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Words: Walter Clark Martin (b. Dec. 25, 1864; d. Aug. 30, 1914)
Music: Edmund Simon Lorenz (b. July 13, 1854; d. July 10, 1942)
Note: It seems appropriate that Walter Martin, the author of this 1902 hymn exalting the name of Jesus, should be born on Christmas Day! Pastor Martin served several churches in New England, as well as Florida, and he produced a number of hymns, several of which are still found in our hymn books.
CH-1) The name of Jesus is so sweet,
I love its music to repeat;
It makes my joys full and complete,
The precious name of Jesus!
“Jesus,” O how sweet the name!
“Jesus,” every day the same;
“Jesus,” let all saints proclaim
Its worthy praise forever!
Shakespeare’s Juliet asks, “What’s in a name?” Her point in the play is that it matters not to her that Romeo is a Montague, a family with whom her own Capulet kin have been carrying on a violent feud. For her, this is no barrier to their blossoming love. But as the drama unfolds we see that their family names do indeed matter, affecting their lives in a tragic way.
One’s name represents the person. It can summarize character and accomplishments–for good or ill–and identify a sphere of authority and influence. Hear the names Joan of Arc or Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley or Bill Gates, and for most of us a certain persona or cluster of qualities or achievements come to mind. The name of any man or woman who has put their stamp on the pages of history is more than a series of sounds or letters on a page. It stands for something.
That’s true to an infinite degree when it comes to the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus, whose name means more to Christians than all the rest put together. The remarkable nature of the name, and of the Person behind it can be seen even before He was conceived. An angel messenger named Gabriel told a young virgin named Mary that she would conceive and bear a Son, and “you…shall call His name JESUS” (Lk. 1:31). And Mary was told that He would one day reign over an eternal kingdom (vs. 33).
In Hebrew, the name Jesus is Yeshua (Yuh-SHOO,ah), and it is translated “salvation” in the Old Testament. It is interesting to ponder the prophetic implications of the word in such verses as the following:
“Indeed He [God the Father] says [to the Son], ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation [My Yeshua, My Jesus] to the ends of the earth’” (Isa. 49:6).
“The LORD [Jehovah] has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation [ the Yeshua, or Jesus] of our God” (Isa. 52:10).
These texts give even deeper meaning to the words of Simeon, when he held the baby Jesus in His arms and said, “My eyes have seen Your salvation [or Salvation]…a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Lk. 2:30, 32).
So much could be said about this One that it’s impossible to deal with it in one short article. He is God the Son, incarnate (Jn. 1:1; Tit. 2:13), the One who took on our humanity and died on the cross to bear the wrath of God, and pay our debt of sin (I Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:7). He is presently seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven (Heb. 1:1-3), and is one day returning to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:14-15).
“To you who believe, He is precious [One to be reverenced and held in high honour],” says Peter (I Pet. 2:7). Precious because, through faith in Him and His sacrifice on Calvary, our sins are forgiven, and we receive the gift of eternal life (Jn. 3:16). And precious because, even now, in heaven, He understands our struggles and cares for His own. We pray in His name–on His authority (Jn. 16:24)–and find mercy, and grace to help us in time of need (Heb. 4:14-16).
CH-2) I love the name of Him whose heart
Knows all my griefs and bears a part;
Who bids all anxious fears depart,
I love the name of Jesus!
CH-4) No word of man can ever tell
How sweet the name I love so well;
O let its praises ever swell,
O praise the name of Jesus!
1) When did the name of Jesus first become especially meaningful to you?
2) What is the most precious thing about your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?