Friday, February 11, 2011


We often assign names to people based upon what they do for a living. The senior officer on a ship is called "Captain." Our nation's chief executive is often called "Mr. President." Today, we sometimes call the Apostle Paul "the Tent Maker" (Acts 18:3), and the Apostle Peter "the Big Fisherman" (Lk. 5:1-11). Jesus was known as "The Carpenter" (Mk. 6:3), and "the Carpenter's Son (Matt. 13:55).

People are also known by their relationship to a person. To my daughters, I am "Dad." To the members of Bethany Baptist Church where I was "Pastor," and to the faculty and students at Victory Christian Academy where I taught for nine years, I am "Brother Paul." At Bethany, the two year old daughter of my Youth Minister, being unable to say "brother," called me "Brudder Paul." When the youth group had tee-shirts made with their names on them, they gave me one with "Brudder Paul" on it. I cherished it.

We also know Jesus by many titles, all of which describe our relationship with Him. He is "God" (Jn. 1:1), "The Son of God" (Mk. 1:1), "Lord" (Jn. 13:13), "Master" (Matt. 8:19), "Savior" (Jn. 4:42), "Lamb of God" (Jn. 1:29), "Our Passover" (1 Cor. 5:7), "The Word" (Jn. 1:1), and "The Messiah" (Jn. 4:25-26). He is called "Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace" in Isaiah 9:6. Jesus is "Emmanuel" (Matt. 1:23), "Alpha and Omega" (Rev. 1:8), "Our Advocate" (1 Jn. 2:1), "The Mediator" (1 Tim. 2:5), "Our High Priest" (Heb. 2:17), "The Resurrection and The Life" (Jn. 11:25), "The Door" (Jn. 10:9), and "The Way, The Truth, and The Life" (Jn. 14:6). He is "The Light" (Jn. 9:5), "The Bread of Life" (Jn. 6:35), and "Author and Finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2). This list of names for the One we worship is just the beginning; there are dozens more.

I mentioned yesterday that a man's name is only as good as his reputation. And one's reputation develops from those who observe his actions. Nearly all of the writers of the New Testament spent a great deal of time with Jesus. They saw that His life matched His words. None of His disciples challenged Him when He told them He was the "I Am" of Exodus (Ex. 3:14; Jn. 8:58), but the unbelieving Jews were ready to stone Him to death for blasphemy (Jn. 8:59). They would not have called Jesus "The Lamb of God" if He had not died on the cross for us. When we read the names His disciples called Him, in their eyes, it is clear that He had earned them. That is why they proclaimed the resurrected Lord to the whole world. Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth" (Acts 1:8).

Do you honestly believe that they would willingly give their lives, rather than deny Him? We know Stephen did (Acts 7:59; 22:20), and James did (Acts 12:2). Let me ask you, "Do you believe what the Bible writers called Jesus? How much do you believe it? Do you believe it enough to willingly give up your life for Him?" Millions take the name "Christian" for themselves, but how many take the name Jesus to the lost world? If you are a child of God, "ye shall be witnesses unto Me!"

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