Sermon 1

A Name Above All

“O How I Love Jesus”—one of my favorite hymns! It exalts the name that God said is “above every name.”

Names in our day do not mean much. Parents choose their children’s names for many reasons. Some names are different, some are weird, and some are chosen to honor a family member or someone the parents think of as their hero. But, most of the time, there is no special significance behind the choice of a name.

In Bible times, things were different. Names were given for a reason. Names meant something, and people often lived up to their names: Jacob (“trickster”), David (“beloved”), Abraham (“father of a multitude”), and Moses (“drawn out”).

In the Bible, Jesus is given many names and titles. He is called Alpha and Omega, bread, bridegroom, bright and morning star, captain, counselor, covenant, chosen of God, and Christ. He is the door, the desire of all nations, Father, and Emmanuel. He is God, High Priest, King of Israel, King of Kings, King of glory, and King everlasting. He is the life, light, love, lily, lion, lamb, lawgiver, living stone, and Lord of glory. Of all the names given to Him, however, none is as precious, as sweet, or as majestic as the name Jesus. Let’s look at the name that is above every other name.

Let’s consider the name mentioned in Matthew 1:21. The angel commanded Joseph to name the baby Mary would bear “Jesus.” Why? That name would describe in detail the entirety of all Jesus was coming to do.


The name “Jesus” means, “Jehovah is salvation.” It was a very common name in biblical society. Jesus may have had a common name, but He was no ordinary baby. His birth was normal, but His conception was anything but the one “of the Most High” (Luke 1:26-38). Jesus was a real human baby, but He was also God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14).

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God came to earth to live among men (Phil. 2:5- 8). Imagine! The Creator became dependent upon the created! When we speak of the Jesus of the Bible, we are referring to God in the flesh!


His name means “Jehovah is salvation.” The word “salvation” tells us what Jesus came to this world to accomplish: He came to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

The word “save” means “to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.” How would Jesus accomplish this? In Mark 10:45, He tells us in His own words: Jesus came to this world for one purpose—to die on the cross for sinners (John 18:37; Phil. 2:8b, “even the death on the cross” [Isa. 53:4-6; Ps. 22:1; 12-18]). Even our Lord’s great mission statement in Luke 19:10 reveals His intentions

Ellen G. White says, “The name of Jesus is all powerful to save. It is this magic name that dispels our darkness, and gives us light in the Lord. It cheers our hearts in the darkest seasons of our pilgrimage, and gives us peace with God.”1

In spite of all He did while He was here, His primary purpose in coming into this world was to die for His people.


The name “Jesus” is our Lord’s human name. He is given many names in the Bible, but the name “Jesus” is the name that identifies Him with the people He came to save (Phil. 2:5-8a). He was all God, and He was all man, too!

Imagine this: the Lord of glory came into this world. He came not as a king but as a humble servant. He was born in a manger, not in a palace. Jesus understood poverty (Matt. 8:20), weariness (John 4:6; Matt. 8:24), hunger (Matt. 4:2), rejection (John 1:11, 19:10), loneliness (John 6:15; Matt 26:29), temptation (Matt. 4:1-11), and the rest of the trials of the human condition. He endured these things so that He might identify Himself with us, understand us, and be able to comfort us in our trials (Heb. 4:15, 16). 

Ellen G. White says, “Whatever spiritual blessing we need, it is our privilege to claim it through Jesus. We may tell the Lord, with the simplicity of a child, exactly what we need. We may state to Him our temporal matters, asking Him for bread and raiment as well as for the bread of life and the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things, and you are invited to ask Him concerning them. It is through the name of Jesus that every favor is received. God will honor that name, and will supply your necessities from the riches of His liberality.”2


As I stated earlier, there were many children in Jesus’ time who shared His name, but there was only one who could be called “Emmanuel” (verse 23). Thousands of babies were born into the world that same year, but only one would grow up to be the Savior of the world!

After all these years, Jesus still stands alone. He is the only One who can save a lost soul (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). He is the only one who can save a sin-sick soul!

Humanity has fallen into a deep pit of sin. As we lie in it dying, many would-be saviors walk by with their advice. The legalist says, “You shouldn’t fall into pits.” The religionist says, “I can tell you how to get out of that pit and avoid other pits in the future.” The pessimist says, “You’re going to die in that pit!” The optimist says, “I have seen worse pits than that.” The realist says, “You need to accept your pit.” The spiritualist says, “There is no pit.” Jesus comes by, and He says, “I’ll get into the pit with you and lift you out!” That is exactly what Jesus did for you and me (Ps. 40:1-3).


Yes, there is something special about Jesus’ name. Do you know Him? Have you experienced the power behind His name? If you have, then you know why this name is above every other name. You know why Jesus is exalted and why just the mention of that precious name can speak peace to the troubled, comfort to the hurting, life to the dead, joy to the sad, hope for the hopeless, and glory to the saved soul. Do you need Him? He is as close as the mention of His name (Isa. 55:6).

1 Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, August 5, 1909, par. 5.
2 ———, Prayer, 221.

General Conference Ministerial Association