The Correct Name Matters

Soon after I learned the Hebrew name for our Savior Yahshua, an event happened in our town that made clear the importance of names. Taos is a small town of mixed cultures.  Historically, newcomers have come in and with their wealth have created new successful businesses.  They have bought property and prospered, sometimes to the detriment of the locals.

An old Ramada Inn was purchased by a man named Larry Whitten.  He came from Texas and was unaware, or possibly did not understand, the sensitivities of the local population.  He remodeled the hotel, hired staff to run the hotel, and readied everything for a big Grand Opening.  He handed out the name tags to the staff and here is where his problems began.

Being from Texas he wanted to make sure his guests would feel comfortable and have every ease.  On the name tags instead of using the correct names of his employees he Anglicized the names.  Maria became Mary, Jose became Joseph, and Santiago became James.  The employees, seeing their new names, felt insulted.  Mr. Whitten tried to smooth it over by saying he was just trying to make it easier for the guests to remember or pronounce their names.  He told them they should take no offense because none was intended.  The employees did not agree.  They picketed the hotel and did not report for work.  They refused to wear the name tags.  This disruption lasted for about two months.  Eventually the dispute was resolved and Mr. Whitten printed proper name tags.

Sometimes people choose different names for themselves or find themselves with a nickname that sticks.  But, we would all agree that people never accept a name that they did not agree to or choose.  Similar to Mr. Whitten’s situation, our Savior’s name was changed for the convenience of the Greek people and their language.

My stepfather had a nickname and he could always tell when mail came which people really knew him and which people were merely acquaintances.  He always used his legal name for business and only his close colleagues and friends knew his legal name.  Yahshua may also know His flock by this same test.  Those who seek a little deeper will have a closer relationship with him.

by: Laurie Barela

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Posted in Come to the Garden.
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