What’s in a good name?

Growing with God: A daily devotion with Tonia Slimm.

Luke 1:31 (NIV)
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

Luke 1:31 (MSG)
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
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“Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” -AMPLIFIED

You may wonder the importance of a name; does it really make a difference? The angel had told Mary that she would be with child, give birth and she was to name this son, Jesus. Jesus? Why Jesus?

The name “Jesus” is the English form of “Yeshua”, which is Hebrew and it a variant of the name “Joshua”. The literal meaning of Joshua is “Jehovah is salvation”, but can also be translated as: Jehovah is generous, Savior or Deliverer.

Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus the son of Joseph, is the very center of God’s answer to mankind’s problem; that would namely be sin. Jesus Christ would be our Savior and our Deliverer. It was through Jesus that God’s generosity and salvation would unfold and be revealed to all of mankind.

Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, was also instructed on the name of this child. “While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term: “Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”). Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.” -Matthew 1:20-25 (MSG)

What is the importance of a good name? Solomon tells us in Proverbs; “A good name [earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches; and favor is better than silver and gold.” -Proverbs 22:1 (AMP)

He also tells us in Ecclesiastes 7:1- “A good name is better than precious perfume.” Precious perfume was something that was quite expensive and highly treasured in those times. So too would a good name be. It should leave a pleasant fragrance or feeling in the air when someone speaks it .

Sadly, many of us do not live up to the meaning of our name, but Jesus certainly did. He is our Savior. He is our Deliverer. He was Immanuel; God with us. He was the epitome of every one of the names assigned to Him; He personified them all. He was the Christ, the anointed one. He was the Messiah, the deliverer of the Jews. He is everything that we need Him to be in our lives.

God left nothing to chance when His Son came to Earth; even the child’s name held great weight and meaning. This child was the Son of the Most High; He would change the course of History for all time. He was to have a name that held great meaning; a name that others could understand and look to for strength. His name was Jesus; for He would save His people from their sins!

My Prayer:
Jesus, my Savior, my Deliverer, Emmanuel; you are my all in all. You have lived up to every one of your names in my life. You are indeed, “God with us”; dwelling with each of your children personally. I can look to you and see the example that you gave and I try to be just like you. Help me to have a good name, just as you had a good name. I want to have a name that was earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity; just as Solomon taught. Allow your Holy Spirit to work in my life to make me more like you Jesus.

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