“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.” – Philippians 2:9
There isn’t a human being who’s name comes close. There isn’t a human being worthy of this name. On the throne of the universe sits the risen Son, and His name is Jesus.
What is very astounding about this verse is that the Apostle Paul is transitioning to allude to a passage in Isaiah chapter 45, which says, “By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.”
Now, back to Philippians 2:10-11 which says, “So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Do you see? In Isaiah it is God (Yahweh) speaking through the prophet Isaiah, and the Apostle Paul knows this very well while writing this passage, and knows the implications of writing this. He is saying, the one who spoke through the prophet Isaiah is Jesus. It is understood by Paul, that He is referring to this truth, Jesus Christ and Yahweh are one.
Do you know how amazing this is? Paul, who was a radical Pharisee, stood by and approved the execution of someone who proclaimed this truth. And Paul would eventually lay down his own life for this truth. For Jews, there is not a more controversial statement. That Jesus is God. The name Yahweh is the most revered name of all time, it is a name that is so sacred that early Jews would not speak the name, or write the name in full, rather they would remove the vowels and write it ‘YHWH’.
This speaks to how radical Christian conversion is. That a murderous Pharisee so zealous for the law, and the name of Yahweh, could be won over by Jesus. That his radical nature was not only slightly altered, but completely changed into a new creation. The old man would have approved the stoning of a person for proclaiming Jesus deity. The new man would willingly lay down his own life for this same truth. We are no different. We are all Saul, prior to conversion. Hateful, self-righteous creatures, who approve of unspeakable things. But thank God that His Sovereign Grace meets us on the road to Damascus, wins us to His powerful name, all to the praise of His glory alone.
We must see the name of Jesus in it’s proper place. The name of Jesus truly is above every name. We may look to brilliant theologians like Calvin, and Luther, but let us never forget, Jesus’ name is higher. Presidents like Lincoln, and Washington, who’s names ring through history, are but doorbells to the resounding name of Jesus. No other name compares, no other name is worthy of our praise.
When the name of Jesus is in it’s proper place in our hearts, our name also falls into it’s proper place. We have a tendency to try and place our own name on the throne of the universe, but when we see the power and status of Jesus name, our name bows, and confesses, that Jesus Christ is Lord. To the glory of God the Father.
All things are in their proper place when I realize His is the name above all names, and mine is the name below all names.