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What’s in a name?

By: jessica genoble

The first word most of us learned to write was our name. Names help us identify each other and tell us about the relationships we share. Think about all the people whose names also explain their relationship to you: Mom, Dad, Aunt Betty, Uncle Joe. Who do you call by their first name? Who do you call Mr. and Mrs.? To whom have you given nicknames? When you think about all the things we call each other, you realize how much information is packed in a name.

Just like we can learn about each other from our names, we can learn about God and Jesus from their names. In the Bible, names represented what was happening at the time or told a story from the parents. God goes by many names in the Bible and each one helps us better understand His complex character: I AM, Judge, Lord of Lords, Most High, our Father and our Strength. Through His names, God shows us who He is, what He does, and how we should relate to Him.

In Isaiah 9:6, God gives us four names for Jesus - Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace – and each one changes our perspective of who Jesus is. Roughly 700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah shows who Jesus would be when He was on earth and who He is today!

  • Wonderful Counselor – The word “wonderful” means to excite amazement and wonder, and is applied to anything miraculous. A counselor is someone with great wisdom. In this name, God shows us that Jesus is qualified to guide and lead the human race.

  • Mighty God – This name comes from the Hebrew term for God, “el gibbor,” which means champion and warrior. In this name, God reveals that Jesus is God. As our savior, Jesus fights for us everyday, wins the battle of sin, and conquers death.

  • Everlasting Father – God wants us to understand that He is our Father. He takes care of us, His children. He cares for us and will give us everything we need. He is the source of our faith and all that we have. This special relationship with Him will last forever!

  • Prince of Peace – In a world filled with war and violence, it’s difficult to see how Jesus could be the picture of peace, but the peace Jesus talks about isn’t one of physical safety and political harmony. The peace Jesus gives is the harmony from having a right relationship with God and being forgiven for our sins. This peace cannot be taken away if we have eternal life with Him!

In one verse, God gives reveals four key characteristics of Jesus. Through these names, God calls us to have faith in Jesus, to trust Him with all things, and to put our hope in Him alone.

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