Gordon-Conwell Blog

Advent Devotional Day 10: What's in a Name?

December 12, 2017

 
2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 10 | What's in a Name?
 

Matthew 1:18-25

 

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins,” (v 18).

When Juliet was informed that her beloved Romeo came from the despised Montague clan, she downplayed the significance of names, replying, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But Juliet isn’t the angel of the Lord! The angel said to Joseph in a dream, “You shall call his name Jesus,” (v 21), “they shall call his name Immanuel” (v 23). So Joseph “called his name Jesus” (v 25). 

Why make such a big deal out of a name? Because names are summaries of character and prophecies of destiny, and the name Jesus is the perfect appellation for the person and work of Christ. Derived from the Hebrew name “Yehoshua” (Joshua), his name means “God is salvation.” Matthew emphasizes this because Jesus will save his people from their sins. At this early stage in the story of Christ—the first chapter of Matthew—we don’t yet know how Jesus will do this, but by the end of the story it becomes clear. At the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples that his blood “is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” (Matt 26:28). 

Like a sacrificial lamb in the Old Testament, he offered his own body as a substitution for us, thanks be to God. 

Has he saved you? Thank him.

Has he saved your neighbors and family? Tell them about Jesus. 

Are you not yet saved? Believe in him.

 


 

 

 

     Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs
     Professor of Preaching and Communication

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