"Christians" is a nickname we need to earn
Immanuel was a nickname
Jesus parents gave him his name but it was people who came to know him who called him Immanuel, God with us. It was like a nickname other people called him that once he grew up and they saw his actions and heard his words.
Almost every NFL player gets a nickname. Walter Payton was a running back for the Chicago Bears almost thirty years ago. He is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of the NFL. I texted some friends and asked what his nickname was. They immediately came back with Sweetness. He was called that because his running was so sweet. The comparison with Jesus would be as if, when the football player was born, the doctor in the delivery room told Mr. and Mrs. Payton, you will name him Walter but they will call him sweetness because he will run like no one else.
Even the name we call ourselves, Christians, is a nickname. In the city of Antioch people s
aw Jesus Christ’s followers acting like him, living lives of Immanuel. They called those followers Christians. They earned the nickname. Have we? We live in a time when Christianity, Christians, and churches need to go back to being first day Christians because, like people then, people now are not going to be ready to hear Jesus’ message of salvation until they experienced his life of God with us.
You can watch the entire video message here.