Jesus! the Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace.
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
By: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Listen as you read. This version is from Tyler Andrews.
Not long after beginning my journey with Jesus, a dear friend introduced me to this stanza. We injected it into another song we were writing and I personalized it as I sang, “‘Tis music in this sinner’s ears”, and as much as that was true back then, it is even moreso now.
Music to One’s Ears
You are probably familiar with that saying which essentially describes something that is pleasant or gratifying to hear or discover. A quick search reveals this concept dates back at least as far as Shakespeare, but regardless of the origin, I believe it is safe to say that nothing across all of history is so pleasant or gratifying to hear or discover as the name of Jesus, when rightly understood. Musicians, or music lovers in general, can appreciate this phrase because of the way their souls have been moved while making or enjoying music.
- Can you remember a time when your soul was stirred by a piece of music? Whether there were words or just an instrumental line, you were moved deeply within your being. Something happened as you heard the combination of notes that resonated deeply within you. For me, as a tenor, one such piece is “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, especially the last note.
- Can you remember a time when your soul was stirred by the name of Jesus? Whether in a piece of music, as you read Scripture, or heard a teaching, you were moved deeply within your being. Something happened as you heard the sound of His name and it resonated deeply within you. Think of one of those times,
But this phrase is not lost on non-musicians either. Many are familiar not only with this expression but the feeling of hearing something that brings delight to the soul. All that said, it is a masterful use of a familiar turn of words, especially as it applies to the music of the unparalleled name of Jesus.
Saying it is unparalleled is not just a powerful statement to make a point here. I am simply reiterating what the Scripture clearly declares. This is maybe nowhere more clear than in Philippians 2:9-11.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
There is coming a day when every creature and all creation will bow before Jesus. For those who have come to the incredible knowledge the Jesus is Lord, and have surrendered to that knowledge, His name is “music to their ears”.
But this is not only because it has stirred us deeply…
Life and Health and Peace
Interesting sequence of words in this last line. It seems like the opposite of the natural order, but after some consideration really make sense. Jesus’ name is actually the source of Life. Health and Peace flow from it.
First, He said this in John 14:6. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Pretty bold and exclusive statement, but when you are God you can get away with such declarations, especially because it is the truth. Notice Jesus did not say He was a life, or simply life, but THE life.
Out of that reality flows the next paradoxical proclamation. His name is health, and it was His death that creates the paradox. There are a number of different Scriptures that speak specifically to this character of God in general and Jesus in particular. But allow me to draw attention to Isaiah 53:5.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Speaking here of the Suffering Servant that was to come, Isaiah says his wounds will heal us. Jesus is that Suffering Servant and His sacrificial death accomplished our healing. But did you notice the other of our words Isaiah mentioned?
Peace. The punishment that He suffered brought us peace. What He was about to endure, that which Isaiah had prophesied centuries before, validated these words from John 14:27.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
So my question to help you tune today is, “Are you inviting the power of His name into your life regularly?” Whether lifting it in a song, or simply in prayer or conversation, are you allowing it to voice in your life? We will think about those first two lines in the next post on Thursday, but until then give the name of Jesus some expression in your life. Subscribers, you can just play the vlog below for one such opportunity.
Jesus, Your name is music to my ears! Help me to speak it more often so that I create some opportunity for you to usher Your life and health and peace into my living. Forgive me for not giving you more access to my lips and ears. Help me to help others know You today. In Jesus name. Amen.
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