For centuries, the name of Jesus—or more accurately, the names of Jesus—have provided abundant fodder for hymn writers and rich content for worshipers all over the world. What traditional Easter service is complete without a rousing chorus of “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”? In singing, we learn that “His Name Is Wonderful” and the “Name Above All Names.” One hymn writer believed that Jesus was the sweetest name she knew, while another marveled at “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.”
Our adoration grows as we sing about the specific names of Jesus. Think about the Handel’s Messiah: can you hear the joyful strains of “King of kings . . . and Lord of lords . . . Wonderful! Counselor! The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”? How about “Emmanuel,” “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” and “Man of Sorrows! What a Name . . . Hallelujah, what a Savior.”
“There’s Something About That Name,” isn’t there?
But have you stopped to consider why the name of Jesus is so praiseworthy, so full of beauty, that we write and sing entire songs just about His name? Most Americans admire historical figures like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and those men might have songs written about them, but it’s unlikely that anyone goes to elaborate lengths to “praise the name of George” or sings that “Abraham is the sweetest name I know.”
Why do Christians praise the name of Jesus? What’s so beautiful about His name? Simply stated, the name of Jesus is different from any other name under (or in!) heaven.
As humans, we name people for the sake of convention—to tell us who a person is. Jesus is entirely different. His names tell us who He is, but also much more:
• His names tell us what He is. Son of God. Son of Man. The Word. The Truth.
• His names tell us how He is. Wonderful Counselor. Good Shepherd. Friend of Sinners. Servant.
• His names tell us what He’s done. Immanuel. Savior. Messiah. Redeemer.
• His names tell us what He is doing and what He will do. Resurrection and the Life. Advocate. Bridegroom. Great High Priest.
When your name was chosen, perhaps it was because your parents liked how it sounded. Maybe you were named after a much-loved relative. They might have researched the name’s meaning and chosen it in the hopes that you would one day exemplify that meaning. But each of those reasons is subjective, based on human perception, or a wish for what may—or may not—come to pass.
Not so with the name of Jesus. Everything about His name was, is, and always will be true. Jesus’ names are a sure thing that God, in His kindness, chose to reveal to us.
Pastor John Piper put it this way: “There is power in Christ’s name because there is power in Christ’s person.” That’s the astonishing beauty of the name of Jesus: He is His name.
So we take shelter in Mighty God. We find comfort in the Prince of Peace. We build our lives on the Chief Cornerstone. We follow Christ our Captain. We feast on the Bread of Life. We owe all we are to the great I Am. Because of who He is.
Because His name is Jesus.