Beautiful, Wonderful, Powerful Name

I loved a movie called Shakespeare in Love.

It had everything a growing 17 year old boy needed, swashbuckling excitement, smooth sophisticated poets yearning for truth, Gwyneth Paltrow…

There was this one spoil-sport who went around making a mess at every turn. He was the one scanning for “decency” in the theatre. Read that as, he was the dude keeping women from performing on stage.

The important scene comes down and he charges into the theatre with armed guards and declares the theatre closed “in the name of Queen Elizabeth!” At which point, Dame Judy Dench in full costume and frankly just acting like a cranky old lady and pulling off what we all imagined the grand queen to be like arrives.

“Have a care with my name… you’ll wear it out.”

We do things in the name of other things.

The old thing we used to shout when playing cops and robbers was “Stop! In the name of the law!”

The old song says, “Stop, in the name of love.”

We wear the name of our favorite teams, drive the vehicle of our favorite brand, eat the cereal from our favorite manufacturer.

Names are powerful, but they are beyond just what we pronounce when we say them. There is a reality behind that name.

FORD: Fixed Or Repaired Daily
Costco: Like one of that thing? Try forty.
Apple: Basically the same as everyone else but with a smug and exclusive community

In the commandments handed down from God, there is a specific instruction to “have a care” with God’s name. The commandment goes so much further beyond just not cussing God’s name.

Although, you can see the gravity of God’s reality by the simple fact that no other name in the history of mankind has ever been as effective an invective to level at a moment of duress. I knew someone once trying to be an equal opportunity blasphemist who would utter, “Oh, Buddha.”

It sounded really dumb.

Anyway, God did not intend us to just be afraid to say His name. The implied task behind “You shall not take my name in vain,” is that we shall nonetheless, take the Name. We take it into our private moments and our public debates. We carry His name in the Jesus fish on the back of our vehicles as we cut people off in traffic, and we take His name as we seek to fearfully raise children to know truth and grace.

We take His name to those who are in despair knowing He can provide hope. We take His name to those who are lost, knowing that in him they are found.

His name is powerful, but only because the reality behind that name is ultimately the creative nature behind power.

I have known men of Mexican ancestry, or even men in Mexico named “Jesus.” For some bizarre reason, they are nicknamed “Chuey.”

Because… reasons…

And noble as some of these men have been, there was not power in invoking the name of Jesus Garcia. Unless you were talking about how to drywall a mission house in Monclova, Mexico. Then there was some clout.

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord most high
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ
What a beautiful name it is
What a beautiful name it is
The name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful name it is
The name of Jesus [1]

The very nature of worship is that we look at the virtues of God and allow them to naturally compel us to act. While we may persist in some of our most effective stubborn ignorance, we need to make an effort to intentionally orient ourselves toward His greatness.

The very name, “Jesus” in its etymology from Hebrew history is important.

It is actually “Jeshua” from which we derive “Joshua.”

Joshua was the great conquering hero whose story is told in a book titled after him. He followed Moses as leader of the Israelite people. His name translated to “Jehovah is Savior.”

With such a famous history to His name, the Yeshua, son of Joseph, would go on to describe just how much a savior God truly is.

You didn’t want Heaven without us
So, Jesus, You brought Heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now
What a wonderful name it is,
What a wonderful name it is
The name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful name it is
The name of Jesus [2]

So in the name of Jesus is the nature of savior and creator. There also is the nature of love and the work of reconciliation.

This is a work that requires time and thought to approach just how magnificent and worship-worthy God truly is. There was impossible chasm to cross and unpayable price to pay. There is “can’t” and “impossible” all throughout the human predicament, and yet, Christ chose to give what was the only possible payment to make it possible to be with Him and enjoy Him forever.

A.W. Tozer wrote often about the nature of worship and why we render it to God. He wrote,

Fascination is another element in true worship. To be filled with moral excitement. To be captivated and charmed and entranced. Excited, not with ow big you’re getting or how big the offering was. Not with how many people came out to church. But entranced with who God is, and struck with astonished wonder at the inconceivable elevation and magnitude and splendor of Almighty God. [3]

Moral excitement… no really. Considering the nature of God and His righteousness and His sacrifice to transfer that righteousness to us should cause a fascination with how perfect the processes and offering of Christ on our behalf truly are.

Death could not hold You
The veil torn before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The Heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again
You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever, God, You reign
Yours is the Kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names [4]

The truly chilling idea in the bridge is that death truly holds a formidable power of fear over us. Death causes us to tremble and chase after remedy upon remedy to slow the approach of the grave. Graveyards are somber places which almost never feel warm and personal considering what is housed beneath the surface.

But to one who takes the name and the nature behind it of Jehovah, Yahweh, Jesus Christ, it is simply a veil through which we pass before we see His glory in perfect 20/20 high def imaging.

What a powerful name it is
What a powerful name it is
The name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful name it is
The name of Jesus [5]

I was annoyed, as a lyrics producer and power point ranger, that the three choruses of this song varied as much as they did. It meant I basically had to write a different song for each chorus. It added like, two minutes to my work.

First world problems…

But Hillsong intentionally varied it because there isn’t just one adjective that captures the idea of the Name.




Each draws forth a different emotion of praise.



Fear and Reverence…

He is worthy of them all and we should give them all.

After all, His name is not a magic hocus pocus word that if we just say it, Santa Claus pulls his stuff together and gives us magic beans to grow up to the giant’s castle to make all of our materialistic dreams come true. No, we pray in His name, claim in His name, proclaim in His name, and are saved in His name because there is a reality behind that name that supersedes cause and purpose.

There was a magician who once sought the power of the name without the nature. He tried to cast out demons from a demon possessed man. He told the demon, “in the name of Jesus who Paul preaches, come out of him.”

The demon, though rebellious, was quite aware of reality and knew that the magician did not truly believe in the nature of God. He only believed that a word held magic. The demon bowed up to the magician and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I have heard of… but who are you?”

The man received a pretty severe whoopin.

In our praise, in our worship, in our supplication and dependence upon God for all things, we must remember His reality and not a spoken word and name are the power behind His drive to see our world changed and made new.

Worshiping the name, then, must come as an outcropping of having wonder and fascination at His nature, and condensing that wonder down into one spoken word:


1. Ben Fielding, and Brooke Ligertwood, “What a Beautiful Name,” Let There be Light. Hillsong Music Publishing, 2016.

2. Ibid.

3. A.W. Tozer, Whatever Happened to Worship, compiled by Gerald B. Smith, (Chicago, IL: WingSpread Publishers, 2012) 144.

4. Fielding and Ligertwood.

5. Ibid.

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