“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, ESV)
I’m just going to come right out and say it. Jesus means Yehovah (Jehovah, Yahweh) saves! For Jesus, His name was not just a name, it was an identity. But it was also much more. His name was a calling—a life’s mission.
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “upholding the family name.” It refers to giving honor to the name that has been passed down from generation to generation, built upon the reputation of one’s ancestors. For me, as the son of a Vietnam veteran, it means showing respect to those who have served, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It means respecting the foundations upon which the United States was built. My last name reminds me of what sacrificial service means.
Jesus must have been reminded every time someone said His name that He had another Name to uphold. He had another Name to bear. I imagine that it must have been a constant reminder of His life’s mission. He had come to save.
For me, the name of Jesus reminds me not only that He came to save me, but also that I needed saving. My last name reminds me to be grateful for all that I have and how I got it—through the sacrifice of men and women who fought so that I would have the right to choose Whom I worship. Like the scene in Saving Private Ryan, I feel a certain responsibility to live worthy of their sacrifice—to “earn this.” The name of Jesus, in a much more powerful way, reminds me that I have a Name to bear, and I need to bear it in a worthy manner, never bearing it in vain.
I’d like to leave you with a couple of scriptures that remind me of the worth of the name of Jesus. I encourage you to commit them to memory, meditate upon them, and use them as a daily reminder to “uphold the name” of Jesus. Bearing His name is an honor, one that should be carried out in a most worthy manner.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11, ESV).
“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, ESV).
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!
Image by tony melena on Unsplash.