“And he called His Name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:25b ESV)
The Name Jesus comes from a longer Hebrew form Yehoshua, “The Lord is salvation,” though by the time our Lord was born, people usually used a shorter form, Yeshua. As the name passed through Greek and Latin, we got our English version, Jesus.
It was a popular name in Jesus’ day—He might not have been the only boy in Nazareth with that name. He’s not even the only person in the Bible to carry it—the Old Testament leader Joshua shares it. And yet, for all eternity, Jesus our Lord will forever be the One we think of when we say this name.
Jesus is God’s own self-chosen name for His incarnation as a human being. It sums up in a single word exactly why He came to earth—to become our Savior. Not to judge us, not to crush us, not to rule over us in power—but to rescue us. To save us from the power of sin, death, and the devil.
The Name Jesus shows us God’s heart for us—and it is a heart full of love. It’s a heart that took Him to the cross for us, knowing that through His suffering, death, and resurrection, He would set us free from the power of evil. Nobody else could do it—but the Lord could, and did. He laid aside His glory, stepped down from His heavenly throne, and came down to us.
And Joseph named Him Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for becoming my Savior. Amen.
* Do you know what your name means? If so, what?
* How well do you think Mary and Joseph understood Jesus’ mission when He was born?
* Jesus’ other name, Immanuel, means “God with us.” How does that comfort you?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on December 23, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved