TUESDAY November 17, 2020
What is in a Name?
I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea….
In the last chapter of the book of Romans, a joyful time is recorded by Paul, as he spoke of different co-laborers in Christ. He sent greetings to these great friends. The recorded names belong to both men and women who had ministered with him in the work of the ministry.
The first woman we meet is Phoebe. The name Phoebe means “bright and pure.” She was the helper of many, and she personally helped Paul: …for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also (Romans 16:2). Among the names Paul gave, there were those of great estate. According to Dr. William Barclay, Aristobulus may have been the grandson of Herod the Great. As a believer he worked alongside Paul.
As Paul mentioned so many names in this last chapter, it brought to mind another subject. In the Old Testament, names were very significant to a person. They often reflected a person’s disposition, character, or even an important occasion in history. Even today, parents really think and pray before naming a child. Parents often choose names because of their biblical meanings.
In heaven, God will give us a new name (Revelation 2:17). Why would God be so interested in giving people new names? We cannot ignore that God cares about names. God changed people’s names because they often reflected a purpose or plan for them. Sarai was changed to Sarah (Genesis 17:15). The name Sarah means “God’s princess.” The name Abram was changed to Abraham. It reflected his call to be the “Father of many nations.” The name Jacob means “heel-catcher.” It was changed to Israel, meaning “governed by God” (Genesis 32:28). It is beautiful to see how God uses names to reflect His purposes.
What about the wonderful name of JESUS? The name Jesus can be translated to “Joshua.” The name Joshua means: “God is salvation.”
Thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall save His people from their sins.
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