Names identify places, people and products. They can be associated with riches, reputation and respect.
The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” Names are often associated with achievement. Is there a greater achievement than eternal life as Jesus provided?
When Mary and Joseph heard the angel’s instructions to name her child Jesus, they had no idea of the impact that name would have. Mary had nine months to contemplate the significance of his name. Most mothers spend that time trying to choose the baby’s name. She heard the angel apply the titles, “Son of the Highest” and “Son of God” to her son. When she compared notes with Joseph, she learned the baby’s purpose: “He shall save his people from their sins.”
Did she revisit the angelic visitation? Could she still see the wonder on the shepherds’ faces and hear the worship of the wise men?
Angelic appearances continued until they were safely back in Nazareth. They raised Jesus and the rest of their children there.
When Jesus turned 30, she heard that John the Baptizer said Jesus was “the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” That expanded his purpose universally.
Jesus began his miracle ministry at a wedding in Cana. Mary was there and for the next three years she saw many miracles, heard great teaching and experienced many new things. Wonder grew in her heart as well as concern for her son as opposition to him increased. The power of his name was continually demonstrated over sickness and sin.
Power was given to his disciples when he sent them out. They returned to him with rejoicing, saying that even demons were subject to them in his name.
Remember elder Simeon holding her baby shortly after his birth? He called Jesus “salvation” and the “light.” Jesus claimed those titles and many other names.
Every day experiences were linked to the names of Jesus. He used natural objects to teach spiritual truth. Sheep were a common sight when he said he was the Good Shepherd. Candles and lamps were used to light homes. Jesus said he was the Light of the world. Bread was a staple so they understood when he said he was the Bread of Life. He emphasized life when he claimed to be the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Lazarus was about to be raised from the dead when Jesus said he was the Resurrection and the Life. Lazarus became living proof of the power of the name of Jesus.
Mary was heartbroken when Jesus was crucified but then rejoiced in his resurrection. She went to Jerusalem to await the promise of the Spirit after Jesus ascended. She and her other sons were present with the 120 who received his Spirit and his name (Acts 2:38). Actually, 3,000 were included in that great outpouring of the Spirit.
Miracles and healing continued in the name of Jesus Christ for early church believers. They continue today, especially with the wonderful gift of salvation. That is the best gift at any time for everyone and it can last forever.
Mitch Glover pastors the Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday Bible class at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. are livestreamed on Facebook as well as the Thursday Bible study at 7 p.m. Visit the services and sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.