The untold story about Jesus’ name

No other name is mentioned more than the name of Jesus in this world. Conversely, no other name is misrepresented more than Jesus’ name. If Jesus is the Son of God why is His name more dominant than His Father’s name? The treatment of Jesus was never glorious on Earth. His name remains most adored across the world, yet also, astoundingly, denigrated the most, by others.

In Zimbabwe, the CCC leader has been vilified for advocating Biblical quotations in political activities. His critics are forthright in mentioning that the name of Jesus should be regarded as too holy to be included in acerbic political activities. While understandable for nonbelievers to pour such virulent scorn, Christian believers have been added to the confrontational fray. Should the CCC leader be censured for abusing Jesus’ name, or should he be commended?

Hence, polarity is more pronounced among those using Jesus’ name, but collectively intending to regard Jesus’ name reverently. On whose side can Jesus be found? Politics is considered too undignified to include Jesus’ name. Generally, the name of Jesus appears as used inappropriately on various other fronts. The plausible conjecture is that Jesus’ name should never be used in toxic politics.

The livelihood of humanity is politically determined, even though the affected people claim to be Christians. When things go wrong, Jesus is blamed. But when things go right, Jesus is praised by some, but also blamed by others. It is quite important to clarify the position of Jesus in the affairs of humanity.

Jesus is viewed as not partisan by some believers and yet others view Jesus as partisan. All these arguments are perfunctory attempts to contain the services of Jesus’ name in human affairs. What is the role of Jesus’ name in this world? After His death and resurrection, Jesus left the earth, to be with His Father in heaven.

The most essential complexity to clarify at the forefront is: Did Jesus, leave the scene of the world, after His death and resurrection? This is among many pertinent questions deserving accurate answers, before endeavouring to settle the inquisitive minds. Why, is Jesus’ name considered powerful and yet controversial at the same time? It seems there are unanswered questions, more than there should be answers, in a world of high technological developments.

Nothing is as frustrating as living with unanswered questions. The ever-escalating suicidal degrees in Zimbabwe could be a result of deficient answers to such burning questions. Jesus said that in His name, His disciples would drive out demons. He said nothing would be impossible to achieve, when using His name, appropriately.

Would it be Jesus to blame or the petitioner, if failing to achieve those promised accomplishments? The seemingly unknown fact about Jesus’ name is that there is nothing holy about that name. Among those associated with Greek origin, the name ‘Jesus’ is common. But Satan has manipulated that name to suit his schemes.

Unlike God’s name, commonly pronounced, imperfectly, as “Jehovah”, there is no immediate precarious risk in using Jesus’ name. Like the term, “Son of Man”, humans are safe, when fidgeting with Jesus’ name. As Biblically stated, it is God’s name that cannot be used carelessly. Even though commonly pronounced as “Jehovah”, God’s name is exclusively conjectured with unpronounceable consonants, without vowels. This was designed that way, specifically, so that God’s name cannot be pronounced randomly, by sinful humanity.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7 NIV).    

When on earth, Jesus avoided divulging God’s name except always referring to God as His Father. This resulted in His disciples also being taught to refer to God, only as their Father. The term Father signifies the condition of source or origin. No physical human can pronounce God’s name and remain physically alive. The Holy Spirit, as accessible only to the privileged few, hints at the identity of God’s name.

Jesus and His Father were united through the Holy Spirit. The same applies to those granted the privilege of the Holy Spirit, enabling them to call God their Father. However, the secretive name of the Father remains unknown. But, the Holy Spirit entitles Christians to be God’s children, as spiritually united with their Father. These people need prayer, more than any other human on earth, as exposed by Jesus:

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:31-33 NIV)

Having been granted the privilege of being God’s child should never be taken as a casual matter. This is where the vulnerability of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit rests, as also briefly highlighted in Hebrews 10:26. The ignorant, unknowingly cursing Jesus’ name can be regarded as safe. However, the same does not apply to those who have received the precious Holy Spirit.

In the above passage, the Son of Man was vilified degradingly, but without the consideration of potent retribution against the perpetrators. The opposite is true of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, whose consideration Jesus compared to God’s Name, highlighted in Exodus 20:7. Jesus equated the Holy Spirit to the name of God, whose blasphemy the Israelites were warned against.

