Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Names in the Bible often have significance, telling us something about the person’s attributes or circumstances. Several people in the Bible were given new names, usually after they or their situations changed.
Jesus was born into a culture in which names were filled with hopes and expectations. God deliberately placed more than 100 names in the Bible that tell us about Jesus. They allow us to know Him more fully. Only Jesus can simultaneously be the timid, submissive Lamb and the mighty, conquering Lion. This dual identity is the reason Jesus was able to put death to death by sacrificing himself. The mission of Jesus is communicated through the names given Him in Scripture.
Names, whether they belong to people, bands or companies, have the power to communicate something significant. Perhaps this is why so few people name their children Dorcas and Nimrod these days, biblical though those names are. This advent season and beyond, I hope that you’re able to experience the beauty of Jesus in new ways through worshiping Him by name.
6 Reasons Why Names are Important in the Bible
- A biblical name could record some aspects of a person’s birth.
- Biblical names sometimes expressed the parents’ reaction to the birth of their child.
- Biblical names were sometimes used to secure the solidarity of family ties.
- Biblical names could be used to communicate God’s message.
- Biblical names were also used to establish an affiliation with God.
- Biblical names are given to establish authority over another, or to indicate a new beginning or new direction in a person’s life.
Naming is one of the great privileges given to Adam in the Garden of Eden, the power to define the world in certain terms, to label reality and determine people’s perceptions of it. To ask what your own name is, is really to ask: ‘Who am I?,’ or indeed: ‘Who will I become?’
Many Christian parents name their children with biblical names, perhaps as a sign of the spiritual heritage in which they hope their children to grow up. Some Christians today take naming very seriously, and may have their name legally changed in adulthood as a symbol of a particular moment of transformation or represent a new identity.
If God were to choose to change your name, what would it be? If you could name yourself, searching out a name that represents who you are as a Christian, what name would you choose? Do you know the biblical explanation of your current name? Does it accurately represent your spiritual life? WHAT’S IN YOUR NAME?