By Grant Kaul, Senior Pastor
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
Ok. I will admit it. When we made our appearances at the hospital for the delivery of each of our children, we didn’t have any of the babies’ names picked out. We just showed up with a list of possibilities. In fact, when our fourth child was born, it was hours before we settled on a name. I am not sure what we were thinking; or even if we were thinking. After all, names are pretty important – like they usually last for a long time!
But with the apex of history arriving with the promised coming of Christ, the unveiling of His human name came before the Eternal Son of God entered into humanity. Even before He was supernaturally conceived in His mother Mary’s womb, God the Father revealed the name by which He was and is to be called. His name would be above all other names (Phil. 2:9-10). This would be a name that would speak to His eternal mission even prior to His earthly incarnation. God precisely named His Son Jesus, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua (Yeshua), which means “Yahweh saves” or “God is salvation.”
Jesus’ human name spoke of His divine mission of rescuing people from the penalty of their sin and securing salvation for those who will believe in Him. One of the ways God demonstrated to Joseph, and all of the rest of humanity, that Mary’s pregnancy was a divine act, was that He had an angel independently tell both Joseph and his future wife, Mary, that the child’s name was to be Jesus (see Matt. 1:21 and Luke 1:31).
Jesus is not to be just a familiar name, but the continual focus of our faith. Our relationship with God begins and matures as we grow in knowing the depth of who Jesus is and the life that we have in His name. There is something about the Messiah’s name that calms our troubled hearts, gives us courage in the face of our fears, and warms our hearts to the greatness of His salvation. This Christmas let the name of Jesus be on your tongue and rejoice in His presence in your life. After all, there is power in the name of Jesus for, “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).