December, 2017 – He Had Me at ‘Jesus’

December, 2017 – He Had Me at ‘Jesus’

I have either been in churches, or have come across messages on podcasts in the past few years where it seems that evangelical pastors seem to shy away from using the name ‘Jesus’ – even some individuals who call themselves ‘Christians’/followers of Christ.  Not sure why.  They almost seem embarrassed to say His name.  I know that many non-evangelical churches prefer to say ‘God’, and at times, Lord – avoiding the name ‘Jesus’.  But God has a name – among others, ‘Jesus’.  What’s the problem?

My church hired a new senior pastor nearly a year ago.  John Eger was only thirty-nine years old at the time, and it did cross my mind concerning if he was ready or experienced enough to take on the task.  But, after getting to know this centered, focused, mature, and very godly man a bit for the past several months, there has been no doubt that Pastor John definitely has been up to the task in the leadership of his flock at Faith Alliance Church in Attleboro, MA.  But that is not what initially impressed me about him.

When Pastor John stood to pray the first time in our presence at FAC, he didn’t say “Heavenly Father”, nor did he say “O, Lord”, or any other of the many ways we begin our prayers, he simply said, “Jesus” – and continued on with his prayer.  I knew then – he had me at ‘Jesus’!  I was amazed, impressed and so moved that he was not embarrassed, nor ashamed to begin with this name for God – ‘Jesus’.  I knew that this was the man that had been sent to lead us not only in a spiritually instructional way, but also, with the deep overflow of love that he had for his Jesus.

Back to the problem that some have in using the name of the second Person of the Triune God.  “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Immanuel.”  (Matthew 1.23)  ‘Immanuel’ – God with us.  ‘God with us’ is ‘Jesus’!  Verses 21 and 25 in the same chapter – “His name shall be called ‘Jesus’ (God saves)

“Therefore 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 . . . “  (Philippians 2.9,10)

SO many more Scriptures, of course, but for now, I have no problem using the name ‘Jesus’.  I love His name.  I pray to Him.  I cry out to Him.  I praise Him.  I thank Him daily for shedding His blood at Calvary – for paying the unspeakable price for my sin.  While my sons were growing up, we would make a birthday cake every Christmas for Jesus and sing, “Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to You”!  And, also, every year, we presented our birthday gift to Jesus.  I love that Name above all names!

Happy Birthday, JESUS!