At some point in my walk I realized that as Christians we can fall into the habit of connecting with only one part of the God-head. For me, it was God the Father. He is the one who supplies our needs and offers us protection and forgiveness. And so I would always use the word God – in reference to the Father – but never the name Jesus, thinking it was one and the same thing.
Another reason I refrained using the name Jesus was because I knew it felt offensive to some people. I wanted to be all encompassing, and God was Jesus anyway, so what did it matter?
But it does. It does matter.
There are many gods, but only one TRUE God. Only one Jesus. You have to stand for what you stand for in a world that chooses to generalize and desensitize things for mass appeal.
I have always marveled at the power of a name. In one of my classes we had a brilliant guest speaker called Scholastica. I sat captivated by her credentials and the way she spoke and how she reasoned, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many hours she had spent in school pouring over books and working hard at achieving success just because of the name she had – a name she sought to live up to.
Then I began thinking about the people in the Bible and how God gave them new names. Not because there was anything wrong with their old ones, but because He understood the power of a name or a label in creating change in the hearts of man. Abram to Abraham. Saul to Paul. Simon to Peter. Sarai the barren woman became Sarah, mother of nations.
And as I continue to think about it, Jesus could have been named anything. He could have been named Sean and still died on a cross to save us from our sins. But in Matthew 1:21 the angel goes to Joseph and tells him, ‘She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’
There is intentionality in the name of Jesus, and the Bible makes this very clear:
“Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.” (Acts 4:11,12)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that 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. (Philippians 2:9-11)
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17)
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14)
And the list goes on and on.
There is power in the name of Jesus. Maybe the reason we’re not seeing the power of God at work in our lives is because we’re not using it enough.