What’s in a name? – Hope 103.2

What’s in a name?

Names actually meant something and had to do with the person’s character or mission in life. Some weird and wonderful names were given as indications of what that child would grow up to accomplish.

By David ReayTuesday 20 Dec 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes

Transcript:

Read Matthew 1:20-23

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:


23           “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!

                    She will give birth to a son,
               and they will call him Immanuel,
                    which means ‘God is with us.’”(NLT)

Parents to be often think long and hard about what to name the baby. Is it in association with some family member or celebrity? Is it simply a matter of personal taste? Is it to do with what a particular name actually means?

It was this last viewpoint that seemed to dominate in biblical times. Names actually meant something and had to do with the person’s character or mission in life. Some weird and wonderful names were given as indications of what that child would grow up to accomplish.

When it comes to Jesus, his earthly parents had no say in it at all. They were told definitely to call him Jesus because that name meant ‘God saves’. Which is very much to do with Jesus: he did come to be God’s instrument of salvation for all humankind.

We also read in our passage today that he is called ‘Immanuel’, meaning ‘God with us’. And this, too, reveals something of Jesus. He is God in human form; God spelling himself out in a language human beings can understand.

Call your daughter Sarah and it suggests she is a princess, but she may not be much like one. Call your son David and it suggests he is beloved. That may or may not be true! But when it comes to Jesus, we have someone who truly lives up to his name.

Blessings
David Reay

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