The Sweetest Name I Know Print E-mail
The Sweetest Name I know
by Timothy Gerbig

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;” - Philippians 2:9-10

When I was a child, we used to sing, “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know.” It is a beautiful song that we all remember, but I would always find myself asking one question: Why? I understood that Jesus is God. I understood His greatness and the importance of salvation. What I didn’t understand is what makes the name Jesus so special, sweeter than any of all the names of mankind, or even amongst the names of God Himself.

Similarly, when Philippians 2 states that the name of Jesus is the highest name, what makes it so? It is obvious why Jesus, the man, was and is so special – He is God robed in flesh, but the name…is it more recognized as a name of God than Jehovah? No. Is it more revered than “YHWH,” which we assume to be Yahweh, too holy for the Jewish scribes to write? No. Does it convey the power of the name Almighty, the agelessness of Alpha and Omega, or the ever-presence of I AM? No.

Why is this name, Jesus, Jehovah Saves, so special?

I believe there are three reasons. First, throughout the Bible, there is a progressive revelation of God’s nature that is given through His names. Over thousands of years, God would tell men who were seeking to know Him a new name, each revealing more about His nature. Because the name “Jesus” is the last name given, it is the highest revelation of God’s nature. The highest revelation of the highest being in existence would be the highest name.

Secondly, it requires all of His other names and names and titles. For God to be able to save mankind, He must be the self-existent I AM, the Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Holy One, Lawgiver, Judge, and Lamb. If He were lacking in any one of these, He would not be qualified to be Savior. When you call Him “Jesus,” you are saying that He is all of them.

Finally, and most importantly, it is the highest name because God made it so. He chose His own names and the meanings of each of them. It is His favorite name. If it weren’t, He would have made another name higher. It is His favorite name because of its meaning – “Jehovah Saves.”

Salvation is the pinnacle of all of Creation, not just to man, but to God. It is His favorite act, His most significant moment, His proudest accomplishment in all of eternity. Just as a doctor is proud to write “M.D.” at the end of his name, because he worked for years to earn that distinction, God loves to be called “Jesus,” because He began working at the beginning of Creation on His plan to wash away our sins. He has never done anything else that means as much to Him as dying for you.

If God were to brag, He wouldn’t talk about the highest mountain or the deepest ocean. He wouldn’t talk about balancing the stars and planets throughout the universe. He wouldn’t talk about splitting the Red Sea or raining fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He would talk about the alcoholic who left the bottle at the altar, or the adulterer who became a devoted family man, or the atheist who God loved until he couldn’t deny it anymore.

His passion for us is so deep, He took the restoration of that relationship, and He named Himself after it, then He made it His highest, greatest, and favorite name. A thousand songs from a thousand angels would not be as sweet to His ears as the sound of one saint whispering “Jesus,” and that is why Jesus is the highest name, and the sweetest name I know.

 
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