The Name of Jesus
According to a New York Times article, children in many African countries are often named after a famous visitor, special event, or circumstance that was meaningful to the parents. When doctors told the parents of one child that they could not cure the infant’s illness and only God knew if he would live, the parents named their child Godknows. Another man said he was named Enough, because his mother had 13 children and he was the last one!
My daughter spent a month in Kenya delivering babies during her medical school training. After a particularly difficult birth the mother informed her that she was naming her baby Jennifer in her honor. One of the missionaries from Zambia, that our church supports, Dan Jones, says that there are numerous “Dans” in the area surrounding Zimba Hospital, even a few girls! (Although in that case he tries to persuade them to go with Danielle).
Names also had meaning in Biblical times. For example, Abraham means “Father of many nations”. Moses means “I drew him out of the water.” Samuel means “Heard by God” and Solomon means “the Lord loved him.” But think about the name above all names, Jesus. Before Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord told Joseph, “[Mary] will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means “the Lord saves.”
What a marvelous thought. Jesus came to be our Savior. He came to deliver us from the bondage and power of sin. As the Charles Wesley hymn so beautifully expresses it: “Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sin release us; let us find our rest in Thee.”
In a world in desperate need of saving there is only one name that offers real hope – JESUS. Are you putting your trust in Him?
Have a great week!
If you would like to comment or if you have questions for Pastor Barry you may direct those to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.