I am bad with names. Last summer we visited our former church and I had to ask a friend her name. I think I was bright red, but I’ve learned it’s better to admit my flaw than fake it. “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember your name,” seems more appropriate than, “Hey you,” or “Good to see you, friend, uh, buddy, uh . . . person.”
It’s more embarrassing when I’m working at the library. I can’t check out books to the wrong patron, so feigning is out of the question. While there, I’ve had to confess to facebook friends I don’t recall their names.
The other day I asked a gentleman, for probably the eighth time, what his name was. I apologized for not remembering. Graciously, he stated, “That’s okay. I always tell people, ‘If you meet me and forget my name, it costs you nothing. But if you meet Jesus and forget His name, it costs you everything.’”
I loved his response for several reasons. First, it put me at ease. Second, and more importantly, he found a way to mention Jesus in a non-threatening manner. If I were not already a believer, I may have paused to consider Jesus—who He was, His purpose, and why his name is well-known.
In reality, my name is inconsequential. Jesus’ is not!
Even famous people are only talked about within certain cultures and for a minimum number of years. For example, how many Americans can name all the previous Presidents? A small percentage. And if we traveled the world and took a poll, the number who knew the names of all the U.S. Presidents would drop significantly. Yet Jesus’ name has been remembered and talked about for more than 2000 years. Why?
Not because His name is unique, but because He is unique. And His name represents His Person.
Jesus . . . Messiah.
Jesus . . . Savior.
Jesus . . . Redeemer.
Jesus . . . Emmanuel.
Jesus . . . King of Kings.
Jesus . . . Lord of Lords.
So, go ahead, forget my name and who I am. It will cost you nothing. But don’t forget Jesus’ name or who He is. It will cost you everything! And, in the midst, cordially introduce Him to others.
One last note: I have not forgotten that gentleman’s name . . . and I don’t think I will.
Advance to 40 second mark on Brian Regan video for “name” humor.