What if you lived a life so rich that your name was inadequate to explain who you were?
What is in a name? Maybe a rose is still a rose by any other name, but what if what a rose was all about wasn't obvious from looking at it? What if the name was necessary to tell you something about it you would not otherwise know?
There are people so rich in character and life experience that you have no hope of knowing them, unless you have lived by their side their whole lives. Jesus is the archetype of this kind of person, but there are a surprising number of lesser examples. These are real people, but we will just use movie examples to stick to a common language:
The betrayed general in “Gladiator” describes himself in the famous line:
"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son. Husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
In the movie “Secondhand Lions,” Hub McCann’s lifetime of exploits cannot be confined to his aged body. To a pack of violent young men who antagonize him without realizing what they are getting into, he declares:
"I'm Hub McCann. I've fought in two world wars, and countless smaller ones on three continents. I've led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I've seen the headwaters of the Nile and tribes of natives no white men had ever seen before. I've won and lost a dozen fortunes, killed many men, and loved only one woman with a passion a flea like you could never begin to understand. That's who I am."
If you were to name yourself using a description of what you've spent your life doing, and how you did it, what would your name be? How long would it be? How rich would it be?
What if the only thing you could say to describe your life is to say, "Christ"? Can you take upon yourself the name of Christ by doing anything less? Oh how abundant the life we are called to live, and yet we satisfy ourselves with "Steve" or "Ted" (sorry Steve and Ted).
Switching focus, what about character traits?
William Wallace in “Braveheart” is defined by his love for his bride and his country. Captain America from before Marvel went woke was known for his bravery and willingness to self-sacrifice for others and what is right. Wolverine is known for his tenacity, self-determination, and courage.
If you were described as your character traits, what would that list be? How long is it, and how valuable are the attributes?
What is Jesus' list? Do you know? How many of the same attributes would be used to describe you?
Are these important questions? Are there any questions as important?