Name Above All Names
(Author unknown)

Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV):

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Finding a name for a child was very important to Jewish families. They cared very much in finding a name which sometimes was of a great significance to the parents. Leah for example, decided on the name of 'Judah' (Praise) for her fourth child saying, "I will praise the LORD" (Genesis 29:35). Occasionally, a visible personality trait was the reason for a particular name. In Genesis 25:26 for example, we can see this in the name of Jacob: the root of this name is 'heel', so the meaning of this name can be something like 'heel holder' - at his birth, he held on to his brother Esau's heel.

The name given at someone's birth often symbolizes the character of a person. In the ancient world, this was intenional. Even today, people subconsciously associate character traits and experiences with names. When being called by our name, we all are hoping for people to have good memories of us coming to their mind, instead of a sensation of fear, for example.

Mary and Joseph as Jewish parents, passed through a completely different experience. Instead of finding a name for themselves, an angel told them how to name the child (Matthew 1:21). The heavenly Father Himself chose the earthly name of His Son which contained the purpose for His coming. The day will come on which the mere pronounciation of the name 'Jesus' will make people bow their knees before Him confessing that HE is LORD (Philippians 2:10-11).

In the Hebraic original, the name 'Jesus' is Yeshuah which means 'Salvation' or 'Er saves'. Christ has also other names: Lord, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Highpriest, etc. But the name given to Him at His birth says everything about Him: He came to deliver the world from sin. No wonder that God gave Him the name above all names!

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