Acts 11:25-26, Revelation 3:10-12
25 Barnabas went to Tarsus in search of Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. They were there for a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching large numbers of people. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first labeled “Christians.”
10 Because you kept my command to endure, I will keep you safe through the time of testing that is about to come over the whole world, to test those who live on earth. 11 I’m coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one takes your crown. 12 As for those who emerge victorious, I will make them pillars in the temple of my God, and they will never leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God. I will also write on them my own new name.
“Look under your boot, Buzz. You too, Jessie. Whose name is written there?” *
Andy’s name on their shoe sole showed who Woody and Buzz belonged to. Scholar N. T. Wright told how Antioch, a diverse city, linked Christ’s name to his disciples: “there the word ‘Christian’ first came into use. It was a nickname…just as ‘Methodist’ was at first a word used by the opponents of Wesley and his friends to sneer at their ‘Methodical’ ways of organizing their Bible study and prayer groups. Like many nicknames, it tells us a lot about the popular perception of what was going on. You would hear every language…in Antioch…but the one you could guarantee to be understood in was…Greek. ‘Christ’…was the Greek word for ‘Messiah,’…‘God’s anointed king.’ Jesus’ followers were thinking and speaking in such a way that they were called ‘the king’s people,’ ‘Messianists,’ Christians.” **
- Scholar William Barclay wrote about Revelation 3:12, “Jesus Christ will mark his faithful ones with his new name: what that name was we need not even speculate, for no man knows it (Revelation 19:12), but in the time to come, when Christ has conquered all, his faithful ones will bear the badge which shows that they are his and share his triumph.” *** When did you first take Christ’s name as your “badge” of identity? How has it shaped your life?
- What does your name mean? Do you know why your parents chose that name for you? Do you like your name? How has your name shaped your view of yourself and of your place in the world, positively or negatively? When the poetic image of Revelation comes true and God gifts you with a new name (cf. Revelation 2:17, 3:12), what personal meaning do you want that name to carry?
Lord Jesus, it is because you are the Christ (God’s anointed king) that I am a Christ-ian. You are my king, and how I look forward to spending eternity with you in the safety and victory that Revelation promised. Amen.
* From video clip at https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hsimp=yhs-att_001&hspart=att&p=Toy+Story+2+clip+about+name+on+Woody%27s+shoe#id=2&vid=969513bc19e51c84afb4c37fb361404d&action=click
** N. T. Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–12. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, p. 178.
*** William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Revelation of John—Volume 1 Chapters 1–5 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 135.
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Melanie Hill is the Guest Connections Program Director at Resurrection.