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Jesus - The Only Name That Counts!

Homiletics magazine related the following incident in its September, 1998, issue (p 32). Actress Rosalind Russell liked to tell this story on herself. She was taking a cruise and one day on deck she was sitting next to a man who had a terrible cold. She advised him: "It think if you will go to be early, take a lot of fluids and two aspirin, you will feel better in the morning." The man didn't register a response so she added: "My name is Rosalind Russell — you know? I make movies?" The man apologized for not recognizing her, thanked her for her advice, and introduced himself: "My name is Charles Mayo, and I run a medical clinic." Check it out and you will find that Rosalind Russell was an accomplished actress. But her name has nothing to do with medical research and healing. Mayo, on the other hand, helped found the famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota which came to be regarded as one of the most foremost medical treatment and research institutions in the world. The incident reminds us that having fame and a well-known name is not the same as having a big brain (at least not in every area of life)!

The Bible tells us about the name that is above all names. In the words of the apostle Paul, God gave Jesus "the name which is above every name" and decreed that every should bow and every tongue confess Him as Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). Two thousand years after Jesus came to this world, we still feel the aftershocks of His mission and message. Millions today pin their hopes on Jesus as the only one who is 'the way, the truth and the life," convicted that "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). In 2009 evangelical writer Tim LaHaye and David Minasian published a book entitled Jesus: Why The World Is Still Fascinated By Him. On page 10 of that book, LaHaye writes about being on the Larry King Live tv show in March, 2006 (with Jerry Jenkins). During a break in the interview, King surprised him and Jenkins by saying, "I am not a believer, but I have the utmost respect for Jesus Christ. I believe He was the most influential person who ever lived." LaHaye then asks (in the book) why Larry King would make such a statement, and answers his own question: "Because it's true. Of the estimated more that 13 billion people who have lived on the earth since the dawn of recorded history, why does the one named Jesus Christ draw so much attention — more attention without question than any other person?" The rest of LaHaye's book attempts to answer that question. Hebrews 13:20-21 reminds us why our spiritual hopes and destinies are tied to the name and person of Jesus Christ — "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Naida Hearn sums it up — "Jesus, name above all names: Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord, Emmanuel, God is with us, Blessed Redeemer, Living Word" (Jesus, Name Above All Names; 1974). When it comes to pleasing God and getting to Heaven, Jesus is the only name that counts.

Dan Gulley,
Smithville church of Christ