It’s the second most common full name in all of the United States.

And it’s mine.

According to Ancestry.com, “Michael Smith” is the second most common name in America, behind only “James Smith” (and not far behind). I tell those whom I meet that they’re lucky if they only know three of us, as some folks I’ve spoken to know (or know of) many more Michael (or Mike) Smiths. When I meet other Mike Smiths, it feels like meeting a fraternity brother. We regale each other with tales (all of them true) of misdirected emails, disregarded pizza orders, disbelieving hotel clerks (“C’mon, what’s your real name?”), unexplained travel restrictions (“Sir, did you know you’re on the ‘no-fly’ list?”), and Customs searches at the airport (“Why did you flag my luggage?”“Probably your name.” (TSA agent chuckles wickedly)).

My wife and I even joke with our kids that we are in the witness protection program, and were given our names so no one can find us. Needle in a haystack, you know.

But so what? It’s just a name, right? Wasn’t it Shakespeare who penned Juliet’s famous line to Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose would by any other name smell as sweet.”

Obviously, the Bard didn’t consider the name of Jesus.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Phil. 2:9-11

In Hebrew, His name is Yeshua, meaning “the Lord saves,” with Jesus being the Greek version. In the Old Testament, Joshua’s name is the closest, with Joshua being a type of Christ who led Israel into the Promised Land.

Scripture assigns great meaning to Jesus’ name. In the New Testament, it’s very plain and simple.

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).”

Matthew 1:22-23

Isaiah’s lyrical writing on the Old Testament also captures it well.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

So next time you’re in a Shakespearean state of mind, think again. What’s in a name? That depends on the name. If it’s the name of a flower, it might not matter. But if you’re concerned about your life, righteousness, and salvation, the name of Jesus is everything.

2 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

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