The name of Jesus

‘Jesus’ is still the most powerful word in history. When I was a teenager I still went to church three times every Sunday. I knew all of the stories of the Bible and all of the stories about Jesus. But when I went to school or out with friends I think I never once mentioned the name of Jesus. It would have been embarrassing for me. I knew that people would think I was weird. It was just a word that nobody spoke.

Then at the age of 17 I got saved. Out of nowhere God spoke to me in what seemed like an audible voice, “Why are you ashamed of me?” In shock I repented of being ashamed of the name of Jesus. After that I had a 180 degree experience. Being converted meant being totally different from before.  I discovered that there was power in the name of Jesus. It was a word like no other to get a reaction, to change the atmosphere, to get people’s attention. And now my conversations were different because Jesus was someone I knew.

I discovered that if you mentioned the name of Jesus in a conversation normally there would be an uncomfortable pause or silence as people did not know how to respond to that. You could name any other deity or prophet and it would be fine. But ‘Jesus’ is different.

Once we lose our shame and discomfort, as Peter did after the crucifixion, we find like him that there is power in using the name of Jesus, not just in praying for people but also in conversation.  We can speak out his name boldly in confidence.

It is fashionable now to use the term ‘Christ followers’ and that is OK. But ‘followers of Jesus’ might be an even more powerful expression.  World Outreach Church in Tennessee produce a magnetic sticker for their cars. I have several; just write to me if you would like one.  The metallic sticker says JESUS IS LORD. It is one thing to put a fish symbol on a car but to see JESUS IS LORD displayed on cars is another level. Let’s face it there are many activists who display their flags and slogans everywhere, so why are we afraid to stand out? Some people are worried because their ‘driving is a bad witness’. There are many cars in our city with ‘Darwin Fish’ stickers. They don’t seem to worry.

In many areas we need to claim back the common perception that JESUS is a swear word. Growing up I never came across this. It was just not done.  And later, in the workplace if people used Jesus as an expletive they would apologise if a Christian were present. Not so much now. The world has become boldly arrogant to use the name of Jesus

Sadly, almost every Hollywood movie will contain swearing and blasphemy in recent years. It is why Diana and I mainly watch foreign movies because, quite honestly, they have very little or no blasphemy. It is so refreshing. Let us never be comfortable with hearing the name of Jesus maligned and let us continue to boldly speak his name.

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