Name Change

“You shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give” (Isaiah 62:2)

When I married Reid, I took his last name as my last name.  I was happy to.  My maiden name was a good German one that was at times difficult for people to pronounce.  I would usually have to say it twice for them to understand what it was.  But my married name has presented its own set of difficulties.  People keep wanting to say Helper instead of Hepler.  Oh well! 

Last week we talked about the power that went forth in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus Christ spoke his name – “I AM”.  Names carry very special meanings in scripture.  So special that God changed the names of many of his saints.  And when he changed them, he also gave each person a new identity.  He changed Abram to Abraham, a name that meant “father of nations.”  He changed Sarai to Sarah, her new name meant “mother of nations.”  He gave Jacob a new name by calling him Israel, “one that prevails with the Eternal.”  In the New Testament, God changed Simon to Peter and Saul to Paul.  When given a new name, each person was given a new identity. 

But there is one name change in the bible that is most significant.  That is the name of Jesus.  Jesus being part of the Trinity was also given the powerful name of “I AM.”   But did you know that Christ had other names also.  In the Old Testament he had the messianic name of Yeshua.  But before the Father created the world, Jesus was called by another name.  We find his name in the New Testament book of John, first chapter, first verse – “In the beginning was the Word.”  Other translations read, “In the beginning the Word already existed.”  Before creation, Jesus Christ was called “The Word.”  The Word meant that he was the divine image or revelation of his Father.  It wasn’t until after creation that Christ was given the name “Yeshua”, which means “God is salvation.”

So, why all the names for Christ?  You see, in the beginning at the time of creation there was no sin, no darkness, no fall, no brokenness, no judgment, no death, no need for salvation.  For Jesus Christ’s name to be Yeshua (God is salvation) from the beginning would make no sense, because in the beginning man was not in need of salvation.  So, Jesus was given the name of The Word (the divine image of God).  But things changed after the fall.  Man needed to be redeemed, so Christ’s name was changed from The Word (the divine image of God) to Yeshua (God is salvation).  Something very important was added to Christ’s name because of our sin. 

Truly God is the God who changes names to suit a special identity.  But there is coming more name changes – for us, anyway.  Those name changes are in our future according to Revelation 2:17, “I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”  After changing the name of His Son, and the names of many saints in the bible, the final name that God will change one day is ours!