December 24th What a Lovely Name!

Matthew 1:21-23

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Naming a child today is mostly done by parents personal preference or to honor another family member. But in the Bible names most often had some significant meaning or hope the child would live up to his or her name. For example Naomi meant pleasant. The parents obviously observed the child was pleasant or hoped she would be a pleasant person as an adult. When she returned from backsliding she said call me “Mara” which meant bitter. (Ruth 1:21)

Although our Lord is called by many names in scripture, today’s passage reveals two. The parents were instructed to call his name “JESUS”. The name Jesus revealed two things about the baby: his identity and his mission. Jesus in Hebrew means Jehovah is salvation. By his name and his supernatural birth (born of a virgin), we know that this baby was God in the flesh - being Gods own son. (John 3:16) The name revealed who He is. But the name also revealed why he came. He “Is salvation” was elaborated on “for he shall save his people from their sins.” Alleluia!

We find in this passage he was also called Emmanuel 750 years earlier by the prophet - meaning “God is with us.” (Isaiah 7:14) In the Old Testament God showed up and visited with many people. But none could claim that God was actually with them visibly, victoriously and permanently until Jesus came. Emmanuel with us, delivered us from our sins, death, and Hell by going from that manger to an old rugged cross on mount Calvary.

There’s never been a name like Jesus! There’s Never been a man like Jesus! He is the Godman! There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) Oh what a lovely name! Let all the world proclaim!

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