It's important to get someone's name right. Our names are a significant part of who we are, the way we are known and even the way we know ourselves.

To begin understanding Jesus, we need to know that there are many names for him. Each one gives a new perspective into his very nature.

God is calling your name now, and inviting you to consider again who Jesus is for you.

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When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

John 1:38-39

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I get coffee pretty regularly with a friend who tells me that he doesn’t pay any attention to the Old Testament anymore - only the words and teachings of Jesus. Jesus, however, paid very close attention to it.

In the Old Testament, if someone called you “rabbi” (which is Hebrew for “master” or “teacher”), it was usually because someone at the office had given you the job. When Jesus showed up in the neighborhood, though, it meant a person who seemed to know "more than the average bear" about Scripture - whether they had been ordained to the position or not.

Jesus knew the Old Testament inside and out, so well that even Pharisees who were out to get him called him rabbi (John 3:2)! We Christians don’t always agree on how the Bible should be interpreted. However, the conversation was very important to Jesus, and Jesus kept it going.

Maybe we should, too.

Marc van Bulck

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Gracious God, when our tongues yearn to always be right, give us ears to listen, instead, for your voice. We pray in the name of the One who first spoke to us. Amen.

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Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:14-17

Marc van Bulck

Marc van Bulck is the pastor of Seville Presbyterian Church just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Marc loves media and storytelling. Some of his favorite hobbies include writing, watching movies, nerding out about Jim Henson, and getting coffee with his friends. He is also a magician.

Hold Me in Your Hand, Lord, Teach Me How to Live

Ken Medema

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