Lent Day 22

Thaddaeus, Matthew 10:5-20

What a great name – Thaddaeus. I’m guessing we don’t know a lot of guys with that name today. Surprisingly with a name as unique as that, it doesn’t seem to be his only name. In Luke’s gospel, there is no Thaddaeus, but we do find a Jude listed among the twelve instead. Is that the same person? Ironically, we do not even have agreement on what the name Thaddaeus means. The Greek form of the name means “gift of god” while the Aramaic means “courageous heart”. And the name Jude, if they are the same person, means something different altogether.

Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, people in scripture have more than one name – Abram is also Abraham, Sarai is Sarah, and Saul becomes Paul. Others have two names and they are called by one or both – like Simon or Simon Peter, Mark or John Mark. Jesus is called Emmanuel, but his name is Jesus (Greek) or Joshua (Hebrew). Could it be more confusing?

How many names do we have? Several, even if we do not realize it. We probably answer to names like Mom or Dad, Aunt or Uncle, Grandma or Grandpa, Neighbor or Friend without even giving it a single thought. These names are determined by our personal relationship with others. Then again, we probably answer to names like Coach or Teacher, Officer, Pastor, or Boss – those names are defined by our professional relationship or career track.

As we go through life, we will gain and lose several of our ‘names’. We move from being called the Baby to the Bride, from being the little Brother to the Man of the House. Regardless of what we are called personally or professionally, today or tomorrow, one thing NEVER changes, we are always called beloved by God.