What’s in a Name?

This morning I read this article about a clothing company in Italy that makes Jesus Jeans. They have trademarked the word Jesus, giving them legal rights when adorning “clothing and sportswear, including jackets, vests, shirts, pants and belts”. The company is serious about protecting the divine brand, and quick to sue anyone who would encroach on it. The article’s timing couldn’t have been better. I was working through the introduction of Mark early this morning, and this is just the sort of silliness that helps make my point. Our Savior, who was temporarily given the name Jesus, lived in a veritable crowd of Jesus’.  It was one of the most common names among first century Jews (the Greek form of Joshua). Between 30BC and 60AD there were four High Priests named Jesus. The NT records numerous Jesus’ or Joshua’s (Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Colossians 4:11). Jesus is common. It still is. Every knee will bow some day to the one who is given a name (meaning prominence) above every name (Philippians 2:10). This is the name given to the one we know as Jesus, but not the name “Jesus” in particular. Let the jean maker have it. We have the Lord behind it.

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