When God spoke his name to Moses at the burning bush, he uttered a word so holy that for centuries it was almost never spoken aloud. We still don’t know today how the word was pronounced. I wrote about the sacred tetragrammaton, the four letters, in a recent blog post.
Names are important. Jesus has several names in scripture, all of them sacred: the I Am, Yeshua, and Lord are just a few examples. Scripture also teaches that Jesus is not the only one to be granted a sacred, mysterious name.
The faithful will receive a new name.
In Revelation 2 the Lord says of the faithful, “I will permit them to eat of the hidden manna. And I will give them a stone. And upon that stone I will write a new name which no one knows except the one to whom it is given.”
Jesus seems to indicate that each of the faithful has a new name coming, a name that only that individual and Jesus will know.
Jesus was a giver of names.
I have no doubt that this new name will be reflective both of God’s character, and of each individual’s own personality. Jesus was, after all, a giver of names during his time here on earth. He gave one of his closest friends, Simon, the name Cephas. The name meant rock in Aramaic, and we know the name as Peter. “Know you are Peter,” Jesus told him, “and upon this rock I will build my church.”
Jesus called two of his other close friends, James and John, the “Sons of Thunder.” It was an appropriate name for the brothers who wanted to call down fire from heaven. Jesus gave people names that reflected who they were. It seems that if you are faithful to the Lord, he will give you a secret name that communicates something about you and about him.
Honor the sacred name.
Think about that next time someone calls you by your name. Think about that next time you pray in the name of Jesus. God gives us the opportunity to live in his name, and for his name’s sake. When we live in obedience to him, we honor the name of the God that he has permitted us to take upon ourselves. Likewise, when we bring shame to our own names, we also bring shame to his name.
Jesus Christ is Lord—honor the sacred name which has been called over you.
The previous was adapted by Rachel Motte from Dr. Sloan’s commencement address at Houston Baptist University on May 9, 2009.