Jesus: A Name Worth Knowing

 

Luke 2: 15-21

By John Hazzard

Sunday, January 1, 2023

 

GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR

LORD AND SAVIOR—JESUS THE CHRIST.

On Jan. 1 we celebrate the eighth day after the birth of Jesus, when he was named and

circumcised. He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the

womb (Lk 2:21). Under the Law of Moses, all male infants were to be circumcised on the eighth

day after birth (Lv 12:3). It was also customary at this time for family and friends to witness the

naming of the child. This major feast is celebrated on Jan. 1, the eighth day of the Christmas

season. It is designated as a feast in honor of Jesus' Holy Name. Though traditionally celebrated

as the Feast of the Circumcision, Luke’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus’s Holy Name, leading to what

is now referred to as the Celebration of the Holy Name.

  As you may know, names were very important to the ancient Hebrews.  Children were

given names that were very descriptive.  For example, David means “The beloved.” Names have

even been changed to represent specific situations or mark special happenings.  For example,

Abram became Abraham and Sari became Sarah as she laughed at the prospect of becoming

pregnant in her old age.  Jacob was called Israel as a result of his wrestling with God and

refusing to give up even though his hip was displaced. Saul would be called Paul after his

encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus and Simon became Peter or Simon Peter. 

Names can be used to convey a particular belief, and they can be used to honor famous people in

history or even special family members.   

The importance placed on names throughout the Bible provides us with critical context

we otherwise wouldn’t have.  In the Old Testament God revealed his name to Moses as Yahweh

(Ya way), “I Am Who I Am.”  The Jewish people felt that God’s name was so sacred that it was

 

inappropriate to speak his name aloud.  They substituted his name with other titles like Elohim,

El-Shaddai (El shad die), Jehovah, and Adonai (A duh nay).  They revered the name of God so

much that in the Torah they use the word LORD in all caps instead of God’s sacred name

Yahweh.  Throughout the ages there have been many different names and descriptions used to

describe God, but none are more important than the name given to our Savior, Jesus, which

means “Yahweh is Salvation.” 

 

Luke tells us in chapter 2:21, on the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the

child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

The name of Jesus is the most recognized and popular name in history. His name was

controversial for much of the world even though his coming was prophesied about since

the fall of Adam and Eve. He was criticized and persecuted by the very people he came to

save. 

Jesus’ very name provides for us an example to follow, a leader to emulate and “the way”

which provides us a narrow path to be closer to God’s Divine Grace and Mercy. Jesus the True

Son of God, is “the way the truth and the life.”

Paul tells us there will come a day when the knee of every man, woman, and child will

bow before that highly exalted name. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given

him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of

things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should

confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

With the coming of Jesus everything changed.  Our Lord Jesus is almighty God himself. 

No longer is he far removed from humanity, but he himself became human, the vulnerable flesh

and blood Christ.  The whole purpose of his coming into this world was to bring almighty God

 

into communion with his people.  So through Jesus we can call out with boldness to God the

Father because now through our baptism we are grafted into the body of the son of God, Jesus

the Christ.  Jesus is our adopted Father and likewise through that relationship we are called to

bring others into this salvation.  With the coming of Jesus, Almighty God, whose name people

were not allowed to say aloud became a human being.  His name is still holy, but now saying his

name has become a blessing instead of a word thought to be too sacred to speak.  

 

No matter how advanced our society becomes, no matter how educated we are, we

are still sinful human beings who need a savior. My hope for the New Year is for us to put

more and more of our trust in Jesus.  My hope is that we establish both a temporal and

eternal relationship with Jesus through our daily prayers, devotions, and meditations- all of

which are possible because of Jesus. Through Christ crucified we can have the Kingdom of

God.  Jesus makes this all possible.

       It is in the name of Jesus that we minister and testify to the world around us.  It is in

His name that we are baptized and made a part of the Body of Christ, the Church.  Jesus-

the Christ Incarnate- is the conduit that allows us to enter the Holy of Holies and have a

very real, tangible, and direct relationship with God.  Jesus is seated at the right hand of

God and intercedes on our behalf, when we place our trust in him instead of ourselves or

things of this world.  He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

     Jesus is worth honoring and revering. He swapped his crown of glory for a

crown of thorns. He swapped a royal throne for a bloody cross. He sacrificed himself so

that He might forever fill us with Himself. He came to earth to die for us because of His

great love for you and for me (Philippians 2:5–8). “Let this mind be in you, which was also

in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with

 

God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was

made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (John 3:16). For God so loved

the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not

perish, but have everlasting life. 

 

Jesus Christ fulfilled all the Law and all of the prophecies about the coming Messiah.

Through Christ, God’s plan has been successfully completed: John reminds us in Revelation

11:15b, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ;

and he shall reign forever and ever.”

 

Jesus is God with us.  He is the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ, the True Lamb of

God who takes away the sins of the world.  Jesus took all of our sins, all of our wrong

doings, all of our corrupted thoughts, all that is done and all that has been left undone.  He

heaped all of this onto himself, so we who believe and accept him- as our Risen Lord and

Savior- may be found righteous in the eyes of God.

 

THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMANE UNDERSTANDING KEEP

YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS… THE TRUE LAMB OF GOD AND

THE ONLY SOLID ROCK ON WHICH TO STAND. AMEN.

Bible Verse of the Day

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