Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names,
I. CHRIST'S EXALTATION "Wherefore also God highly exalted him." This exaltation is associated with his resurrection, his ascension, and his sitting at God's right hand. It was the reward of his obedience unto death, as the Surety-Head of his people. It was a part of his exaltation that God "gave unto him the Name which is above every name" - not Jesus, nor the Son of God - but rank and dignity, majesty and authority.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE EXALTATION. "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Thus is declared the honor raid to Jesus.
1. Worship. He is the Object of adoration to all intelligences in heaven, in earth, and under the earth. Christianity is the worship of Jesus Christ.
2. Open compression of his lordship. "The knee is but a dumb acknowledgment, but a vocal confession - that doth utter our mind plainly." The lordship thus acknowledged by every tongue has a vast import, both for the Church and for the world. Jesus Christ "died and revived, that he might become Lord both of the living and of the dead" (Romans 14:9). Thus the whole obedience of Christian life is grasped by that lordship, which at the same time controls all the events of human life for the good of the Church.
III. THE END OF HIS EXALTATION. "To the glory of God the Father," whose Son he is; their honor and glory being inseparable. - T.C.
God hath...given Him a name which is above every name
I. ON THE PAGE OF HISTORY.
1. Its origin.
II. IN THE ESTIMATE OF MAN.
1. Despised and hated.
2. Admired and wondered at.
3. Beloved and reverenced.
III. IN THE PURPOSE OF GOD: triumphant, worshipped by all in heaven, on earth, under the earth.
(J. Lyth, D. D.)The name Jesus means Saviour (Matthew 1:21).
I. THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAVED FROM: sin.
1. From its penalty.
2. From its guilt. Desert of punishment is worse than punishment itself.
3. From its power. The sinner needs not only cleansing from the past, but protection for the future.
II. THERE IS ONE WHO WILL SAVE (1 Timothy 1:15). How?
1. By His incarnation, getting Himself into connection with man's nature and condition.
2. By His work of reconciliation.
3. By winning man's attention, gratitude, and trust through His own unutterable condescension.
4. By cleansing him from sin.
(G. D. Boardman, D. D.)I. ITS ACQUISITION. The name of Jesus was —
1. Chosen by God.
2. Sanctified and approved by Christ's suffering.
3. Glorified by His exaltation.
II. ITS GLORY. None other is —
1. So great.
2. So mighty.
3. So dear.
4. So enduring.
(J. Lyth, D. D.)A name is a call word by which we separate objects and give to each its identity.
I. The names, however, of FAMILIAR OBJECTS are not mere arbitrary signs, but symbols of quality. The words eagle, horse, bring a picture before the imagination. No picture rises at a foreign name, although it discriminates and separates. Homo once had a picture in it, but not now: although man has.
II. We see this more strikingly illustrated in the names of MEN. A village of people have their portraits in their names.
1. Physically. As A. is called, there is a vision of a tall man; as B., of a short man.
2. Socially and economically. One man would be generous and another stingy.
3. Morally. Faith, zeal, genius, are stored up in names.
III. We see that PERSONAL names stand for abstract excellences. Thus lover, father, child, etc., go to signify domestic excellences. When the word mother is spoken, not only does your mother come forth to your imagination in feature, but those qualities which make all mothers differ from other relations.
IV. By the extension of this practice NAMES COME TO SIGNIFY HISTORIC QUALITIES. Plato means thought; Demosthenes, eloquence; Nero, cruelty; Napoleon, military genius; Howard, philanthropy.
V. THE NAME OF JESUS IS ABOVE EVERY NAME; not simply that His name is highest on the list, although that is the fact. We are to give to the term "name" as applied to Him its full proportions and richness of meaning.
1. Christ's name is above that of all historical personages. The sum of their life is small compared to the magnitude of His.
2. If you gather the witnesses and martyrs that have lived in every age, the great men and nobles of whom the world was not worthy, there is not one of them that is not dwarfed by the side of the name of Jesus.
3. If you go from the best specimens of men to philosophers, poets, scholars, whatever admiration is bestowed on them, no one would dream that their name was to be mentioned by the side of His.
4. There are judges' names that signify perfect justice, kings' and princes' that signify authority, splendour, and power. But has the world stored up in any of these names such associations as belong to Jesus? Is there anywhere such justice and imperialness as there are in Him? Already His name stands higher for the very qualities which go to make courts illustrious, that make men glorious in history. Once a culprit under the hand of Rome, but now through a wider world than the Roman, those governments who do not acknowledge Him are feeble and barbarous.
5. But there is a more important matter of comparison — the names of chief power on the heart — heart names. In each quality which makes the dearest names in life Christ so excels that He is infinitely above all others.(1) All the love and authority which there is in "father" is dark compared with that special element in Jesus. Christ is more in those very qualities which make a father dear to his children than all fathers.(2) All those indescribable and tender graces which make "mother" the queenly name Christ has in such abundance and perfectness that a mother's heart by the side of His would be like a taper at mid day.(3) He is more tender in love than any lover ever knew how to be. No love letter was ever written which can compare with what may be gathered from the Bible describing the inflexions of Divine love toward men.(4) The enduring intimacy of exalted love in true wedlock carries up our conceptions of possible happiness to the very gate of heaven, but when we have carried it to the uttermost there comes the outbursting light of that mystic love of Christ to the Church which rides higher than poetry can follow or than experience ever went.(5) But this world is but our outhouse of creation. When we have carried these suggestions from the realm of experience up to invisible heaven, we find that the name of Jesus is above all these. There are beings who rise not only higher than men in wisdom, power, goodness, etc., but there is a gradation among them: thrones, dominions, etc., in long succession; and we find Christ towering above them, "chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely."
