When I was a kid growing up in church and christian school, I would learn all kinds of songs. From my days in children’s church to our Wednesday chapel, I must have sung every worship song known to man a thousand times over. Some of my favorites were when Mr. Wunder,(our 6’5″, Tom Selleck looking principle), would pull out his ukulele and sing out of the Psalms. Years later, I used those worship songs in my evangelism to the homeless.
One song that stood out was a very melancholy tune titled “Jesus, name above all names”. The song was very simple, often repeated, and went like this:
Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Saviour, Glorious Lord
Emmanuel, God is with us
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word
One day in the early 1970’s in New Zealand, Naida Hearn made her way to the family washhouse to do the laundry, she carried with her the paper on which she had written the names given to Jesus. She placed the paper on the window seal in order that she might see it as she worked.
She once said, “While I was doing the family washing, the Lord gave me the first line of a song. I began singing, ‘Jesus, name above all names.’ I continued and sang the whole song just as you hear it today. I just opened my mouth and all of the words came out, the melody and everything. I just sang it.”
It always amazes me how a beloved worship song comes about. Simple and heartfelt, the best worship songs seem to be born out of the love that a believer in Christ has experienced and then emanating from their heart back to the Lord.
The name of Jesus is beloved for many english speaking people, derived from the latin form Iesus, which was a transliteration of the greek, the name of Jesus in the original form was (Yēšûaʿ), which means Yah (God) saves.
Why the brief lesson on the etymology of Jesus’ name?
The first time I heard the name of Jesus pronounced differently was when I was listening to a mexican church sing about Jesus but pronouncing it (hay-zoos). I didn’t know many people named Jesus in english, but I sure did hear of a lot of (Hay-zoos’s) in society. As a young man I was taken back by the alternate pronunciation and thought to myself, how can the ‘name above all names’ be called anything other than Jesus?
Well, it turns out there are thousands of different dialects for how people pronounce the name of Jesus.
To name a few:
For most of the believers in this short list, the name of Jesus isn’t the name above all names, it is their pronunciation of Yeshua Hamashiach or Jesus the Messiah from the Hebrew.
The names of Jesus
The reason for this progression of thought is to bring attention to the way God reveals Himself to mankind. Whatever way you say the name of Jesus, what stands out is who the focus of our worship is.
Not only is the name of Jesus spoken so differently in many parts of the world, the terms used in respect to His person vary greatly as well.
A short list includes:
Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2)
Author of Life Acts (3:15)
Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)
Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13)
Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15)
Bread of God (John 6:33)
Bread of Life (John 6:35;6:48)
Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)
Capstone (Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7)
Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be singing “Capstone, name above all names….” the name of Jesus was given through an angel to Joseph (Mt. 1:21). There is a reason why we share this name as the source of our salvation.
The name of God incarnate is a revelation of who He is rather than a simple title by which He is called.
Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
How has God revealed Himself to you?
Is He your redeemer or your rock on which you stand? Has He shown to be your Lilly of the valley or your Bright and morning star? When I examine all the ways that Jesus is revealed in His Word I begin to realize He is all of them to me, and I would venture a guess that for everyone else who has been transformed by His power, He is the same to them.
I love the way C.J. Lovik breaks down the 3 elements of the Hebrew language and reveals the message in it’s original form. One such revelation is the name of God, (YHVH). The phonetic, pictorial, and numerical representation of meaning in Hebrew gives a comprehensive understanding of Truth revealed.
Hebrew definition of YHVH:
YHVH—God has revealed His Name to Man so that he might look up and behold! Twice in the Name that is above every name. Look, look He pleads! Behold the heartbeat of God! He longs for you to Live by only looking! Looking in faith and beholding the nail-pierced hands of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. Jesus the Christ
Elohim–God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit participated in the creation of the heavens and the Earth. In the same way the Triune God will test Man to show him his weakness. After this He will bring about deliverance and salvation. God the Father graciously ordains man’s renewal. God the Son provides the means in Himself for the Salvation His Father has Ordained. God the Holy Spirit reveals the plans of the Father administered by the Son in order that Man might believe in the Son to be saved.
When we discover and respond to God’s call, the revelation of His name is all we really need to know. As we continue to walk in Him, we find that the expression of who He is becomes more understandable as we trust in His provision and walk obediently in Him.
One day we will worship in the fullness of His glory and we will rejoice in the God who has saved us.