Take note, remember Jesus is the name above all

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 4, 2010

Choosing a name for a newborn can be a difficult decision. The name the parents select will label their child for life.

Some people think about it all during their pregnancy and a few even wait until the hospital needs to know the name for the birth certificate to finally decide.

There are books listing thousands of names for boys and girls, giving the origin and meaning of each name. Family traditions influence choices to carry a name to the next generation. Some prefer to select a name from the Bible, while others name their child after their favorite celebrity.

Every year parenting publications study the trends and come up with the most popular baby names. In the U.S., the most popular boy’s name for 2010 is Ethan, and the most popular girl’s name, Isabella.  According to babynamefacts.com, the most popular boy’s name in 1910 was John and the most popular girl, Mary.

In Canada, the top names for boys and girls are Ethan and Emma. Recent stats I’ve read from Britain listed Mohammed as the top boy’s name, and Olivia as the top girl’s name.

When we were naming our daughter, we narrowed our list to a first name, Kelley. Then we selected her middle name from the Bible by choosing Elizabeth.

Ultrasounds weren’t routine then, so we also chose a boy’s name, just in case.

In the book of Luke, we read the familiar story of a mother whose baby’s birth we celebrate at Christmas. Luke, a doctor, wrote about Mary’s miraculous pregnancy. Two thousand years ago, an angelic visitor told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26 – 38).

Not only did she know his gender, she was also given his name – Jesus. An angel told Joseph the same name saying, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:22-25).

Jesus was actually given several names. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, who foretold his birth, wrote, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

The Apostle Paul wrote these words about Jesus’ name, “God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

Other names for Jesus in the New Testament include the “Good Shepherd,” the “Way, the Truth and the Life,” “Light of the World” and “Emmanuel” meaning God with us.

John Newton, author of the song, Amazing Grace, once said, “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fear.”