Americans tend to not care what a name means. In Nigeria, Christians name their children according to specific meanings in the Bible. They did the same in Bible times.
There are real names that are funny—Dan D. Lions, Eileen Dover, Justin Case, Rick O’Shea, Pete Moss, Mike Rofone, Earl E. Bird, Rusty Carre.
The phrase ‘a good name’ has been around for a long, long time. Your name is automatically connected to a lifestyle and character. When we say a name, we automatically think of their reputation.
Lucifer, for instance, or Jezebel, Jesus, Adolf Hitler, Elvis Presley, Billy Graham, Taylor Swift, Bill Clinton—reputations are attached to names.
In the Bible, when people changed, their names had to be changed along with the man—Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Saul became Paul, Simon became Peter.
A name is associated with authority as well. ‘Stop in the name of the law!’ If the person has authority with a bad reputation, it is hard to respect that person. Misuse takes place and a general disgust is felt.
No one has the reputation of Jesus Christ. Everything He touched was transformed. He literally split time in two. BC and AD refer to Jesus. BC means Before Christ and AD means Anno Domini, ‘in the year of our Lord’.
The apostles were filled with the power and authority and character of Jesus. We can grasp an understanding that there is something important about the Name. It was Peter who first said, ‘In the Name of Jesus be healed.’ This is from Acts 3.
Acts 3:1-9 “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:”
What happened? The name of Jesus happened! Peter and the other apostles understood the power and meaning in the Name of Jesus.
Peter got brought before the Sanhedrin.
Acts 4:6-12 “And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” (italics mine).
Later on, they were beaten.
Acts 4:18-21 “And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.”
When Jesus was named, His Hebrew name was Immanuel, ‘God with us,’ and the Greek was Jesus, which means ‘Jehovah Saves.’
Isa 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
For hundreds of years, women wanted to have a son hoping that he would be the One. None of these titles in Isaiah 9:6 are names. They are references to His character. He had a reputation doing good. He was mighty, there was nothing too hard for Him. He is a Father, loving us. He is the Prince of Peace, bringing peace to tortured souls.
Phil 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”
Luke 24:47 “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
There is something in the Name of Jesus!
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full audio of this sermon (and other great sermons!) click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.