‘What’s In A Name?’

One of the most important decisions that faces parents is the naming of their new child. It is, of course, something the bearer of the name(s) plays absolutely no part in and yet they are expected to live with the decision for the rest of their life. Are you happy with the decision that was made for you? Would you prefer a different name? Do you think that your name ‘fits’ your character? Do you feel that your name is old-fashioned? If you are parents now, are you content with the choice you made those many years ago?

All kinds of criteria, many of them very personal, are used e.g. preserving family names from the past; personal ‘likes’; Biblical names; modern / unusual names; names that cannot be shortened; the meaning of a name.

If we knew fully the character of a particular child before birth, this would, undoubtedly, be the decisive factor in the name(s) chosen. Nowhere was this seen more clearly than in the birth of Jesus. When He is unveiled to us in the New Testament, it is clear that the name, JESUS, is entirely fitting for One who ‘did not come to destroy men’s lives but TO SAVE THEM’, Luke chapter 9 verse 56. JESUS means ‘Jehovah Saviour’.

Behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) 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 chapter 1 verse 20-21

Long before the birth of Jesus. Matthew opens the New Testament with the words of Isaiah, predicting who He was: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us’, Matthew chapter 1 verses 23.

Thank God for the relevance of the names of the Child born: Lord … Jesus … Christ. May they mean much to you today.