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What's in a Name? (3 of 5)
Series: Hope For The Holidays
Dr. Rick White
Introduction: What's in a name? Juliet asked Romeo that question and answered it herself: "That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet."
1. The simple truth is names do make a difference to people. Just think about it. Parents agonize over the names of their children; it is not a simple casual decision.
2. Some of you were named after some famous person or a beloved member of your family. Your name is something special.
3. There are seasons of life (as well as reasons in life) where we use our full names.
4. Some of you go by a nickname that someone hung on you for various reasons.
5. Some of you have special names that you call members of your family. They are terms of endearment that express love and affection.
6. Sometimes people go to court to have their name changed.
7. Again the simple truth is names are important to us.
If names are important in today's culture, they were even more so in biblical culture. Names were filled with meaning. (Adam; earth or from the dust. Abraham; the father of many nations. Isaac; laughter. Rachel named her son Benoni which means son of my sorrow. Jacob changed his name to Benjamin, son of my right hand.) This is especially true for the names given to our Lord. His names and titles (more than 250) are dual revelation to us. It reveals what Jesus Christ is in himself, and also what he wants to do for us.
There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express. [Billy Sunday in a sermon, "Wonderful," quoted in The Real Billy Sunday. Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 2.]
Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Seven hundred and fifty years before the birth of Chris ...
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