Our Bible verse for today: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, “God with us”. Matthew 1:21; 23 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “The names of Jesus tell us everything we need to know about Him.”
Choosing a name for a baby is often a fun and sometimes challenging occasion for parents. Often the parents choose a name simply because they like it. The most popular girl’s names in 2018 were Sophia, Olivia, and Emma. The most popular boy’s names were Jackson, Liam, and Noah.
Sometimes a child is given a name with Biblical significance in the hope that they will grow-up emulating the character traits of that Biblical person. For that reason names like Joseph, Joshua, Caleb, Mary, and Deborah have traditionally been popular. Other families name their children in honor of a close family member. Author O.S. Hawkins explains that his name is a combination of family names, the O.S. standing for Otis Swafford (which is why he goes by his initials!). And sometimes the names parents choose for their children are just plain weird. The rock and roll singer of the 1960s, Frank Zappa, named his children Dweezil and Moon Unit.
In Matthew chapter one the angel told Joseph that he was to name the baby in Mary’s womb “Jesus”, which is derived from the Hebrew name “Yesuha” and means “to deliver or to save”. But two verses later the angel said that Jesus would also be called “Immanuel”, which means “God is with us”.
No other baby name in history so accurately described what would be true of the person it was given to. Jesus came to rescue us from our sins, and He was in fact God in a human body – God with us. God lived among us in the person of Jesus Christ and He saved us from an eternity in hell.
There should be no confusion about the meaning and purpose of Christmas. His names, Jesus and Immanuel, tell us who He is and why He came.