Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 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 (Philippians 2:9-11 NLT).
There is no name of greater honor and power than the name of Jesus. The greatness of His name extends everywhere, whether in heaven, on the earth, or under the earth. When Jesus humbled Himself and obediently sacrificed His life and died for the sin of the entire world, Father God raised Him to such a place of power, greatness, and supremacy that there is nowhere Jesus’ authority and power cannot be realized and accessed.
It’s easy to understand why Jesus’ name is above all other names in heaven, where He is seated at the Father's right hand. Not only is He the Son of God and an equal part of the Godhead, but His name is above the angels, as evidenced in Hebrews 1:4 (NKJV), having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. In addition to the angels, the name of Jesus is above all people who have experienced Christ’s resurrection power at their deaths and now have glorified bodies in heaven.
What about on earth? Every knee on earth will bow to the name of Jesus, also. His authority and power will be undeniable to both saved and unsaved people. Does that mean all will be saved simply because they recognize Christ’s authority? It does not. I recognize King Charles III as the King of England, but he is not my king. I have not given my allegiance to him or his purposes on the earth.
Many people acknowledge Jesus as a great teacher and prophet but do not surrender to His lordship and supremacy over all other gods. They bow their knees to Him but have no part in serving Him. If King Charles III came into a room, we would honor him by standing in his presence, perhaps bowing, curtsying, or saluting, but our relationship with him would end there, and we’d only be faces in the crowd. Sadly, there will be those bowing their knees to Jesus who, not knowing Him as their Lord and Savior, will only be faces in the crowd. The name of Jesus is more than earthly royalty, for salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Hebrews 4:12). He is King of the universe and worthy to be worshipped and adored!
The name of Jesus is above all other names under the earth, too. “Under the earth” refers to the “subterranean, i.e., infernal, belonging to the world of departed spirits” (Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). Infernal relates to the nether world of the dead or hell. Every knee in that realm of darkness will bow to the name of Jesus, so all of Satan’s demons and the souls of unrepentant people will bow their knees, even though they are already sentenced to eternal damnation. Romans 14:9 (NLT) states that Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and the dead.
And so He is. Jesus Christ is the name above all names. He is given a title of great dignity above all creatures, men, and angels. He is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come (Ephesians 1:21 ESV).
We name so many things—people, places, nations, animals, and diseases, to list a few. The name of Jesus is above them all. As you consider your life, is the name of Jesus most significant and powerful? Sometimes our titles are. Sometimes the disease we’re diagnosed with demands our greatest attention when in reality, the name of Jesus is above it. Troubling thoughts of our nation and world may be foremost in your mind, but Jesus’ name is above the trouble and calamity. “In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” Jesus said in John 16:33 (NKJV).
When He truly is our King and Lord, it’s as though He slaps a “JESUS!” sticky note right over the top of the names of people and things that command the most attention in our lives to draw us away from Him. Immediately He can redirect our focus to Him—Jesus Christ, the name above all names.
© 2023, Chris Werre