Some people may attempt to vehemently defend Jesus’ name but without spiritual relevance. Jesus’ name is as common as any other name in this world. Nevertheless, God’s name remains secretive, for the protection of ordinary humans of this world. The condition of lamentation ought to be applied in consideration of those having received the Holy Spirit, as God’s children.

Hence, revealing God’s children can be the most dangerous in this world. Jesus was ordinarily identified as God’s child, only after His resurrection. Having been revealed as God’s Son, Jesus effectively counselled His disciples to keep the secret to themselves (Matthew 16:17-20). He was killed for calling Himself God’s Son.

The most unpredictable condition among God’s children is to remain physically alive. There is no gain in remaining alive, after having been granted the privilege of being God’s child. This is why the apostle Paul indicated that the gain was only achievable in death (Philippians 1:21)

Other than for salvaging fellow humans, what other purpose could be, for God’s children to remain physically alive? To ordinary people, Jesus could not openly reveal that He was the Son of God. To ordinary humanity, Jesus is identifiable, only as the Son of Man, although identified as the Son of God by Christians. He is anticipated to reign on earth, as the Son of Man. It remains to be seen whether it would be at that time that God’s children will be revealed, as Paul alluded to that phenomenon:

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in the hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:18-23)

God’s Children are currently known by God, just as God’s children are aware of their identity as God’s children. Even at His second coming, Jesus will be identified as the Son of Man, rather than the Son of God. Although true to a few privileged ones, the term Son of God is not applicable in this world. Those calling themselves, “Sons of God,” invite being labelled as “heretics”, if not stiffly persecuted during the orthodoxy. Anyone willing to apply Jesus’ teachings should be willing to also receive acerbic treatment, rather than reverence for being God’s Child.

The usage of Jesus’ name, whether inappropriately or appropriately, bears no significance, except casting more confusion among the degraded humans. Ordinary humans are commonly fascinated by miracles, more than anything truthful. No wonder why, Jesus’ popularity, sustained by His miracles, promptly diminished, during His acerbic moments of the crucifixion.

Nevertheless, lacking coherence in the usage of Jesus’ name should not impede anyone intending to apply His teachings. There is value in everything taught by Jesus. But that value cannot, necessarily, be translated into physical advantages. Jesus highlighted the fact that His brothers would be randomly clothed, fed and visited in prisons, rather than those living comfortably, on Earth.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”  (Matthew 25:34-40 NIV).

The righteous ones, having provided benevolence to Jesus’ brothers are not, necessarily, among those categorized as Christians. The term “Christian” refers to Jesus’ brothers, having been fed by others, as apparently, unable to feed themselves. This may be profound and unbelievable to some, but fundamentally true. This can be one of the reasons why Jesus’ name confuses ordinary people more than it should enlighten ordinary humanity.

It takes those who have experienced prison-hood, such as prevailing in Zimbabwe, to appreciate what that entails. In short, God’s children hold no glamour. They are the most despised, just as Jesus was most despised. Jesus warned of those miracle performers in His name, but who would be unable to access God’s Kingdom?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NIV).

The above passage shows that Christianity is not necessarily about calling Jesus’ name, but applying what Jesus taught. There is no doubt that Christianity may be the only religion that carries no restrictions. Every human being is free to become a Christian. Such freedom was there, even during Jesus’ time.

Wherever Jesus was found, the multitudes would swell to uncontrollable proportions. Jesus showed love and compassion to those who came, in need of His services, without turning anyone down. However, on the question of inclusion among His followers, Jesus never avoided advising of the need for self-denial.

Following Jesus requires willingness to die, for adoption as God’s child. Jesus’ name will remain relevant, until His second-coming, as electrifying to most people. But Jesus’ second coming does not apply to God’s children, who would have already become united with Jesus and His Father. To ordinary humans, the second-coming Jesus is identified as the Son of Man, rather than God’s Son.

Although ever present, as God is also ever-present, Jesus cannot be observed by ordinary humans. His brothers are also unknown. In short, among Christians, are God’s children, known only by God, and not necessarily identified as miracle performers. But this should not necessarily be construed as implying that God’s children are incapable of performing miracles. Their presence alone is one of the unheralded miracles.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those who have witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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