Names are something that have had different meanings all through history. Unfortunately, we live in an age when names are rather neglected parts of our existence. We have come to a place in time when names are almost second-thoughts. But in different ages names meant a great deal. At some points in time they were closely guarded, because it was believe that to know someone’s true name was to have power over them. At other points in history, names were very carefully considered because it was believe that names had the power to change or influence the kind of person a child would become. At still other points in history, a person’s true name was not given to them until their character had revealed itself in puberty or adulthood. In fact, it was not uncommon in some periods of history for people to have more than one name throughout their lives.
As we continue our journey this week though chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, looking at “those who overcome”, we will come to a promise from Jesus to give us new names, names only known to Jesus and the individual. While there have been many attempts over the centuries to explain and understand this new name, I have always taken a rather simplistic view of the matter: Jesus knows me better even than I do. He knows me, not in my fallen, sinful state, but in the redeemed, purified, justified state that will be “me” when I spend eternity with him in heaven. That new “me” will need a new name, a name that identifies me not as the broken person I am now, but as the redeemed son of God that I will be then. That new name will embody everything God intended me to be when he breathed me into creation.
I think that is pretty cool.