REVELATION 2:17: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities. To the one who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone—and written on the stone a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.” TLV
OBSERVATION: What is my name? This may seem like an odd question. Who doesn’t know their name? I am not speaking about our given name. The name I am referring to is the name we call ourselves. The name that defines us. The name that we live by.
I have always been intrigued by the story of the demonically possessed man in Mark 5:1-20. When Jesus confronted the man who was demon possessed he asked him – “What is your name?” Most people think that Jesus was addressing the demon, because it is the demon who responded. However, I believe that Jesus was addressing the man. The man’s identity had been lost in his captivity to the demons that held him captive. And so many of our identities have been lost to the brokenness and sin in our lives.
I have been watching the historic Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Bret Kavanaugh. What no one seems to understand is that our culture has put both the accuser and the accused into the same position. They are no longer two individuals for whom Christ has died. They are two broken and flawed people for whom sin has declared its victory. One is a victim, and one is a perpetrator. And all of this without any solid evidence. Two entire lives are given new names simply because of one purported mistake in the past.
The Psalmist writes,
- “If You, ADONAI, kept a record of iniquities— my Lord, who could stand? For with You there is forgiveness, so You may be revered.” Psalms 130:3-4 TLV
Do we want to encourage a society where one’s entire life, one’s entire worth, is dictated by a single event or failure in their life? As the Psalmist declares – “…my Lord, who could stand?” Yet, the promise is found in the next verse. As believers in Jesus Christ we believe in redemption. We believe in the transformation of the human soul. We believe that the power of forgiveness breaks the power of sin. And when we repent, when we turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness, He not only saves us – HE GIVES US A NEW NAME!
- “To the one who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone—and written on the stone a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
It is not an arbitrary name. It is a name written in stone! It is our new identity as a child of God. This name is greater than the names of brokenness and failure that we have lived by in the past. It is our name as a child of God.
When I look at these Senate confirmation hearings I am deeply saddened. So much more is at stake then merely the confirmation of a Supreme Court Judge. The very decency of our nation is at stake. And as sinners saved by grace, we must see beyond all of the brokenness on both sides of the isle. We must pray that both victim and accused find their name and identity, not in the things of the past, but in their future which is found only in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord, have mercy upon us as a nation. Have mercy upon me. I pray that today I can live by the new name You have given me. And I pray that all men and women will come to know their new name in Jesus Christ my Lord.
In Jesus Name!