I read or recited Ephesians chapter 1, verses 17 through 23 numerous times. On January 31, 2019, while reading the passage, the Holy Spirit fixated my eyes on verse 21. And as they say, the rest is history.
This article ties together what David, king and psalmist, and Paul, the apostle, wrote to provide the revelatory reason why Jesus is number one, top of the heap.
Seated Above Every Name
In Ephesians 1:20-21 Paul recorded:
which He [God] worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Verse 20 shows that God seated Jesus not only “at his right hand in heavenly places”, but also “far above . . . every name that is named” in any age (v. 21) we can think of.
When we know these truths about Jesus, we would also know that He occupies the highest position among everyone who God named or has a name. In other words, the only person we’ll find at the apex of a pyramid comprised people and angels and archangels and cherubim is Jesus.
The thought-provoking question in search of an answer is, is Jesus higher than God, His Father? To find out we need to go to the Old Testament and listen to David, King David that is.
The Magnified Word
On one occasion when David began to worship God he told God:
I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name (Ps. 138:1–2).
In verse 2, David told the Lord God that He, God, exalted His word above His own name. And as we know God has many names. Each of them speaks to how He revealed Himself to different people on different occasions.
For example, In Genesis 1:1, God revealed Himself as Elohim, the One who created the heavens and the earth. That name means “‘supreme one’ or ‘mighty one’”.
In Genesis 22, when God told Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son, God revealed Himself to Abraham as Jehovah Jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Gen. 22:14).
The New Testament teems with the name, God. Jesus used it many times. The most notable time occurred when His Father, God, forsaked Him as He hung on the cross. At that moment Jesus shouted: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” (Matt. 27:46)?
I’ll use the name God for “Your name” in Psalm 138:2. However, know that we can use any of God’s names. Surprisingly, we’ll get the same result in every case. David said that God exalted His word, the word of God, above His name, God’s name.
In other words, God gave preeminence to His word, the word of God. It has top billing in God’s eyes. Therefore, all of God’s names received less exaltation than His word.
The Living Word
In the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelations reside two names for the same person.
John, the apostle of love, wrote in his gospel, the first chapter, and the first two verses:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
In these two verses, we’ve two names: “God” and “the Word”. They represent two different persons who are yet one person.
Twelve verses later, in verse 14, John revealed that the Word incarnated and became “the only begotten of the father”. Today, we know that person as Jesus, the only begooten Son of God (John 3:16).
Thus, the Word and Jesus are the same person except for different states as it were. One living and one written, which reflects the character of the living version.
The Word of God
Besides his gospel, John also wrote the Book of Revelation. It resulted from a vision he had while exiled on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9).
In chapter 19 of his apocalypse book John wrote:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but Himself.
He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God (vv. 11-13).
The first two verses, verses 11 and 12, provide context. They also offer a mysterious subject, “He”. By verse 13 the enigma ceases. The unknown person is none other than the Word of God, the same person named in the first two verses of John 1, the Word.
Now we know that the Word, The Word of God, and Jesus account for three names used by the same person.
Tying It Together
When we apply the last three names mentioned to Psalm 138:2, we’ll know God exalted Jesus, the living word of God—the Word of God—above His own name, God. Why did God do such a thing?
God is faithful, loving, kind, and all the other good attributes. We also know that all of God’s promises to us reside in His word, the word of God. Some of us might’ve asked ourselves, how do we find out about the promises of God, or where should I go to know them? All of God promises reside in the person of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:19-20; Col. 2:2-3).
By putting the word of God above Himself, God placed the living word of God, The Word of God, who spoke the word of God, above Himself. God wanted everyone who knows Him that we can take His promises and everything else that He said to us to the bank as collateral or currency.
In the fullness of time, whatever God says to us through Jesus will come to pass in the lives of people who believe in the name of Jesus, The Word of God, and do what He tell us to do.
My Fervent Prayer for Us
I desire that you receive what God wants you to have at this time in eternity. I also hope that you not only increase your faith in Him, but that you also to stand on the promises of God that can only be had in Jesus, God’s living word.