THE POWER OF A NAME

“He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!’” 
Mk 5:7 NIV 

Today most names given to children are just handles for the purposes of identity. Many names flourish in customs and then fade away in popular use. If some popular sports star catches the public imagination many children get called by that name. But the custom of using a well-tried family name still persists in some societies. 
In Biblical times there was a strange fascination with names. They were thought to convey something about the person’s circumstances or nature or what the parents hoped the child would become. “We should remember that the knowing of the name, accurately, was believed to give one power over the person named, since the name stood for the nature of the person (hence Jesus’ giving of extra, typical, names to some of the disciples, as in Mk 3:16 – 17. The demons resist Jesus’ first command, in which he did not name them, by crying out his name and identity. This plainly fails to overpower Jesus, who now asks for the man’s name (D. English, The Message of Mark, p109). This little exchange is highly symbolic. The refusal of Jesus to be intimidated by the demons’ elaborate attempt to name and identify him means that he is again asserting his authority over them. 
Always identify Jesus and his relationship with God the Father with the words “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ”. That avoids all ambiguity. 

FOR REFLECTION
Jesus! the name high over all, In hell, or earth, or sky;
Angels and men before it fall, And devils fear and fly.
-C. Wesley