Common and Uncommon


5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality
with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form
of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found
in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to
the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly
exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who
are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue
will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-9 NAS

As I begin reading Paul’s words in this portion of the second chapter of Philippians, I sense the development of a theme contrasting the common and uncommon, the natural and supernatural, the ordinary and extraordinary. Let me share with you what I am thinking.

Paul begins by portraying Jesus as the Son of God who also became the Son of Man when He left the supernatural realm of heaven to come down to the natural realm of earth. He set aside His spirit nature to take on human nature. To use Paul words in verse 7, “Jesus emptied Himself and came to earth in the likeness of mankind.” The uncommon became common. We celebrate this occurrence at Christmas when we honor the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary. This was when He became Son of God and Son of Man. Joseph was told by the angel to give Him the name of Jesus. At that time in history, Jesus was a common boy’s name. With the birth of Jesus, that name became a sacred name, an uncommon name. He was given an ordinary name that became extraordinary.

Going back to verse 6, Paul says that while the Son of God reigned with His Father in Heaven, He did not consider equality with God something to hold on to or take advantage of if His Father had other plans for Him. I am quoting the New American Standard Version of the Bible today because I like the image of the word “grasped” in this verse. While Jesus was born as a baby, I picture Him grasping, or holding on to, the finger of His mother Mary. When thinking of the transition for Jesus from heaven to earth, I picture Him letting go of the Hand of God and grasping the hand of Mary. This is a picture of the transition form the supernatural to the natural. It portrays the uncommon becoming common.

In verse 8, we see Jesus as a humble human being. While being Son of God and Son of Man, Jesus died a natural death by crucifixion to fulfill God’s supernatural requirements for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus died the ordinary death of a common criminal that resulted in an extraordinary, uncommon resurrection. I believe it took great humility on Jesus’ part for the uncommon to become common and the ordinary to be come extraordinary.

This leads us to verses 9-11 to conclude our scripture passage. With great humility, Jesus let go of His place in heaven and came to earth to die for all mankind. This was not a common occurrence – it was uncommon! Because of what Jesus did, His Heavenly Father has now placed the common name of Jesus above all names. Today, His name is an uncommon, sacred name. Now it is our turn to humble ourselves and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I seems appropriate to conclude with the words of the praise song Jesus, Name Above All Names by Bill Batstone. Sing it along with me if you wish.

“Jesus, Name Above All Names”

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer, Living word.

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer, Living word.

Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer, Living word.

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What Is In a Name?


Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For Yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever.
Matthew 6:9-13

lentMy Reader, today I want you to take time to think about your name. Do you know the meaning of your name? Does the meaning of your name accurately describe you and your character?

Some of the names I answer to are Cheryl, Mom, Grammy, Aunt Cheryl and Mrs. Ahlquist. The name given to me by my parents is pronounced “chair -l” while most people pronounce it “share-l.” I grew up with my name being pronounced correctly until my husband and I were engaged. He nicknamed me “share-l” because he always had to correct people as to who I was because they either called me Carol or Sheryl. No matter how it is pronounced, I like its meaning. I have a mug with my name on it along with the meaning of “dear one” and the scripture, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” from Jeremiah 31:3. I drink in God’s love every time I take a drink from this mug.

Today I am thinking about the meaning of names given to each of us at birth because I am also thinking about the names of God revealed throughout scripture. My Reader, let us continue our exploration of the significance of the Lord’s Prayer as we begin the second week of Lent.

Hallowed be Your name.
Matthew 6:9

We study only four words today as we concentrate upon the last part of Matthew 6:9.

Hallowed be Your name.
Our modern language more often uses the word holy rather than hallowed. The holiness of God and His name presents us with the concept of prayer being a form of worship. Although prayer can be defined as a conversation with God, we must remember that we are not talking to just another person. I never want to forget the reverence and awesomeness of our holy God! This is a time to praise God!

Hallowed be Your name.
In this phrase, Jesus is referring to God’s name. To understand the holiness of God, let’s carefully consider some of the Old Testament names of God. This will help us to understand the character of God and why His name is to be esteemed above all names.

name of God as creator in Genesis 1:1
primary word translated God in the Old Testament
“El” means Mighty or Strong
“him” is the plural ending signifying the Trinity

El Elyon
“The Most High”
designates God as the sovereign ruler of the universe

El Roi
“The God Who Sees”
He is awake, He is aware – His eyes are not shut, God sees

El Shaddai
“The All-sufficient One”
Shaddai means the Pourer or Shedder of blessings temporal and spiritual
Shaddai is the many breasted one – the one who pours forth
He pours Himself out for His creatures and gives them His lifeblood

the most revered name for God
the most frequently used name in the Old Testament
translated in scripture as LORD using all capital letters
describes God as the One who is totally self-sufficient
comes from Hebrew root word “to be, to become”
I AM WHO I AM in Exodus 3:14
“I have always been, I always am, and I always will be”

“The LORD Will Provide”
“Jireh” literally means “to see”
He has foreseen your need for eternal salvation and sees your day-to-day needs
the word “sees” denotes provision and His provision is complete

“The LORD Who Heals”
heals sickness of body and soul and spiritual

“The LORD is Peace”
this peace cannot be found anywhere else than in a right relationship with God

The LORD is M
y Shepherd”
most familiar reference found in Psalm 23:1

“The LORD Our Righteousness”
a name of hope for those who have given up hope

My Reader, I am not asking you to pray the exact words of The Lord’s Prayer this week, but I am encouraging you to meditate upon the names of God.

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Note: To Know Him by Name by Kay Arthur has been my source for the names of God I have highlighted and defined.