Matthew 1: 21, 23
Reflection: Our Savior was given names to portray what he would mean to us, and he then fulfilled the promise of those names.
Names are assigned for varying reasons – a special meaning that the name has; a hoped-for quality or characteristic that the newborn will possess; in honor of a parent, other relative or someone admired; or simply for its nice sound.
The names Jesus and Emmanuel were given for what our savior would mean to us. He would be “God with us” and would save us from our sins. Later, he would be called by other names. When Thomas had thrust his hand into the side of Jesus, he proclaimed “My Lord and my God”. Paul very often used the name Jesus Christ, which referred to Jesus as “The Anointed One”.
Names sometimes were changed within the Bible – Jacob became Israel, Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Simon became Peter, Saul became Paul.
What is interesting to consider are names that are ascribed during or after a person’s lifetime, based upon the image that they have portrayed. Some examples in recent times, are The Iron Horse (Lou Gehrig), Honest Abe (Abraham Lincoln), and Chairman of the Board (Frank Sinatra).
My thought at this time is what name each of us would want to be given based upon how others have perceived us. By what name would you want to be remembered? Are you living such a life that this might be possible? Otherwise, what might be the name you would be given based upon how you are actually being seen by others?
Prayer: May we all live our lives according to a purpose and, foremost, may we all live worthy of the name of Christian that we share with each other. Amen.