This Christmas season, we use the name Jesus in popular hymns and seasonal tunes without truly knowing the powerful underpinnings of the name's meaning.
But then, what's so special about the name Jesus Christ? An English transliteration from a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah). How did we come to pronounce it the way we do? Especially, since the name derived from the Old Testament name Joshua means - appropriately- "The Lord's Salvation?" Hmmm...Joshua Christ...naaah. Allow me to describe the scene:
One Sunday afternoon (we attend the 12:30 p.m. service of our church in Ft. Lauderdale), we sit in our usual section of the sanctuary as we are terrible creatures of habit. The worship band play a couple of familiar tunes and I sing along. On the left side of the stage, stand three female singers. On the opposite side stand two males and another female. The piano sits near the left and the other bandmates are spread across the background. Though you can identify the extra talented singers and some of them get their "shine," there are no lead singers. This is intentional so that no one is glorified except for the Lord during worship. I can appreciate that the Pastor goes out of his way to make sure that this is not just music for your entertainment but ministry to our souls through psalms and hymns. The "choir" then begin introducing this new song to the congregation.
The lost are saved. Find their way.
At the sound of Your Great Name.
All condemned feel no shame.
At the sound of Your
By this time, the
chord arrangements and instruments have already grabbed my ears so I'm liking
the tune. I then pay attention to the lyrics that are displayed on the giant
flat screens on the walls to get familiar with this new song. I am struck at
the absolute Truth of them.
Every fear has no place.
At the sound of your great name.
THE ENEMY. HE HAS TO LEAVE. (Clue! Clue!)
At the sound of Your
All of a sudden, when the chorus ushers in, I feel a chill through my body that hits like a hair-raising wave. I can't explain it. You'd have to experience it for yourself but the feeling gave a rush.
Jesus, worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us.
The Son of God and Man.
You are high and lifted up.
And all the world
will praise Your Great Name.
That's it! I'm
hooked! I'm starting to memorize the lyrics so I can download it later, I mean,
buy the CD! Yeah!
After the equally powerful second verse and return of the hook, the bridge comes in:
Redeemer! My Healer! Lord Almighty!
My Savior! Declare that you are My King!
Very simple lyrics
but they brought this rush into my heart. As if a dark cloud has just sprinkled
some grace on a dry and thirsty land desperate for water, my heart sinks at
these words in humility. There have been a few times in my life when a song has
hit me hard enough to get me to my knees (though I don't always do that.) This
song got me there like no other song I've heard before.
I know. Big deal, right? What's the big deal about this song?
Natalie Grant is its
original singer and this is where you say "Who the heck is Natalie
Grant?" Admittedly, I didn't know who she was before this song.
The big deal about
"Jesus?" People say it all the time in vain and as a curse word. Funny,
nobody ever yells "Hitler!" or "Bin Laden!" when they're
scared or shocked. No. Amazingly, they yell "Jesus!" They could be
Jewish co-workers that won't profess Jesus to be more than a "moral
teacher" but they'll yell his name in vanity all the time.
Is the name
"Jesus" really as powerful as the Bible professes, declaring that
"salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven
given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
Like many other experiences in life, you're not going to fully understand until you've gone through it. You won't understand a rollercoaster ride until you go to a county fair and ride one. Men will never understand the pain of giving birth. Children will never understand the demands of adulthood. And with the name of "Jesus," you won't know its life-changing effects until you experience it for yourself. Allow me to describe this scene.
A little over seven
years ago, I had an experience with the name of "Jesus." Ironically, I
didn't know how powerful God was until I knew how powerful Satan was. I won't
go into details though I've documented what I've been through but let's just
say that it involved witnessing demons, "paranormal activity" and
five witnesses of those attacks. I was in a time in my life where I wanted to
dabble in the dark world, involving a lot of promiscuity.
I don't know if I
believe in "soul ties" or know how Biblically-based it is because I
cannot find anything on it except this one overlooked scripture: "And the
two shall become one flesh," an explanation the Bible gives on what
happens during sex. If you become "one flesh" with ONE, TWO, THREE,
FOUR, OR MORE fleshes, what effect would this truth take in your life? Anyway,
this flirtation opened a doorway to the attacks. My mother asked me if there
was any sin in my life that was allowing these incidents to take place and I
straight lied to her face and said "Whatchu talkin 'bout Willis!?" No,
really I denied I was up to anything, but deep down, I knew what she was
talking about and was blown away by her discernment.
