Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:…
And in now seeking to vindicate the applicability of this remarkable language to our blessed Saviour, I would at once ask you to observe that in a certain aspect there could scarcely have been a career that seemed less likely to secure future preeminence than just the earthly career of Christ Jesus. He was cradled in a manger. He probably did live a life of toil as a village carpenter. He certainly spent His youth in a town whose special characteristics were ignorance and vice. And when He became a man and emerged from His village home into the cities of Palestine, He was opposed by all the accredited leaders of the people. I must proceed to say that all this preeminence of Christ Jesus is most natural, and, indeed, most necessary. Just as no one marvels why the name of Newton or Watt or Jenner or Simpson is ever held by us in most respectful remembrance, so no one who thinks carefully needs wonder that countless thousands hail with delight the name Jesus, and declare that this name is all their boast. For, apart altogether from anything supernatural about our blessed Saviour — regarding Him, that is, simply in the character of a mere man — what elements of true greatness were wanting in this Son of the Virgin Mary? what powers and characteristics are there which evoke men's love and applause, which secure respect and reverence and esteem, which were wanting in Him who is the Captain of our salvation? Nay, but what is there which acts as a magnet upon men which was not possessed with peculiar intensity by Him of whom the Father declared — "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"? As we all know, wisdom usually secures ascendancy among men. We regard Platos and Bacons as our mental kings — as real intellectual giants amongst us. But if so, how could Jesus of Nazareth occupy any other than the front rank among men? how could He be anywhere else than in "the midst" as the centre of attraction — the exemplar man? His is the very wisdom of the Deity. Most naturally, therefore, does the name of Jesus secure preeminence. And while wisdom has ever been an attractive power among men, so also we know that goodness invariably secures respect and esteem for those who have it. Benevolence, indeed, rules our hearts as if with prescriptive right; and self-sacrifice for the good of others evokes the plaudits of all thoughtful persons. No doubt there are times at which this is not so. In days in which an all-wise God gives men over to the open practice of sin, all respect for goodness and virtue, for the virtuous and good, is abandoned. But if all these things are so, how could the name of Jesus — the name of the pure, compassionate, self-denying One — the name of Him who literally died for the sons of men — but become a name which is above every name? It would have been an insult to the common sense of mankind had the world extolled, as it does, the virtues of an , a Pascal, an A Kempis, or a Vicars — had men talked as they do of the comparatively flickering torches of holiness which were waved abroad by such pious souls — and yet left unnoticed the great Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ our Lord. Unquestionably, then, the preeminence of Christ's name is a natural preeminence. He reigns because He has a right to reign, because He possesses, as none other ever did, all those qualities, all those excellences, all those magnetic influences by means of which hearts are enthralled and minds made submissive.
(W. L. Ker, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: