In One Word: Purpose, Love, and Humanity

Let’s play the word association game: what is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say these names?

  • Hitler

  • Madonna

  • Judas

  • Clinton

  • Columbus

  • Washington

  • Martin Luther King

  • Mother Teresa

I’m sure most of you, like my wife and I, gave considerable amount of time and thought into naming each of our children. Naming children is a special privilege given to parents. Think about that…we choose the name that our child will be known as for the rest of their lives. Names mean a lot…you don’t see many boys named Judas any more. Or Adolf or Saddam or Osama, for that matter. Many parents today simply name their kids a name they like, one that sounds good. But the Hebrews chose a name that conveyed a life story. Think about the names Abram/Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Ichabod, Peter, and Adam.

In Matthew 1, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to name the newborn Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins.” By naming Him Jesus, God was letting the world know what He was doing. And by naming him Jesus, God told us a lot about Jesus.

1. The name Jesus reveals His humanity.

“Jesus” was a common name two thousand years ago in Palestine. He needed to be human and divine. He was the Son of God and the Son of Man. By taking on flesh, Jesus added humanity to His eternal deity. But the name “Jesus” reveals that God Himself had stepped down into our world.

2. The name Jesus reveals God’s purpose.

“Jesus” means “Savior” or “Yahweh saves.” God initiated salvation, and was declaring to the world that He had come to save us. The name Jesus reveals that.

3. The name Jesus reveals God’s love.

God sent His Son to save us. He did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…”

Your name represents your character. It represents who you are. Remember that this Christmas…that the little baby born into this world was named Jesus to reveal God’s plan of redemption.

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