What does this have
to do with Jesus' name? Well, after a year of torment, I decided to do some
research on this paranormal activity via the internet. Back when 56K modems were
"fast" web surfing, so you do the math. I found a couple of similar
testimonials online and even one exact description that compared to mine but
they were all non-Christian sources with NO ANSWERS.
Finally, I bumped
into a website by a Pastor who expounded on spiritual warfare; BIBLICAL
exorcism. Not the kind you see in Hollywood where the Catholic Priest is
flicking holy water at a snarling mental patient or actor Keanu Reeves burning
a demon's forehead with a crucifix. None of that is necessary and none of that
is BIBLICAL. This Pastor kept it simple: Meat and Potatoes. Though there were
all kinds of Biblical approaches to casting out unclean spirits, the Pastor
gave one last tip if one should forget all the scriptural advice he listed.
The Pastor taught
that simply saying the name "Jesus" repeatedly will also have an
effect. I log off of America Online (that's the 90's internet) and I am done
with my research finally. Days later, I had the worst experience yet. Again, I
won't go into the details of my testimony, for now, but this time I remembered
what I read from that Pastor's website. I remembered his simple advice.
Things get tense.
There's a struggle.
I repeat the name
over and over again and my utterances go from a muffled groan to a full blown
scream "JESUS!" and BOOM. All is quiet. The "paranormal
activity" stopped. I got on my knees, confessed my sin and repented of my
wayward walk into sin. After a year of these "incidents", it stopped
that night. I slept in peace, all by the name of "Jesus". And then I
realized just how powerful His name is.
Jesus. That's it.
Not Yeshua. Not Yehoshua.
Not the Hispanic pronunciation "Heh-soos". Not Yesha (how Jordanians
pronounce it). Not in any other language but the language I know. English. The
power is NOT in the language. The power is in The One who bears the name; He
that overcame the world. God chose to have the New Testament to be written in
Greek and so the Greek texts calls Him Iesous (pronounced Yeh-soos). Iesous
became Jesus when it was translated to English but God recognizes all
languages. He created them at the Tower of Babel! My faith is what drove the
unclean spirits out of my home. Not my belief in the actual word but belief in the
This is why when I
hear Messianic Christians (Believing Jews and non-Jews whose Christianity is
based in Hebrew roots) trip about the pronunciation of our Savior's name and
get all Hebraic on us, I shake my head because they're wrong. I love Hebrew and
wish to learn it (got a few words and phrases memorized). I think we can learn a
lot from the Jewishness of the Bible. In fact, I believe that if I had said
"Yeshua" instead of "Jesus," the result would have been the
same. It was faith in The One who bears the name that drove them out.
When I hear other
Christians say that "Jesus" is some pagan derivative from the Greek
god "Zeus," I want to Rick James them! That's nonsense because there are
far too many people who can attest to the powerful name of Jesus the Christ
I can be confident
that the name of Jesus is just as powerful as it is in many other nations and in
their native languages.
The writers of "Your Great Name" understood this truth. One of the writers, Krissy Nordoff, shares her story of writing the song.
"...Something rose up inside of me. Something that made me want to declare from my depths the truth about who God is," she said. "All power is in His name."
Did you get that? All
power is not in THE literal name. It's in HIS name! Do you know The One who
bears the name?
Fast forward back to
that Sunday afternoon church service. I stand in my row in marvelous wonder
about the power in His song. I was ready to Google it when I got home. My wife
is not as enthralled with this song as I am but the song reminds me of the time
when I realized just how powerful His name was and my personal experience with
the awesome power of God.
Indeed, demons tremble at it. People are healed from it. Lives are changed by it. There is no denying the affect Jesus Christ, the most powerful and popular Jew in history has on this world. Or shall I say Yeshua Ha' Mashiach.
The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap,
Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping
pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band
The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring
lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching
all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's
a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and
Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.