Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Expressions of Endearment

But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."

(Genesis 22:11 NKJV)

The Lord Addressing His Own

I have been thinking about the fact that the Lord called Martha’s name twice in Luke 10:41.   There are a number of times (perhaps eight) in the Bible where the Lord calls to one of His own and does it by repeating their names.  I have wondered why this would be the case.  Did He do it because He was frustrated with them in some way?  He certainly could have been frustrated with Martha’s “busyness”.  Or was this the Lord’s way of showing special endearment?  I would like to believe that in each case the Lord was showing intimacy with those whom He addressed twice.

The people who were privileged to have their names called twice in repetition were Abraham after raising his arm to slay his son in Genesis 22:11.  Jacob was called twice on his way to Egypt to see his son Joseph according to Genesis 46:2.  Moses was called twice in Exodus 3:4 when he turned aside to see the bush that burned but was not consumed.  Samuel was called twice as a youth in 1 Samuel 3:10. Martha was addressed twice in Matthew 10:41.  Peter was addressed twice just before his denial of the Lord in Luke 22:31.  Paul was addressed twice when he met the Lord on the Damascus Road in Acts 9:4. 

The Lord Addressing His Father and Jerusalem

When the Lord told the Pharisees about coming judgement on Jerusalem he wept and said “Jerusalem, Jerusalem.”  He didn’t hate the city; He had placed His name there and it was a special place.  It must have broken His heart to realize that He would be crucified outside that city.  Yet He addressed the city with love and endearment.

When the Lord was through those agonizing three hours of darkness, He addressed God in Matthew 27:46 by saying, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"   Obviously, this was not the language of resentment, it was the language of intimacy.  The separation was past, He could now enjoy full fellowship with His God.  He didn’t use the term Father but God.  A righteous God had been satisfied with regard to sin’s punishment and now the Son could address His God in an intimate way.

Unbelievers Hypocritically Addressing the Lord

If repeating a name is a way of showing endearment, then there are going to be hypocritical unbelievers who never loved the Lord who will address Him as “Lord, Lord” in Luke 13:25.  They will try to get the Lord to open a closed door,  but they will be left outside.  They may have looked like Christians and they may have acted like Christians, but they weren’t among those who really loved the Lord. 


Many of these cases where thee Lord used a name twice involved a test.  Some of the tests were passed and some were not.  But the Lord still loved those who were willing to serve and love Him. I do not believe the Lord was commending Martha for criticizing Mary, but He was commending her for her service which was her way of showing devotion. “Martha, Martha” was probably said because He loved her and appreciated her service to Him.  I doubt that He was expressing frustration.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 2, 2019

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