says the name of Jesus is the ”name above every name.” For ”at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The name of Jesus is a name of power. Jesus’ name has the ability to heal, to save and to rule with dominion over everything in this world.
Verses 9-11 is the second half of this ”Christ hymn.” Some think it was adapted by Paul from a song about Jesus sung by the early church. This song not only testifies to God’s mercy in saving us by sending us Jesus, it also helps us identify and understand who Jesus is. He is Lord, Master, God and Savior.
The final thought on the name of Jesus is that we should apply it to our lives. We must call upon this name and be saved. We use this name to praise God. We glorify him with it. We battle dark forces of evil with the name of Jesus. The gift of the name to Jesus himself was a gift to humanity. It’s a gift to all of us who are seeking a Savior to lead us in the way we should go.
Step one in following God involves us acknowledging the name of Jesus and receiving the One who carries this name in our lives and into our hearts. Have you called upon the name of Jesus? Have you cried out for salvation? What are you waiting for? The name of Power is awaiting your response today.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving us and for allowing us to be your hands and feet. Thank you for the name above all names. For being the God of love, grace and salvation. Everything revolves around you. All of life’s meaning is found in your name and your actions in saving humanity. Come now, Holy Spirit, help us me your person. Fall upon us now in grace that we might know you, share your name, and bring you glory both now and for eternity.” Amen