The Name of Jesus – Luke 2:21
Reading plan for this week: Luke 2:1-21
And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 1:21)
A few months ago my neighbors had their first child, and they named their new daughter after a relative that they both held in high esteem, which I think was a high honor.
People today name their children after people they know, famous movie stars, or just names that the parent’s like (I was named after a TV actor mom liked.) Many Christians give their children biblical names.
In Jesus’ day when babies were named it was a big deal. The Hebrew parents would seek to give a name they thought would capture the essence of their child’s character, to set the course for who they hoped their child would become.
In that respect, names have influence, and so changing someone’s name carries huge implications.
For example, when Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar, he captured many of the youth to bring back to Babylon with him, including Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. In order to demoralize and assimilate prisoners, the Babylonians would give them a new name. As for Daniel and the three friends….
“And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.” (Daniel 1:7)
In an effort to completely separate these youth from their old identity, they were given names of false gods!
God also changes people’s names…
God changed Abram’s “high father” name to “Abraham,” “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5), and his wife’s name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15). He changed Jacob’s “scoundrel” name to “Israel,” “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). Jesus changed Simon’s “God has heard” name to “Peter,” meaning “the rock” (John 1:42).
The new name that these people were given represented their new identity in the Lord.
In the same way, we too will be given new names…
Revelation 3:12 tells us:
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” (Revelation 3:12)
When we enter the kingdom above, three names will be written upon us; the name of God, the name of the heavenly city, and Christ’s heavenly name. Our new name will represent our new reality that we will have in the eternal kingdom of God!
Jesus gets a new name as well…
Is it the name written on His thigh, “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” (Revelation 19:16)
“His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.” (Revelation 19:12)
We don’t yet know what this name will be, but rest assured it will be representative of Jesus’s role as King of kings, and Lord of lords!
Back to Jesus birth name, what does it mean?
The angel told Mary to name her Son “Joshua,” translated in English as “Jesus,” and it means “Savior.” It’s the same name as Joshua in the Old Testament, who brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. It was given to our Lord because “He saves His people from their sins.”
And friend,that name describes our Lord and Savior Jesus – He came to save the lost, and through salvation, all things become new…
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We can save the world, one life at a time…