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26th December 2014

Matthew 1.20

21 Now she will give birth to a Son and you will give Him the name ‘Jesus’; for He will save His people from their sins.

Naming a child is a blessing that is granted to parents. Sometimes parents may not find it easy to agree on the name that they want to bestow upon their baby, and this may cause tensions until agreement is found. At other times grandparents and other members of a family may influence the parents in the name that they choose. Wise relatives are those who keep their thoughts to themselves.

Generally, today names are chosen because the parents like the sound of a name. However, in ancient times names were chosen to reflect the character of the child, and in this sense they would have been a kind of prophetic pronouncement over the child.

This was true for Noah, which we read about in Genesis 5.28-29: [28] When Lamech was 182 years old, his son Noah was born. [29] Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, “He will bring us relief from the painful labour of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed” (NLT). In Hebrew ‘Noah’ means ‘rest’.

Moses means ‘drawn’, and God used him to draw his people out of Egypt.

All our names mean something, but they may have nothing to do with the circumstances of our birth or the kind of character that we have become.

Joseph was told by the angel the name he was to give to the baby that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit, and it was the name: ‘Jesus’, meaning: Jehovah is Salvation’.
It is a prophetic name, identifying the purpose for which He had come into the world, and it was to save us from our sins.

Amidst all the hectic activity of the Christmas period, there needs to be one thing that stands above all other things and it is that Christmas is all about Jesus coming into the world to save us sinners.

In John’s gospel we read: 17 For God did not send the Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him– John 3.17.
Rejoice that Jesus means that we are saved by His grace, and that His name is higher than any other name.

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