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What does it mean that Jesus has the name above all names?

The description of Jesus having the name above all names is found in Philippians 2:9–11, which says of Him: "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Why was Jesus given the name that is above every name? He, the perfect Son of God, sacrificed Himself so that we may receive forgiveness of sins. After this act of self-emptying on our behalf, God honored Jesus and exalted Him by giving Him the name above all names.

Earlier in Philippians 2, Paul describes the humility with which Jesus came to earth and lived a normal human life, though He was, in reality, Immanuel—God with us. It was already humbling for Jesus to become a man, but to die a disgraceful death—execution as a criminal—was truly the humblest thing He could have done. Jesus humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:6–8). Paul is exhorting the believers to also live in humility. If the Savior of the whole world could be so humble, could live such an obedient and service-oriented life, so should we. Jesus is our perfect example.

After Jesus poured Himself wholly out for us, in total humility, God gave the highest place of honor to Him. When Paul says that Jesus has the name above all names, he means that Jesus has the name that acknowledges His complete authority, lordship, and power over heaven and earth—the name that commands respect and inspires worship. God ensured that Jesus would get all the glory He deserved by giving Him the name that is above all names. Jesus is seated in a place of honor at the right hand of God: "Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne" (Hebrews 12:2, NLT).

In Philippians 2:10–11, Paul indicates that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess the lordship of Jesus Christ: "so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." He includes those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth—all heavenly, earthly, and demonic beings will bow before and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord of all. Jesus is Lord over all the universe and all living beings, whether they chose to serve Him as their own Lord or not (Isaiah 45:23–24). He is the risen one, the Savior, our Lord. He is forever exalted above all. He has the name above all names.

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