Baby nick-names can range everywhere from cute to down-right embarrassing. People tend to get carried away with emotion when they’re in the presence of a new-born. God is no exception, He gave His Son some names via the prophets that will stick with Jesus throughout all eternity. Let’s take a look at some of these names.
IMMANUEL Isaiah 7:14 Right after telling King Ahaz that a virgin will give birth to a son Isaiah gives this child the name Immanuel. The literal interpretation of this name is: God with us, according to Matthew 1:23. This is what sets Jesus apart from all other religious leaders that have come to man’s attention. Only Jesus can make the claim of being God in a human body (His multiple miracles back this up). This only happened once; that’s why, in John 3:16, Jesus is called the “one and only Son.” God in a human body is a concept that our finite minds will never be able to fully comprehend. That’s where faith steps in and assures us that the Creator-of-everything-from-nothing cared enough for us that He took on our frailty to become the only acceptable sacrifice so we can spend eternity with Him.
BRIGHT MORNING STAR It’s interesting that Jesus gives Himself this title at the end of the book of Revelation (22:16) because Isaiah gives the name morning star to Satan (14:12) in connection with his fall from Heaven. You see, Satan is always attempting to be better than God, but, of course, he can never get there.
SHEPHERD Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd.” John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” Jesus repeats this in verse 14-15. The whole chapter of John 10 is an explanation of this promise fulfilled.
I AM When Moses asked God, at the burning bush, the name of the one sending him to the people God called Himself “I AM”. The name says it all. In John 8 Jesus is trying to tell some Jews who He is. His last statement to them made them pick up stones to use on Him. “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am.”
SON OF MAN In Daniel 7:13-14 one like a son of man is described going into the presence of the Ancient of Days and establishing a kingdom without end. Jesus repeated His name as the Son of Man several times throughout the gospels. He apparently liked this particular nick-name.
Isaiah 9:6 lays out a list of names for the Messiah. Many translations list them as follows: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. It was brought to my attention that the original Hebrew language that these names appear in didn’t use punctuation. So it’s quite possible that each word could describe Jesus. Let’s look at this list in that light and see what happens.
WONDERFUL To borrow a term from today’s vernacular, AWESOME! Not as some use the term to describe the best pizza they ever had, but the fullest sense of the word. When we do finally see Jesus for the first time I think many of us will drop our mouth open and the only sound we will make is “AWE.” Now you catch the meaning.
COUNSELOR In John 14-16 Jesus repeatedly reassured His disciples that the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity) will come to them, after Jesus leaves them, as a Counselor. The Counselor will remind them of things they experienced while Jesus walked with them and will guide them in their daily walk. This continues with every believer to this day.
MIGHTY The term is used frequently in the Old Testament to refer to God’s power. Jesus used the word when He was standing before the Sanhedrin at one of the ‘trials’ that sent Him to the cross. He told them that they would see Him standing at the right hand of the Mighty One. That brought about the condemnation of blasphemy.
GOD At the beginning of John 14 Jesus’s disciples are confused and trying to decipher what all Jesus is telling them. Judas just left the last supper; Peter was just told he would deny Jesus; Thomas, and then Phillip, are asking questions to understand it all. In verse 10 Jesus explains that He is in the Father (God) and the Father is in Him (remember, they didn’t have the Holy Spirit to help them, yet).
EVERLASTING In Revelation 1 John comes face to face with the glorified Jesus [John would have recognized Him from the moment on the Mount of Transfiguration; (Mat. 17, & Mark 9)]. In verse 18 Jesus says “I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” You see, His work isn’t done quite yet; and neither is ours.
FATHER John 17 is a prayer of Jesus. He first prays to glorify God, then He prays for His disciples, then for those of us who will believe later. In verse 21 He sums up this concept the best: “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
PRINCE What is a prince but the heir to the throne? A kingdom awaits him. At the beginning of the book of Acts Jesus is with His disciples for the last time. They are still confused as to the timing of the promised kingdom. Revelation lays out this Kingdom that is still to come. This Prince will take His rightful place on the throne at that time to judge everyone and determine their eternal destiny.
PEACE John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The Apostle Paul explains this “peace of God that transcends all understanding.” in Philippians 4:7.
That’s quite a list of names! Remember “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow…”
I’ll see you later. Wade