Name's sake, or "namesake"?
Gail wrote: "I have always understood God's namesake was
To which Steven replied: "Yes, I suppose Jesus was God's
namesake in that he was called 'Emmanuel' -- God with us. The very old phrase
(it's a Hebraism) 'for his name's sake' just means, 'for God's honour', 'for
This is interesting, at least to me: until I read this
exchange, I never really connected the ideas, but I think there is much more
there than I, at least, ever thought about before...
If a man's name is passed along to a son, or grandson, or
nephew, or even someone else unrelated by blood, then we speak of that person,
the recipient of the name, as the "namesake". He now bears the name, first made
known, by someone who went before, and somehow is expected -- this may be
reinforced in subtle ways -- to "live up" to the name he has been given. "You
were named after Grandfather Chester, who fought courageously at Gettysburg;
don't ever forget that!" Or, "you were named after Great-grandmother Sally, who
braved wild Indians and epidemics, and worked the land alongside her husband,
and bore him twelve children; remember who you came from!"
Barbara says her parents always sent their children off to
school, or work, or into life, with the reminder, "Remember who you are, and
don't forget where you came from!" And, we might add, "whose name you
To say that Jesus (Yahshua: the salvation of Yahweh), or
Immanuel (God, or EL, is with us) was the "namesake" of His Heavenly Father is
to say a great deal. Yes, he was the bearer, among mankind, of the "glory" and
"honor" of that unseen One. In him all the fullness of the Deity dwelt, and we
beheld the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
"For My name's sake" became, in effect, "God's namesake"!
And what about us? When we believe, and are baptized, we take
upon ourselves the name of Christ, which is -- ultimately -- the name of our
Heavenly Father. We all bear the same family name, we are all "namesakes".
Surely we should always remember who we are, and where we came
from, and whose name we bear!