And His Name Shall Be Called: Jesus
Friday November 29, 2019
The New Testament of the Bible, in the English Standard Version (ESV), begins like this: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1) A different translation (CJB) reads: “This is the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah, son of David, son of Avraham.”
And the story in Matthew continues: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:18-25)
Yeshua was the name of the Son of God while He lived on earth. “Ye-shu-a”: that is how the letters and syllables were pronounced in Hebrew or in Aramaic, the language of the Jews throughout the earthly days of God the Son. “Iesous” was the Greek form of “Yeshua”. And from there, comes the name Jesus that we use in English.
Jesus, the name given to God’s Son, not by His earthly parents Mary and Joseph but by God Himself, is used more than 500 times in the Gospels alone, and a total of 909 times in the entire New Testament.
Jesus is a simple and yet a beautiful name! In almost all languages of the world it sounds the same when spoken. Anyone, old or young, educated or not, can pronounce it easily and lovingly.
But Jesus, as simple a name as it may be, is also an exalted name! As the Epistle to the Ephesians proclaims: “… the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory… raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (1:17,20-21)
Yeshua, or Jesus, is the New Testament version of the Old Testament name Joshua. That name comes from two shorter words in Hebrew: the name “YAHWEH” (or Lord) together with the verb “to save”. Literally, the name of Yeshua or Jesus means “YAHWEH saves” (or the Lord saves).
That is why the angel of the Lord who appeared to Joseph in a dream before he took the virgin Mary to be his wife, said to him: “… and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
The name Yeshua or Jesus is an exclusive name, because it incarnates the Son of God's mission and communicates His purpose here on earth: that is, to seek the lost and to save them from their sins – to pay the price of death for the sins of humanity – to offer forgiveness and eternal life to those who believe and accept His sacrifice on the cross on their behalf. With the name Yeshua or Jesus, specially chosen for its supreme significance, the child who was born of Mary was declared the one and only Saviour of the world by divine mandate.
Dear friend: do you know this man as your Saviour? as your Yeshua, your Jesus? as the Lord who saves you? I hope and pray so.
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