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What’s in a name?

In our message last week, we looked at the greatest proof of God’s existence – the Son of God coming to this world Himself, clothed in a body like our own. But when He came what name would He give Himself? We may well ask, ‘What’s in a name’? In Jewish culture at the time, the name chosen meant so much, especially when God specifically instructed the choice, because this foretold the character and work of the person. So, the name given to the Son of God, taking upon Himself humanity and born in Bethlehem, has so much to say to us.

Before His birth, an angel from God instructed that He was to be called ‘Jesus’. That name had been chosen because as the angel said, ‘He shall save His people from their sins’.

The name ‘Jesus’ translates into the Hebrew language as ‘Joshua’ meaning ‘Deliverer’. The Bible in the Old Testament gives the record of a man named Joshua, who, as he trusted in God, led the Israeli nation into the land that He had given them. God delivered them from their enemies and gave them victory over them. So, Jesus is the deliverer who ultimately became absolutely victorious for those who trust in Him.

But what did Jesus come to deliver people from? ‘Their sins’ said the angel. Sin is a description of all our human failings in speech, thoughts and deeds. We have all missed the mark of God’s perfect standard and the consequences of that are seen all around us in corruption, abuse, broken relationships, and moral decline in society. God hates sin and it causes us to be cut off from Him. But the good news is that Jesus came to deliver sinners who trust in Him, from God’s just and final judgement due for our sin, and to also radically change and transform us. Next time we will look at how He has made this possible. Meanwhile the invitation remains today – ‘Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved’.

"My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth"

Psalm 121 vs 2