Jesus’ Names

 Trevor Paul Monroe raised his hand high. He wiggled it in the air. He sure hoped Pastor Chuck would call on him first. He didn’t know the answers to lots of questions, but he knew the answer to this one. At least one of the answers.

Pastor Chuck looked over the class. His eyes met Trevor’s. He grinned. “OK, Trevor, you go first.”

“Savior!” Trevor said loudly.

“Good!” Pastor Chuck replied. He turned to the blackboard. All the letters of the alphabet were written there with big spaces between them. Pastor Chuck found the “S.” He wrote, “Savior” underneath it.

Now everybody’s hands were waving in the air.

“Hannah,” Pastor Chuck said, pointing with his piece of chalk.

“Light of the World!” Hannah answered.

“Good one!” Pastor Chuck found the “L” on the board and wrote, “Light of the World” in small letters under it.

“Lamb of God!” Mac bounced on her chair. She hadn’t waited to be called on.

“Wait a minute! Wait a minute!” Pastor Chuck said, laughing as he added “Lamb of God” under the “L.”

Joseph stretched his arm high. He hoped no one said the name of God that he was thinking of before he could say it. “Creator!” he shouted when Pastor Chuck pointed at him.

Pastor Chuck wrote “Creator” under the “C”. “Hold it!” he said, taking a big breath. “You guys are a lot faster at thinking than I am at writing! Put your hands down for a minute.”

The class groaned.

“Let’s talk about the names of God that we have listed so far,” Pastor Chuck said. “What do these names tell us about Him? For example, ‘Light of the World.’ Hannah, you gave us that name. What does ‘Light of the World’ tell us about Jesus?”

Hannah’s eyes sparkled. “You can’t see where you’re going in the dark,” she answered. “You could bump your head and get knocked out, or fall in a hole, or something. You feel better if you can see where you’re going. And you’re a lot safer too!” she added.

“Good!” Pastor Chuck said encouragingly. “Joseph?”

“People who know Jesus can see that they are going to heaven some day,” Joseph said. “Other people don’t know what’s going to happen to them when they die. They could be afraid.”

“That’s right!” Pastor Chuck answered.

“And light is comforting,” Mac put in. “Remember when we went to the Oregon Caves and the guide turned out the lights and we couldn’t see a thing? It was scary! It was like being blind. When the guide lit a match we all felt better!”

Trevor nodded. He remembered that!

“You guys are sharp!” Pastor Chuck exclaimed. “Now how about the name, ‘Creator’? What clues about God does that name give us?”

Trevor’s hand shot up. “It means He made everything,” he answered. “He made us. He made everything!”

“And what does it mean if you make something?” Pastor Chuck asked.

“If you make something, it’s yours,” Trevor said.

“That’s right,” Pastor Chuck agreed. “If you make something, it’s yours.”

“So we belong to God,” Trevor concluded. “Because He made us. That’s one thing ‘Creator’ means.”

Everything belongs to God,” Hannah said firmly.

“That’s true,” Pastor Chuck said. “And here’s something else. Remember that story in the Bible where the Lord told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house and watch him creating pots? What did the Lord want Jeremiah to learn there?”

“That all the pots were made for a certain job,” Mac answered. “I guess like God has a job He wants each of us to do. Or maybe lots of jobs,” she added, “because you can use a pot over and over again.”

“Good thinking,” Pastor Chuck said encouragingly. “There are a whole lot of things we can learn about God from each one of His names. Have any of you ever heard of this name for God—’The Alpha and Omega’?”

“I think I heard that once,” Trevor answered thoughtfully.

“Alpha is the name of the first letter of the Greek alphabet,” Pastor Chuck explained. “Omega is the name of the last letter. It’s kind of like saying that another name for God is ‘A to Z.’ What do you think that means?”

“I know! I know!” Mac shouted. “You have to use the letters of the alphabet to make all of the words we use. You can’t make a word any other way. Even if you wanted to. And God is the only God there is. There isn’t any other god! And I think it means that God made everything. It’s another way to say He is the Creator.”

Joseph stared at Mac. How could she think up stuff so fast?

“Good, Mac!” Pastor Chuck said, grinning. “You know,” he went on, “my wife and I tried to write down as many names for God as we could on our way to church this morning. We thought of forty-three.”

“Forty-three!” Trevor exclaimed. “Wow!”

“I’m sure we didn’t come close to remembering them all,” Pastor Chuck went on. “Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to make a list this week of all the names of God that you can find. You can look in the Bible. You can ask for help from anybody you want. I’ll have a special surprise for the three people with the longest lists next Sabbath. And then we’ll talk about what we can learn about God from some of the new names you’ve found. And maybe we can finish our chart on the board and have at least one name for God under each letter of the alphabet.”

Trevor wiggled impatiently. He was determined that he would find at least 43 different names for God before next Sabbath. Dad would help him, he knew. Mom would help. He grinned. Maybe Mrs. Pastor Chuck would help him too.

Questions: How many names do you think Trevor found? How many can you find? Why not make your own list to see?

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