"...you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendour in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate... for the LORD will take delight in you"
(Isaiah 62:2-4 NIV)
In the Old Testament it’s not unusual that people change their name, when a new episode in life is introduced. Names in the Old Testament were strongly associated with the person’s identity. The childless Abram was given the name Abraham, which means father to many, and then became a father physically, and also a father for all the faithful. Jacob, which actually means he who betrays was given a new name, Israel, which means one who has battled with God. The change of names symbolized a new beginning, a new identity.
Jesus was and is a specialist in giving people a new identity. It wasn’t only when he baptized anew the rugged and impetuous Simon Barjona to Peter – the rock, that Jesus did this, but rather in all His meeting with different persons. The blind could see, the infirmed were restored to health, the hungry fed and satisfied and the captives were freed.
Jesus can and wants to change our negative names even today. The person named Afraid, He wants to give the name Courageous. The person named Regret, He wants to name Confident. The person named Critic, He wants to name Love. The one called Captive, He wants to give the name Free in Christ. And the one who has long lived with the name I don’t want to and I don’t have the strength any longer, He wants to infuse with a new identity under the name, I can do all through Him who strengthens me.
Thank You Jesus that You have a fresh, new name prepared for me. Let me grow in the new identity that You want to give me.