Last week, a judge ordered the name of a seven-month-old child
(that's his actual photo on this blog post) to be changed from Messiah to Martin. "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been
earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," the judge said.
event occurred when little Messiah’s parents ended up at a child support hearing in a Cocke County Court
last Thursday because they could not agree on a last name. It was then that the
judge learned that the baby’s first name was Messiah and ordered it changed to
I say the judge has an extremely weak argument
for ordering the name change. According to the report, Messiah was No. 4 among the fastest-rising baby
names in 2012, based on the Social Security Administration's annual list of
popular baby names. Hence, lots of babies are being named Messiah. The bottom
line is that names don’t make people but people make names.
The word Messiah literally
means anointed. But why was Jesus the Anointed One? Simply because He was
called the Messiah? No, not at all. But one day while He was in the synagogue, Jesus
read these words concerning Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to
heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives….” (Luke 4:18).
So Jesus was the
Messiah because God had specially anointed Him through a work of the Holy
Spirit upon His life. In other words, the title the Messiah did not make Jesus
who He was, but who Jesus was made Him the Messiah.
So let me digress
and bring this idea home for a moment. What about those who of us who call ourselves
a Christian? Some of us seem to think that simply claiming the Christian label will
cause others to regard us as people of integrity. The truth is that “Christian”
in and of itself means little or nothing in this world. That’s because many who
call themselves a Christian have brought reproach upon the cause. One of the best things those of us who
name the name of Jesus can do is to live lives that bring glory to God and in
so doing we will bring honor to the term Christian.
The same thing
applies to other names and titles we wear such as Mom, Dad, Boss, Reverend,
etc. The mere title or name attached to our person means little, but it’s the
person behind the name or title that really counts. So what about you? What
kind of person do others see behind the name and titles that you wear?
As for the judge’s
actions, her argument is flawed, and I will be surprise if her decision is not reversed.
Naming a baby Messiah is neither here nor there. The Lord is in a class all by Himself, not because of His name or title but because of who He is.