Wonder in a Name – Judges 13:17-18

“And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD,
‘What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?’
And the angel of the LORD said to him,
‘Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?’”

Judges 13:17-18

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

Whenever the Old Testament speaks of the angel of the LORD, I look for clues as to whether it is an incarnation of the Lord Himself or if it is simply an angel sent with a message. In this passage in Judges, the messenger’s avoidance of giving a name, highlighting the wonderful, incomprehensible nature of it, strikes me as indicative that perhaps this visitor is more than a mere angel.

The Hebrew word for “wonderful” in Judges 13:18 has the same origin as the word used in Isaiah 9:6, both referring to wonder, beyond understanding.

My focus this morning is not so much on whether Jesus appeared to Samson’s parents in Judges 13; rather, it is on what it means that His name is wonderful. Beyond our ability to comprehend.

It highlights for me the reverence of the name of Jesus. And how discrediting it is to use this name, to speak it, in vain. Without the wonder of Him. The name – the only name – by which we are saved (Acts 4:12). The name of the One who is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature. Who upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).

Oh, may I see new wonder in the name of Jesus. The name before which every knee will bow, including mine, at the majesty, glory, and dominion He holds (Philippians 2:9-11). At the wondrous salvation He brought to us through His willing sacrifice on the cross and victorious resurrection. Salvation for sinners, those whom He loves and came to earth to save.

He came down from heaven to bring salvation to the world, to all who would believe in Him in their heart. And upon my receiving Him, upon surrendering to this Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, He poured His Spirit directly into my heart (Romans 5:5). He came down to me, and He is here with me always. The wondrous God of all. So personally near. In perfect love, drawing me, and you, to Himself, revealing His glory to those who are His, and showing His glory to the world through each vessel of clay whom He is molding into the breathtaking beauty of the image of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:7, Romans 8:29). The One whose name is wonderful.

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife,
for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20b-21

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:11-12

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