What is in a Name?

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yeshua_jesus_hebrewBut while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

The book of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. The first chapter is what reveals this fact. When the angel tells Joseph what to name the child conceived by the Holy Spirit, he tells Joseph, “you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

In Hebrew, Jesus’ name is Yeshua. There is a bit of word play going on here. Yeshua means “God saves” so the angel is saying, you shall call Him “God saves” because He will save His people.

You might wonder, what is so important about a name?

The Lord takes his name seriously. Consider the following verses:

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. -Exodus 20:7

and

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. -Acts 4:12

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