Identity and relationship are in a name! John 10:3 says “To him the door keeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” This scripture is speaking of the shepherd. I love how the shepherd calls out his own sheep by name. When I think about the “Good Shepherd” (which Jesus referred to Himself as in John 10:11) calling me by name because I am His own it melts my heart! When He is calling me to come follow Him it is so personal and it seems more meaningful and more intentional than Him just saying “You, come on let’s go”. It speaks relationship to me. My attention was immediately drawn this morning to the word “name” in John 10 because of some conversations that I have been involved in lately surrounding Revelation 2:17 which says in part “I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” That began a whole conversation in my head about “What is in a name?” The first thing that popped in my mind was identity and relationship! Think about it. Your last name tells people what family you belong to. Your career has a “name’, therefore it let’s people know what you do. If you are a doctor by trade it identifies your profession. I am also reminded that one of Adam’s first jobs was to name all the animals. In the beginning when God was creating everything, He named them…sun, moon, day and night, etc. I think there is something to this naming business. I took a minute this morning and looked up the meaning of the word “name” in Bible Hub. This is how the word was defined… character, reputation, the manifestation or revelation of someone's character. According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs. It also means authority. In verse 3 of John 10, Jesus doesn’t just call out to any sheep but He calls out and names His own sheep. He does this not only at salvation but through the sanctification process. I have noticed in my walk with Jesus that this “name giving” is not a one time event. Through different seasons in my life He has given me names to settle into and walk out. Some of the names Jesus has given me have been: redeemed, healed, mother, more than enough. These are things that I have the authority as a child of God to lay hold of through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Also, because He has given me a “name” in real time, I have before me a kairos moment...a moment when heaven is invading my earthly circumstances and Holy Spirit is inviting me into a new name. At that moment I have all of heaven backing me when I say “yes” to His invitation and I choose to put on my new name and begin the journey of learning what that looks like for me.
Written by Jody Brown