Yes, everything has a name, often more than one, that describes them and makes them unique. God has a name for his faithful, but it won't come easy.
Jacob learns this when, alone at night, a mystery man wrestles with Jacob. Stalemated in their struggle, the mystery man manages to injure Jacob badly, but Jacob tenaciously holds on.
With daybreak coming, the mystery man seeks to end this. Jacob demands a blessing - a rather unusual request to make of a mere mortal. His name is changed to Israel, "because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Impressive. Jacob's resilience and determination in the face of a mighty challenge has earned him a new name.
Switch then to Matthew, to the isolated area where Jesus has journeyed to escape notice during the John the Baptist purge. His plans for laying low are disrupted when thousands come to seek him out. You know how it is with fans - they'll find you.
As the afternoon gets late, the disciples grow anxious about caring for the big crowd, particularly feeding them. The disciples want Jesus to send them all away, just as we often want to do with our problems and challenges. Jesus stuns them by telling them, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat!"
The disciples are flummoxed, taking inventory of their food stock of a measly five loaves and two fishes. They report this tiny stock to Jesus. Scripture doesn't say it, but Jesus has got to be shaking his head in dismay. Then Jesus proceeds to show them how it's done.
We get powerful messages here. Learn more with these excellent stories in the sermon video below, and there are downloads available below the video panel.