He will be called John

“What’s in a name?”

This famous question from Shakespeare seems to say that what you call someone doesn’t matter;   only the person’s character is important.   But in Scripture, names matter quite a bit.   They often signify a person’s character or indicate God’s intentions for a person.   For example, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter because he wanted to build his Church on the “rock” of his faith.

So it was with John the Baptist.   Everyone assumed he would be named after his father, Zechariah.   But John’s parents chose a name derived from the Hebrew word for “God favored,” or “graced by God.”

Of course, living in the wilderness, eating locusts, and wearing camel’s hair for clothing might not suggest any special outpouring of God’s favor.   But by living in such a simple manner, John found the grace and favor of God.   He allowed himself to be stripped of everything that he may have relied on.   Instead of finding comfort or strength in wealth or prestige, he sought to rely on his heavenly Father.

Life in the desert helped John grow in confidence and trust in God.   It helped prepare him for his mission of announcing the Messiah.   It made him into a vessel of God’s grace and favor—the very thing his name signifies.

Now, you may not be called John (or Joan), but that doesn’t mean God isn’t blessing you.

God is blessing you in every season of your life, and especially in those “desert” times.   When we are in the desert, we feel alone, uncertain, and stripped of all our usual support.   We have to learn to rely on the Lord.   We realize that he is the only One who can sustain us.   As hard as it can be, the desert can be a time of grace.   God can use these times to mold our character and free us from anything that may be keeping us from him.   He can also use them to prepare us for the next season in our lives, just as he did for John.

Whether you feel as if you are in the desert right now or in a lush garden, you are greatly favored by God.   Never, ever forget that!

Word Among Us

Subscribe To Father Maurice's Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, inspirational blogs, and updates from Father Maurice

You have Successfully Subscribed!