We live in a day of saccharin celebrities and celebrity substitutes. These are people seeking a name through popularity, position, or power. Everyone wants to be recognized. Some of us will even wear a jersey with the name of a sports star on it just to identify with a celebrity, someone we have never met.
Social media has introduced many different forms of celebrityship into our world as well. Now we can feel like we might know the famous because we see their Instagram posts, read their blogs, or listen to their podcasts. It may seem like we know them, but we only know what they choose to reveal. Regardless, we can’t get enough, and social media has given rise to the phenomenon known as the “instant celebrity.” Depending on the number of followers a person has online, he or she can get endorsement deals and much more.
It seems as though we are surrounded by celebrities or celebrity wannabes in our world today. There’s a large number of people in our culture whom we are aware of on a very high level, whether due to their talents, sports skills, or social media presence. But the average celebrity’s popularity will wane over time, and even if they do manage to keep it for longer than normal and wind up with memorials or parades in their name, most people will only think of them when reading history books, watching the parade, or visiting the memorial.
People with large platforms may look impressive now. Their follower counts may seem enormous. But give it time, and all of that will dissipate.
Yet there is one name that has never passed and will never pass into oblivion—and that’s the name of Jesus.
He never published a book, and yet there are more books written about Him than on any other subject. He never wrote a song, and yet there are more songs written about Him than any other person who lived. He never physically traveled more than 300 miles from the place of His birth, and yet there is virtually no place on earth you can go where people do not know His name. Our calendars are set by His entrance into human history. His notoriety only increases with time, although He’s been physically gone from earth for more than 2,000 years.
Jesus is a unique celebrity. Stores bank on making a profit the month of His birthday. They know when that day rolls around, they will experience an enormous increase in sales. Family gatherings will take place all around the world in celebration of His resurrection. All four of the Gospels give us the narrative of His birth. And Paul gives us a theological summary on why Jesus is the only candidate for which “celebrity” should rightfully apply in Philippians 2:6-7: “Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
Jesus, a unique part of the Godhead, became a slave for us and emptied Himself. Theologians call it the kenosis, when deity emptied into humanity. What we had on that first Christmas morning was a baby in a manger who had created His own mother. What we had was a baby in a stable who had created His own stepfather, as well as the donkeys, sheep, and shepherds who surrounded Him. He made the hay on which He lay. He formed the ground on which His bed was set. On the day Jesus entered our earth as a baby, God poured Himself into flesh. He became the most unique human being to ever exist and the only one who is to be given true celebrity status, as the apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:9-11: “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
What’s more, unlike most celebrities who travel with an entourage and keep others at bay, Jesus has made it possible for us to get to know Him as much as we want. He has made Himself accessible to us. He came that we might have life and know His presence intimately. And knowing Him provides us access to things only a celebrity like Jesus can gain.
As you get to know and understand the various names and descriptions of Jesus throughout this book and submit yourself to His authority, you will discover how you can tap into the power of the one and only, the greatest celebrity in the universe: Jesus, your Lord, your Christ, and your God.
Tony Evans, The Power of Jesus’ Names (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2019).
We have just released a new Bible study on topic of The Power of Jesus’s Names. This study supplements Tony Evans’s book by the same name.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Part 1: Power in His Positions
2. Alpha and Omega
4. Lamb of God
5. Great High Priest
Part 2: Power in His Person
7. I Am
11. Son of God, Son of Man