Salvation – BT5
The importance of a person’s name
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Today in the Western world, we mainly use the names of people as designators or a label to simply distinguish one person from another, so a name has very little inherent significance. Our mothers and fathers may or may not have had much of a reason for naming us. It may be related to their own father, mother, or someone in their ancestry in order to ‘carry on a family name.’ Maybe they really admire someone with the same name or there’s some other sentimental value associated with it. Parents sometimes refer to baby-naming books to find one that is good sounding and one that the kid hopefully won’t get teased about when growing up. Unless you happen to be someone with a well-known reputation ‘in the news,’ whether for good or bad, the mention of your name usually doesn’t confer any special attention, whether that be for respect and honor or for disrespect and dishonor.
Today in the Eastern world, but especially historically and in the biblical world, people placed much more internal significance or meaning to the choice of a person’s name. The Hebrew term shem and Greek term onoma are used over 1000 times in the bible for “name” in order to signify or stand for the whole being or person themselves (a) or their character viewed as a whole (b), their whole reputation (c), or some other specific aspect based on the context of someone such as: their thoughts, their desires, purposes, or will, their role (d), their rightful ownership of something (e), their power/ability to accomplish something, their position or authority to make binding statements or rules and to command obedience to them, to rule over others, to pass judgment for disobedience, or to acquit a person from the guilt and sentence deserved by the crime(s) (f). <Notes> a) Deuteronomy 25:6, 9:14; 2 Kings 14:27; Isaiah 14:22; Proverbs 18:10; Psalms 18:49, 86:12; Malachi 3:16; Matthew 10:22, 19:29; John 1:12, 2:23, 3:18; Revelation 3:4-5, b) Ecclesiastes 7:1; Matthew 6:9, c) Mark 6:14, Revelation 3:1, d) Yeshua is the one-and-only, unique Son of God – John 3:18, e) Genesis 1:5-10, 2:19; 2 Samuel 12:28; Amos 9:12, f) 1 Corinthians 6:11 “justified in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus.”
Make sure to read the next BLOG to see why this is important to you!
As Christian musicians, have you ever wondered why the bible talks so much about a person’s name, even renaming people, like Jacob becoming Israel, and Cephas becoming Peter? Read the next BLOG!
Thank You Lord that regardless of what our parents named us, You have Your own name for us. Some of us are so fortunate to have been told this! Lord, we ask You to reveal that for the rest of us, just as You named Your own Son for a special reason.