Monday, December 1, 2014

That Name

You might have seen the sign "Jesus is the reason for the season" or heard the song, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus ... there is something about that name."  For Christians, both are true, but what is in a name?  Lots!

In Hebrew tradition people usually had one name with the addition of the father's name at times (problematic at the time of Jesus' birth, since He was God's only son).  For example, the Bible sometimes refers to Peter, also called Simon, as "Simon bar Jonah" ... Simon, son of Jonah.  So Jesus is called Jesus, but what does the name mean?

I will elaborate more on Sunday but Jesus is a name derived from the Hebrew name Jeshua or, more commonly, Joshua.  The name basically means "He saves" or, as many have translated it, "Our God saves."  It can also be translated as "Savior" and this translation is consistently affirmed by the Gospels which, in the Luke birth narrative, says, "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11.

But the real question is one Jesus asked Himself.  "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15).  He is asking two things ... "Do you know who I am and do you CLAIM who I am."  In this world of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and someone selling almost everything, are you buying what Jesus is selling?  Wouldn't that be a bargain at any price, yet it is free but not cheap.  It will cost you nothing of worldly value but everything that is really worth anything.  Because we, especially at Christmas, should be asking if we are willing to do what Joseph did ... claim the name of Jesus?


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