Is it wrong to name a child Messiah?

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By BibleAsk Team


Naming a Child Messiah

The act of naming a child is a deeply personal and culturally significant decision for parents. Names often carry profound meaning, reflecting familial heritage, religious beliefs, or aspirations for the child’s future. When considering whether it is wrong to name a child “Messiah,” it is essential to explore the religious implications of such a choice.

While the Bible does not explicitly address the act of naming children “Messiah,” it provides a rich theological framework for understanding the significance of the term and its association with Jesus Christ. Naming a child “Messiah” may thus be seen as a reflection of one’s faith for Jesus as the divine Son of God and Savior of humanity.

One key passage is found in the book of Isaiah, where the prophet foretells the coming of the Messiah: Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV): “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This verse is often interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is hailed as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prediction.

In the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John recount the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, affirming his identity as the Messiah. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16, NKJV). The term “Christ” is equivalent to “Messiah” in Greek, emphasizing Jesus’ role as the promised Deliverer.

Given the sacred nature of the term “Messiah” in Christianity, some may view naming a child “Messiah” as a gesture of reverence or homage to Jesus Christ. They may see it as an expression of faith and devotion, reflecting their belief in Jesus as the promised Messiah and their desire for the child to embody similar qualities of spiritual leadership, compassion, and salvation.

However, others may question the appropriateness of bestowing such a lofty and loaded title upon a mere mortal. Naming a child “Messiah” could be perceived as presumptuous or sacrilegious, as it attributes divine or messianic qualities to an individual who may not necessarily fulfill such expectations.

Therefore, it is essential to approach the naming of a child with careful consideration and respect for religious sensitivities. Parents should weigh the potential implications and interpretations of bestowing such a profound and sacred title upon their child, recognizing that the name has profound meaning and implication. Ultimately, the decision to name a child “Messiah” is a deeply personal one that reflects the values, beliefs, and aspirations of the parents. It is a choice that should be made prayerfully and thoughtfully, with an awareness of the name’s religious significance.

Law Case

The question of naming a child “Messiah” was addressed in a legal custody case that received national attention. On Aug. 8, 2013, Jaleesa Martin of Newport, Tenn. appealed to a local judge to settle a dispute over the last name of her child, Messiah DeShawn Martin. This appeal was part of a custody support battle with her child’s father. The child’s father requested to change his son’s last name to carry his name, McCullough, but his mother rejected that.

Lu Ann Ballew, child Support Magistrate ruled in favor of the father, and added: The parents have to legally change the 7-month-old’s name to Martin DeShawn McCullough. Judge Ballew told local TV station WBIR, “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.” The Judge presented a very strong argument in this matter for only Jesus Christ is worthy of that title. No other man on earth is qualified to bear it.

The word Messiah comes from the Hebrew word mashiach which means “anointed one” or “chosen one.” The Greek equivalent is the word Christos or Christ in the English language. The Old Testament predicted a coming of the Savior to redeem Israel (Isaiah 42:1; 61:1–3). This Deliverer, the Jews called the Messiah. Jesus of Nazareth was that prophesied Messiah (Luke 4:17–21; John 4:25–26).

Jesus, the Messiah, fulfilled His role perfectly. He fulfilled the role of Prophet when He preached the truth and prophesied (John 1-18). He fulfilled the role of the Son of God (Matthew 3:17), He fulfilled the role of the High Priest when He atoned for our sin (Hebrews 2:17;4:14). And He fulfilled the role of the King of Kings when He received from the Father full authority over all (John 18:36; Ephesians 1:20–23; and Revelation 19:16).

Therefore, John the Revelator declares, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12). Jesus’ worthiness refers to His supreme and ultimate fulfillment of all prophecies and His complete victory over the powers of darkness.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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