Spiritual Or perhaps better, if you had one, what would it be?
a name that is given (and used) because of some event, tendency, or trait associated with the person- like “Red” for someone with red hair. Spiritual Nicknames are often a shortened version of the person’s actual name- like “Dan” for “Daniel,”or Or what would it be if you had one? Sometimes these names are understood and used by only a few, like “J. BoliverShagnasty,” And at other times they are so commonly used that most people don’t even know the person’s given name, like “Rick” instead of “William.” But, this tendency of giving nicknames is not a recent development…
Spiritual Jesus probably didn’t introduce the practice of giving representative nicknames, but He did utilize it. Or what would it be if you had one? For instance, to “James” and “John” He gave the nickname “Boanerges,” which translates as the “Sons of Thunder,”Mark 3:17. Have you ever wondered why He them gave this nickname? Though He doesn’t seem to explain it further at the time, perhaps it was prophetically and representatively given in advance of the event in Luke 9:51-54. Would your nickname be “Boanerges” because of your tendencies toward quickandfiery indignation? Jas.1:19-20; Eph.4:26-27
Spiritual Jesus also dispensed more positivebut still representative nicknames… Nicknames are often given for current traits or tendencies. But in this case, it seems Jesus was giving Simon a name to live up to- one to which he should aspire to live. Rather than his current rashness, impetuosity, and even violent tendencies, Jesus was urging him to become a stable, solid foundation upon which others could build, Eph.2:19-22. Would (or should) your nickname be “Rock” because of your solid stability and steadfastness? Acts 1:15ff; 2:14ff; 2Pet.3:17-18 Or what would it be if you had one? To “Simon the son of John” He gave the nickname “Cephas” or“Peter” -both of which translate as “Stone/Rock,”John 1:42.
Spiritual But not all representative nicknames given in Scripture were dispensed by Jesus… Why did they give him this particular nickname? Note: Heencouragedneedy brethren with financial assistance, Acts 4:37. He encouraged fearful brethren to accept a penitent and changed man, Acts 9:26-27(and how did that turn out, by the way?). He encouraged new converts to remain true, Acts 11:19-26. He encouraged lost Gentiles with the gospel, Acts 13:1-3ff 15:35. He encouraged the disillusioned back to service, Acts 15:36-39; 2Tim.4:11. Would your nickname be “Barnabas” because of the encouragement you give to others in these ways? 1Thess.5:11-15 Or what would it be if you had one? The apostles gave “Joseph” the nickname “Barnabas,” which translates as the “Son of Encouragement,” Acts 4:36.
Spiritual Surely these are not all of the representative nicknames given in Scripture, Or what would it be if you had one? But did you “see yourself” in any of them? Perhaps more importantly, will they inspire you to live up to a better name than the one your parents gave you; like the stable steadfastness of “Cephas”or the never-ending encouragement of “Barnabas”? And most of all, will you be given the name of “Christian” by being Christ-like? Acts 11:26; Eph.5:1-2; 1Pet.4:16