While waiting for everyone to arrive for Bible study, one lady proudly showed us a picture of her first grandson. We all congratulated her. Then, someone asked his name.
"You'll never believe this — it's Royalty! His dad says that he will not be called by a nickname."
"Oh, no," one responded. "He'll be called Roy the minute that he starts kindergarten."
That started a conversation about unusual children's names. Someone had a young relative named Jupiter. I knew someone who named his twins Mercedes and Porsche because those were his favourite cars. But the absolute stunner was ABCDE — pronounced Ab-suh-dee. The lady who shared that just shook her head, unable to explain its origin.
That discussion reminded me of the Bible study in which we focused each week on a different name of God. Ann Spangler, in The Names of God, states, "Names in the ancient world functioned differently than they do today. … (They) were thought to reveal the essential nature and character of a person. … To know God's name was to enjoy a kind of privileged access to Him." There are many names of God. A quick Internet search revealed lists that contained 10, 72, 99, 100, even 951! As we enter the season of Lent, let's focus on three of those names.
Son of David: "The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, 'Hosanna to the Son of David!'" (Matthew 21:9a NIV)
As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds hailed him as the Son of David, the expected Messiah that they thought would come with His mighty army and conquer the Roman enemy. But He didn't fulfil their expectations; He came in humility and peace. He is the King who defeated the spiritual principalities and powers of this world, making a way for us to enter His own kingdom.
Servant: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26b-28 NIV)
On Good Friday, we commemorate the sacrifice that He made so that we might live with Him forever. He was also called the Man of Sorrows. We can remember that He was the ultimate Servant who allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross in order that we might have life and live for His glory. Because of that, we should be honoured to be His servants — the servants of the King!
King of kings: "On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:16 NIV)
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate His resurrection. He conquered sin and death and is alive evermore. Today, believers acknowledge Him as King and Lord. But one day, He will come again as the ultimate King, and everyone will bow to Him and acknowledge His rule. Will we be ready?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice, for Your willingness to give Your life so that we might live forever with You. Thank You for modelling servanthood. Help us to be Your servants in such a way that others will also want to become servants of the ultimate King. As we celebrate Your resurrection, give us joy and peace. In Your name, we pray. Amen.
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