Name Above All Names

Welcome back everyone to the Deeper Waters blog where we are continuing our look at the doctrine of the Trinity. Tonight, we are still continuing our walk through Philippians 2 and right now, we are in the great hymn in chapter 2. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at verse 9 of this chapter.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,

This passage all throughout has been talking about Jesus. Now we have heard about the obedience of Jesus to God. From this point on in the second half of the hymn, we are going to see how God responded to the obedience of the Son.

We are told that God exalted the Son to the highest place. At this, we are caught in a paradox. Did not the Son have the highest place to begin with? However, we must quickly remind ourselves that that which was his by right he did not cling to and use as an excuse to not go forth with his mission.

This again doesn’t mean that the Son forsook his deity. He was always deity. He never used his deity however as an excuse to not come and save the world. I would say that he forsook the divine prerogative use of his deity. He performed supernatural acts as we would call them only when it was necessary for the fulfillment of his mission.

As he submitted, so he remained in submission not receiving that highest place again until the Father bequeathed it upon him. The Father was pleased to do so due to the obedience of the Son. God honored him for completing the task that needed to be done.

He was also given the name that is above every name. Now we can have a hard time understanding that in our 21st century American worldview. We live in a world where names are chosen out of baby books quickly and just with whatever sounds good usually or maybe a family name. In the ancient world, names were taken far more seriously.

Your name was wrapped up in your identity. It told the story of who you were. This is also why only God, or one who saw himself as deity, could change names in the Bible. Let us not forget that this is what Jesus did with Peter which means Jesus was making a claim even in changing Peter’s name.

What is the name that is above all names? It is the name of YHWH. No one could truly be given that name if they did not have it beforehand as no one else could be said to be eternally existing or to begin to eternally exist. The Son is given that name however in light of what he has done on the cross. Instead of a curse, God reveals his identity by the name that he is given. If Jesus truly does have the name that is above all names, as the text clearly says, then he cannot be anything less than God.

Tomorrow, we shall go to the next verse.

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