During my years as a High School English teacher, I introduced my fair share of students to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The balcony scene, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name… What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet” was guaranteed to cause significant classroom discussion.
But I’m recalling this now, for a different reason. You see, that “what’s in a name?” question that Juliet poses, has a different answer to the one she gives.
Yes, a rose *would* smell as sweet if it had a different name… but I posit that the reactions people would have to it, because of the different name, would differ greatly to what they do now.
Because unlike Juliet’s ‘answer’, names ARE important in the eyes of society. Like the ‘King of Kings’ post from Wednesday, names imply heirarchy. “King” is higher than “Duke”, just as “Bishop” outranks “Deacon”. If I’m travelling by plane, I’d prefer a pilot flying, rather than a flight attendant. If I’m on trial for murder, I doubt a lawyer who specialises in real estate to the wisest choice of person to defend me. And before I get sidetracked onto chess or The Castle analogies, I’ll head straight to today’s Bible verse: Philippians chapter 2 verse 9:
“Therefore, God elevated him [Jesus] to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all names” – which means, just that. The name of Jesus is above all other names. It’s greater, higher, ‘above’ all others.
And the reason why, is revealed in verse 8 immediately prior:because Jesus had “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
Obedience to God’s will for His life, brought death – and with it, God’s exaltation.
And my response to that is to pay him homage. To honour Him by being obedient myself – well, I try, anyway!
Have a great day, dear reader!