"What is your name?"

Richard Huls

READ : Genesis 32:22-32

Can you imagine wrestling with a person all night, being defeated and crippled by that person, and then asking the person to bless you? And in turn have that person ask you what your name us? Who is this mysterious person questioning Jacob? Many believe it was the angel of the Lord, perhaps even Christ in the Old Testament. The question he asked Jacob had to do with Jacob’s real identity.

As all of us, Jacob had an image of himself. He must have remembered himself as the deceiver of his father, the one who took the birthright from his brother and the aggressive herdsman escaping from his father-in-law. His name met the clever grabber!

We all have names that identify us. Some children don’t like their names because they connect them with things they feel bad about. Many change their name to identify with someone successful.

In the early church, the practice of taking a Bible name or one of a saint was widespread. It established a Christian identity. One could leave the past behind.

What do names mean to us? Who are we? We can have a new name and image when we take the name of Jesus Christ into our lives. That makes us new people through the power of Christ. So we are called Christians.


Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us your name to remind us that we are a new creation. Amen.