Friday, October 2, 2009

Name Change

“James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them ‘Sons of Thunder’)” Mark 3:17

I have some nicknames. My dad alternates between calling me ‘Squeaky’, ‘Peanut’, and ‘Bells’. ‘Squeaky’ because of the tiny baby noises I made when I was little. ‘Peanut’ because of my size at birth, weighing only one pound. ‘Bells’ as an abbreviated form of ‘Joybells’.

Jesus nicknamed James and John, ‘Sons of Thunder’.

‘Sons of Thunder’. Wouldn’t you like to know that significance? Although many commentaries would suggest it was because they were noisy or angry, I struggle to accept that reasoning. Why? Because Jesus nicknamed them. I just can’t imagine Jesus calling anyone anything that would even hint of cruel.

Remember this childhood rhyme? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That is so not true! Names do hurt. They inflict a deeper pain. Ugly. Shy. Fearful. Stupid. Dumb. The wounds they inflict often last a lifetime and we are left with a scar over our hearts that refuses to heal. That’s why I believe Jesus' nickname for James and John had to denote something positive. Maybe because they knew God as their Father, they were sons of power, filled with His might.

I read that when Jesus changed a name, it was usually to establish a new identity. It was also possibly because God had them destined for a new mission. “The name was a way to let them in on the divine plan and also to assure them that God’s plan would be fulfilled in them.”

If you have read the book “Hinds Feet on High Places”, you will know that God changed several names in that story. My favourite was little “Much Afraid”. How I identified with her character through each chapter. All my life that name as followed me. She became “Grace and Glory”.

One day the Lord will change all our names.

“…To him who overcomes (conquers)…I will give him a white stone, with a new name engraved on the stone which no-one knows or understands except he who receives it.” (Rev.2:17 Amplified)

Can’t you hardly wait to hear God call you by His new name? I wonder what it will be…

“I will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast
Lonely or afraid

I will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness
Overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks my face.”
(D. J. Butler)

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Zoe said...

Oh Joy,
The Lord never ceases to surprize me with your posts. The song you quoted and your theme for this post are exactly what I use when I give my testimony. You are ALWAYS a blessing to me friend.

~Grace and Peace said...

Now I'm off to check out Hinds Feet in High Places. Knowing our Savior late in life, I sure missed out on a lot of good books.

Thank you for your faithfulness in posting daily. Amen to Zoe above - you are always a blessing!

Laura said...

Oh! I loved HInds Feet in High Places! Maybe I need my name changed...

On Purpose said...

Oh girl this just excites me...seriously I now have just kicked up a notch on my deep desire and need to meet my Jesus!

When I hear "Son of Thunder" I can't help but think of the obivous and loud impact thunder leaves...just maybe Jesus knew His 'boys' would make a obvious and loud impact for the kingdom!

I love you girl...have a terrific weekend with your boys!