As soon as you mention a name, a teacher is able to recall a previous student with that same name.
Reference: v.16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: It’s always amusing talking to a teacher as they try to find a name for their baby. This is a big responsibility for any parent, but the task is made so much harder for those in the education sector.
As soon as you mention a name, a teacher is able to recall a previous student who has attended their school with that same name. And the behaviour of that student will often determine whether their name will make the short list for the teacher’s baby.
A teacher recalls how mischievous a Jack was, how malicious a Rachael was, how whingey Geoffrey was, and how gossipy Brittany was. They don’t want to recall these negative behaviours when they name their own flesh and blood.
While our names do mean a lot it is important to remember that they do not make us who we are. I currently have eight different ‘Matthews’ in my phone contact file and I can assure you that they are all very different.
Application: Jesus the Messiah had the same name as a famous criminal who was in prison at the time of Jesus’ trial. While I only ever hear him referred to as ‘Barabbas’, this passage mentions that his name is actually ‘Jesus Barabbas’.
While Jesus was wrongfully accused and taken into custody to be beaten and crucified, this other Jesus was released and set free. While I don’t hear Jesus Barabbas’ name again, Jesus the Messiah’s name has been proclaimed in every corner of the world ever since that horrible day.
Our names are important, however, they are not what forms us or makes our future. We can have the best name in the world and yet achieve nothing worthwhile. On the other hand, we can have the worst name in history and still have the potential to change the world.
Prayer: Lord, may we not be limited by the titles that people place on us. May we focus on the name that you speak over us. Amen.
Do you think that you would be different if you had a different name?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.