Daily Good News – The Name Says It All
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Aug 5, 2015 1515
“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
Jesus didn’t create a special name for His followers. He referred to them as disciples and believers, followers and friends. In the very earliest years of Christianity the followers of Jesus didn’t really have a name. They were too busy spreading the news that Jesus had risen from the dead, and that Jesus was Lord of all, to worry about those kinds of technicalities.
But that all changed at Antioch. Acts 11:26 says that, “[t]he disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
That’s the name that stuck. And it’s quite an odd name. It’s not the name of a set of beliefs; it’s not the name of a particular way of living – it’s the name of a person – Jesus Christ. And in that name was all that anyone needed to know.
And notice that the disciples didn’t call themselves ‘Christians’. They were called ‘Christians’ by others. Because all they talked about was Christ. All they shared was Christ. They breathed and ate and drank Christ. Because Christ had died for their sins, Christ had risen from the dead and was among them, and Christ was Lord!
And when others looked at these people – contagious with Christ – they naturally called them ‘Christians’. It doesn’t matter so much what you call yourself; if matters much more what other people call you.
Wherever we may be today, we need to be living in that place – in Antioch – where other people will call us ‘Christian’. Because we are so filled with Christ that they will be able to come up with no better name than ‘Christians’.