What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Blogs
Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

What’s in a name?

By Becca Johnson, Jubilee Church Wirral

I had a lovely conversation with someone a little while ago, all about names and their meanings. 

Maybe not something you think about very often, but names are important – in the Bible God is very particular about people having the right names!

Our conversation started because, in a department of four people, there were two called David – it’s a good name, a strong name, means “beloved” or “to love”, and there’s quite a notable character in the Bible by the name of David too!

I mentioned that in the church I grew up in you could shout “Dave” and guarantee that at least seven people would turn around to answer you. There were an abundance of them, and they were all lovely men; it must come with the name!

We moved on to talk about our own names and their meanings – mine is Rebecca, which means “captivating”; his middle name is Josiah, which means “God has healed” and he shared why he was given that name, with a powerful testimony. As I said before, names are important. I wonder if you’ve ever thought about the meaning of your name, or who you’re named after – maybe there’s a character in the Bible or in a famous book or film with the same name as you, and that inspired your name; or maybe you’re named after an important figure in the life of one or both of your parents.

In the Bible, God is very particular about the names that His people are given – in fact, sometimes he changes someone’s name to signify an important change in their life (Abram becomes Abraham, Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter). The New Testament starts with a very important name, as Mary and Joseph are both told separately that the son that Mary will bear will be called Jesus, which means “Saviour”. When Gabriel visits Joseph he not only tells him the name to give the baby, but also its significance: “She [Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) That’s quite a statement to give to a future parent – this child is going to save his people from their sins; what does that even mean?!

Sin isn’t a word that’s used very often these days – so much so that as I’m typing this my phone doesn’t believe me that it’s a word and wants to exchange it for the word “sun”; the two are very different!

Whilst the sun gives light and helps us to see the right paths to take, sin is when we don’t listen to God and we live in way that isn’t His best for us. You could say that’s taking the wrong paths. And why do we need saving from that? Well God created everything, and as a manufacturer knows the best way to build or use the product they’ve created and they know what to do to fix it when it goes wrong, so God knows the best way for people to live in His creation, and if we’re not listening to that and we’re turning our back on it then we’re going to end up in a bit of a mess, we’re not going to have a good relationship with the Creator, and we’re going to need to be rescued.

Thankfully God had a rescue plan all along: His name is Jesus, and he came to Earth to be the rescuer that the world needed. You see, God loved the world so much that he didn’t abandon it when it was in a mess, but he sent His only begotten and dearly loved Son to take the punishment for all the sin and mess of the world, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him won’t perish but will have eternal life and relationship with God. God didn’t send Jesus into the world to condemn the world and remind them how bad they are and how incapable they are of reaching His standards; but rather God sent Jesus so that through Him the world might find salvation and be made right with God.

So Jesus, meaning “Saviour”, is quite a name, a very important name with a very important life and a very important purpose.

The question is this: not just do you know His name, but do you know Him, and do you know what His name means for you?

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Rick and Chantal Robertson

Becca Johnson, Jubilee Church Wirral

more blogs

We Remember

We Remember

In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.

read more
Friends

Friends

Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.

read more
Jesus the speaking one

Jesus the speaking one

Dave expands on his Sunday morning message with this week’s blog on Jesus being the speaking one and how we follow his example

read more
Loss and God’s care

Loss and God’s care

Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job

read more
Sleep

Sleep

Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.

read more
Idle gossip

Idle gossip

Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.

read more
The Power of a Word

The Power of a Word

Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.

read more
Psalms

Psalms

Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible

read more
Taking advice

Taking advice

Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.

read more
God NEVER changes

God NEVER changes

Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.

read more
Christ’s Open Reign

Christ’s Open Reign

Dave expands on his Sunday morning message with this week’s blog on Jesus being the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

read more
Find joy in the everyday

Find joy in the everyday

Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.

read more
Being a Christian isn’t easy…

Being a Christian isn’t easy…

Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.

read more
What is Love?

What is Love?

Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.

read more
The Tapestry of Life

The Tapestry of Life

Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.

read more
New Year, Same Vision

New Year, Same Vision

Dave expands on his Sunday morning message with this week’s blog on Jubilee’s vision and values after 20 years as a church.

read more
Resolutions

Resolutions

Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!

read more
This transitory life

This transitory life

Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.

read more
Spreading the word

Spreading the word

Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.

read more
Christmas Preparations

Christmas Preparations

Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?

read more
The meaning of advent

The meaning of advent

What is advent? Why do we need to be ready for Jesus’ second coming? When will it be happening exactly? Read Dave’s blog to find out more.

read more