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The Name Above All Names

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted. —Psalm 148:13

Although there are terms or words for God, there is only one word given in the Old Testament for God's Name: Yahweh, Lord. It is used 6,800 times in the Old Testament, set in small capitals: Lord. Now whenever we see the word Lord in the New Testament, even without small capitals, it is a reference to Jesus. The Greek word is kyrios, but it is the translation of Yahweh.

When Paul, a Jew, would use the word kyrios to describe Jesus, he ascribed to Him not only deity but also the very name of Yahweh Himself, for kyrios was the word most frequently used in the Septuagint to translate Yahweh. Any Jew knew that.

Now to call Jesus kyrios, Lord, was not only saying that He was God but was also ascribing to Him the name that is above every name.

After Jesus died on the cross, He was raised from the dead, ascended to heaven, and welcomed home by God the Father. The first thing the Father said to Him was, "Sit down at my right hand." That in itself meant equality with God.

Not only was Jesus exalted to the highest place, the position that can only be described as that which belonged to God alone, but Paul said Jesus was also given the "name that is above every name" (Phil. 2:9). In other words, there was no room for doubt or speculation: there was only one name known in heaven and in earth that was above every name. It was to demonstrate His sheer majesty.

It is the name of the One who is worthy of our worship; it is the name of the One who fights our battles—Jehovah Sabaoth. It is the name of the One who supplies our every need—Jehovah Jireh. It is the name of the One who made the sun in creation's morning and later took dust from the ground and made man after His own image. It is the name of the One who put His name in the temple and allowed His name to dwell there. It is the name of the One who has put His name in the midst of the church.

The name that is above every name is called the Everlasting One, the Most High God, the King of glory, the One who inhabits eternity, the One who controls the destiny of nations.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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