When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said "You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him, Jesus." (Luke 1:31) ... that was the very first time the name of Jesus was spoken ... the very first time. Think about that for a moment. What would it have been like in the spirit realm to hear the name of Jesus for the very first time? I've tried to let my imagination run with that for a bit.
What must it have been like for Gabriel? What an honor to be the one to first speak the name of Jesus. How long did he know about his mission? Was he "on call" and at just the right time did God the Father bring him to the throne and say, "Gabriel. It's time. The name will be revealed." Or, did he know about this for centuries? Was he anxiously marking the days off on his heavenly calendar counting them down like ... well ... like a child waiting for Christmas? What must it have been like for Gabriel? How big was the smile on his face when the name Jesus fell from his lips? Did he laugh? Did joy or tears fill his eyes? Maybe both? What an honor to be chosen as the first one to speak the "name above all names."
Imagine the anticipation of the other angels. I would think they probably knew Gabriel was on mission. I can see them letting the other angels know, "Hey. There goes Gabe! Is this ... could this be THE mission?" I can see them waiting with this great sense of anticipation, maybe sitting on the edge of their seats, fists clinched, bodies tense with excitement. And, when they hear his name ... "Jesus" ... the leap out of their seats with the excitement of an SEC college football crowd when their team scores a touchdown! Leaping, chest bumping, high fives and hugs all around! 1 Peter 1:12 tells us that when the Good News is preached that "It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen." (NLT) How fun must it have been for them to watch this unfold.
Imagine the response of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets. They had been looking ahead to the Messiah. Jesus himself reminds us that we are "blessed" because we see and hear the Good News of the Gospel and that "many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn't see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn't hear it." (Matthew 13:16 - 17 NLT) Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, all of creation has been longing to be rescued! And, to hear the name of the one the prophets had been looking for ... to hear the name of the one sent to rescue mankind ... what must that have been like? Were they thinking, "Will these people even know how blessed they truly are!? Will they understand? We have looked forward to the Rescuer coming our entire lives. We believed, but we did not get to see. They now get to see ... will they believe?
Imagine the shock waves that rocked the demonic world. When the name that is above all names was spoken. Did their knees buckle? Mike Tyson once said, "Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the face." The name of Jesus was their punch in the face and whatever plans they make are no match for the counterpunch that is Jesus Christ. Did they get nauseous? Did they scream "Nooooooo!" Did they regroup and plan their counterattacks and say, "How can we do all that we can to steal, kill, and destroy" those Jesus came for? How can we keep them from knowing the power of the name of Jesus?
What does the name of Jesus mean to me? It's the greatest word that has ever fallen from my lips. It's the name my wife and I have sung to every one of my children as we've laid them to bed at night ... "Jesus loves me, this I know." His name has meant my very salvation and has been the most consistent word I have ever spoken. Louie Giglio has said, "The name of Jesus awakens the dead and gives them life." How true this has been in my life. No one compares. No one even comes close.
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