(H. W. Beecher.)
I. THE GREATNESS IT REPRESENTS. There is in it —
1. The greatness of nature. That which is not natively great cannot be truly and preeminently great. Can the native greatness of Christ be less than that of Deity if He is capable of receiving the glory, power, and dominion that are ascribed to Him? There are two extremes of error: the Unitarian, assimilating the Divine in Christ to the human; and the Roman Catholic, ascribing to the human Virgin what can only be Divine.
2. Greatness of character. Christ is the greatest of characters, because in Him meet all the attributes of Godhead and all the perfections of manhood.
3. The greatness of mission and work. In His mediation confessedly He stands alone; for a race that needs salvation cannot raise up one as a partaker of the Saviour in His work.
II. THE INFLUENCE WHICH IT EXERTS.
1. Through it alone salvation comes as a personal possession.
2. Every blessing that comes to the soul comes in connection with this name.
3. The results of experimental Christianity will not work where His name is denied or ignored. Physical. and even moral, truths may bless the world when their propounders are forgotten. Not so with the truth as it is in Jesus. In vain we are told that religion is not a matter of history. Take away what is Divine in Jesus, and you put out the sun and endeavour to produce light by a book on optics.
III. THE SPACE WHICH IT FILLS. Wherever there is intelligence it is understood; wherever there is loyalty it is adored. It is coincident with civilization, law, liberty, social ties, and charities; a name of welcome and cheer to all that is true, lovely, and of good report.
IV. THE PERIOD THROUGH WHICH IT ENDURES. There are names chronicled in history which we would willingly let die; but there is a fitness and reasonableness in the perpetuation of Christ's name. At the same time there is something surprising in it. Christ endures in an entirely different character from great conquerors and geniuses, as the founder of true religion, and She head of the Church. The name of Mohammed still endures, but is waning, whereas that of Jesus is going into new regions. This, too, in spite of opposition to His claims.
I. AN EASY NAME.
1. Easily pronounced. There are names so long and difficult that they have to be repeated before we venture to speak them; but within the first two years a child clasps its hands and says Jesus.
2. Easily remembered. Sometimes we have to pause before we can recall the names of our best friends, but we cannot imagine the freak of intellect in which we could forget this.
3. Easily recognized. The dying have been known to be oblivious to everything else.
II. A BEAUTIFUL NAME. It is impossible to dissociate a name from the person who bears it. Names which are attractive to some are repulsive to others, because the same name is borne by different persons, and thus they convey pleasant or painful suggestions to different people. But this name is the same to all, and stands for love, patience, magnanimity, and every beautiful quality. To the penitent, afflicted, aged, it is alike beautiful.
III. A MIGHTY NAME. Rothschild is a potent name in the financial world, Cuvier in the scientific, Wellington in the military; but no name is so potent to awe, lift, thrill, and bless as that of Jesus. That one word unhorsed Saul, and flung Newton on his face. That name in England means more than the queen; in Germany more than the emperor. At its utterance sin, infidelity, sorrow, and death flee away. All the millions of the race are to know and honour it.
IV. AN ENDURING NAME. You pull aside the weeds and see the faded inscription on the tombstone. That was the name of a man who once ruled that town. The mightiest names in the world are perishing or have perished. Gregory VI, Richard I, Louis XIV, names that once made the world tremble, mean now to the mass absolutely nothing. But the name of Christ is to live forever. It will be perpetuated in art, in song, in architecture, in literature, and above all, will be embalmed in the memory of the good on earth and all the great ones in heaven. To destroy it would require a universal conflagration.
(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)I. The MEANING of the name (Matthew 1:18, etc.) — Saviour, "for He shall save His people from their sins." Who shall save? "He." Not we or they. If I could save myself, Christ would be no more Jesus to me.
II. Its POWER.
1. It has power as an authority. It gave Peter and John authority to heal the cripple, Paul and Silas to dispossess the damsel of the devil, and all to proclaim salvation.
2. As a test (Colossians 3:17) of lawfulness and unlawfulness, etc. "Can I do this or that in this name?"
3. As a plea; in prayer for pardon and blessing. "Whatsoever ye ask the Father in My name," etc.
III. ITS MAJESTY. There have been great names in the world — Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon; but these have little majesty compared with those of Abraham, David, and Paul. But there are names higher than these — Michael, Gabriel. But all these are dim as fading stars compared with His, whose glory is as the rising sun, whose beams shall illumine a whole universe. At it all shall one day bend the knee.
IV. Its PRECIOUSNESS. What makes the name of home precious? Its hallowed associations. And round this name do cluster the sweetest memories, endearing it to pardoned sinners. Whisper that one word Jesus, and I think of Bethlehem and Calvary, and faces of the dear departed rise before me, and I hear once more the old songs, and see the light of former Sabbaths. All heaven is hidden in the name, and all hopes hang upon it.
(H. G. Guinness.)
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)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.)
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