Why was God’s Unique Son Given the Name Above All Names?

God the Father gave His unique Son, our Lord, and Savior, the name that is above all names – Jesus!

This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under Christ's feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.  (Ephesians 1:18-23 NET)

Realize, everything God does is just, or legally proper.

But the LORD rules forever; he reigns in a just manner. He judges the world fairly; he makes just legal decisions for the nations. (Psalm 9:7–8 NET)

Therefore, what was the legal precedence for God the Father to give to God the Son this name above all names? That is, to give Him the name that represented sovereign authority as Lord of all? 

I. Due to Jesus’ Infinite Humility

Because even though He was God, Jesus humbled Himself and came in the flesh and allowed the very men He came to save to put Him to death cruelly by crucifixion on the cross of Calvary.  This he did to redeem all that will repent and accept Him as their Lord and Savior!

Remember, humility always precedes honor.

The fear of the LORD provides wise instruction, and before honor comes humility. (Proverbs 15:33 NET)(cf. Proverbs 1:12; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 22:4)

That is, Jesus voluntarily set aside His positional authority, including possessions, as God but not His essence ontologically as God. (2)(3)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning.  All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.  In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. (John 1:1-4 NET)
Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory– the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. (John 1:14 NET)
You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross! As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will 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 2:5-11 NET)
The fear of the LORD provides wise instruction, and before honor comes humility. (Proverbs 15:33 NET)
The greatest among you will be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12 NET)
But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6 NET)(cf. 1 Peter 5:5)
II. Due to Jesus’ Perfect Obedience

Jesus as the Son of Man, empowered by God the Holy Spirit, never sinned and thus perfectly obeyed the Heavenly Father’s will. He defeated God’s enemy Satan via the Cross of Calvary thus making a way to rescue humanity of which all had been taken captive as slaves by Satan. 

with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38 NET)
For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he does not give the Spirit sparingly. (John. 3:34 NET)
So when he came into the world, he said, "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. "Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in. "Then I said, 'Here I am: I have come– it is written of me in the scroll of the book– to do your will, O God.'"  (Hebrews 10:5-7 NET)
Then Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me.  And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him." (John. 8:28-29 NET)
So Jesus replied, "My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me. (John. 7:16 NET)
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. (John. 14:10 NET)
He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:22 NET)
And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (1 John 3:5 NET)
God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NET)
He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,  for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him– all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers– all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross– through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:13-20 NET)
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15 NET)
The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8 NET)
He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. Disarming the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  (Colossians 2:14-15 NET)
Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  (1 Corinthians 2:6-8 NET)
III. Due to Jesus’ Sacrificial Death and Subsequent Resurrection

God the Father created the world and all things through His unique Son and appointed Him to be the heir of all things. Consequently, He was given the name that is above all names as an inheritance when He was raised from the dead by God the Father (1) after defeating Satan and thus freeing all that repent and call upon the name of the Lord.

That is, God the Son died so the New Will and Testament (i.e., The New Covenant) would become effective. In reality, it was a “re-inheritance” since it was all created by and for Him in the beginning but voluntarily put aside by Jesus. Furthermore, He was raised from the dead so that He could probate this New Will and Testament and then become the mediator of it! Hallelujah! That is, God the Father rewarded God the Son, the Son of Man, for completing the mission of breaking the headship of Satan over humanity including all the creation (Genesis 3:15. Romans 8:19-23).

After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my son! Today I have fathered you"? And in another place he says, "I will be his father and he will be my son."  But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all the angels of God worship him!"  And he says of the angels, "He makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire," but of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing." And, "You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you continue. And they will all grow old like a garment, and like a robe you will fold them up and like a garment they will be changed, but you are the same and your years will never run out."  (Hebrews 1:1-12 NET)
But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, and he entered once for all into the most holy place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. And so he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance he has promised, since he died to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant. For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven. For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive. So even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when Moses had spoken every command to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded you to keep." And both the tabernacle and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. So it was necessary for the sketches of the things in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves required better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands– the representation of the true sanctuary– but into heaven itself, and he appears now in God's presence for us. And he did not enter to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by his sacrifice. And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.   (Hebrews 9:11-28 NET)
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13 NET) 
  1. Jesus, the Word, has always been and always will be God.
  2. Jesus humbled Himself and willingly set aside His authority as God but not His essence as God. Jesus then took on human flesh and form by being born of the Virgin Mary to become the Son of Man in order to serve and save fallen humanity. 
  3. Jesus’ purpose in humbling himself was to obey the will of God the Father, which included defeating Satan via dying on the cross.
  4. After perfectly accomplishing his mission empowered by the Holy Spirit, God rewarded Jesus the unique Son of God by exalting him and bestowing on Him the name above all names. Realize, name in this context refers to the authority Jesus was given, the very authority of Yahweh God Himself. That is, Jesus’ exultation included the return of the divine authority that He voluntarily set aside to take on human flesh and form. 
  5. Jesus Christ then received the worship of all creation. Furthermore, all creation must confess Jesus as Lord to the glory of God the Father! Amen!

Discipleship for Maturing Christians

(Security, Wholeness, Success)

Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 NET)

(1) Select the link to open another article with additional information in a new tab.

(2) Geisler, N. L. (1999). Ontology. In Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics (pp. 564–565). Baker Books.

Ontology is the study (logos) of being (ontos). It is the study of reality. It answers the question “What is real?” as ethics answers the question “What is right?” as aesthetics answers the question, “What is beautiful?” and epistemology answers the question, “What is true?” Ontology and metaphysics are used interchangeably. Both study being as being or the real as real. They are the disciplines that deal with ultimate reality.

(3) The compound word “ontology” combines “onto” (from the Greek ὄν, on, gen. ὄντος, ontos that means  “being; that which is” and it is the present participle of the verb εἰμί, eimí, that means “to be or I am”) and -logia (from the Greek -λογία) that means “logical discourse”.

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!" (John. 8:58 NET)

The “I am” in the Greek is ἐγώ (I) εἰμι (I am). What a declaration! Translated Jesus said, I (ἐγώ or ego) I am (εἰμι or eimi), meaning He is the one that has always existed and the source of all reality, existence, meaning, and purpose in life!

Hal has taught the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home.  DOULOS HAL'S TOPICAL INDEX