What’s in a Name?

Tuesday, January 30                    

I used to be bothered by hymns that praise Jesus’ “name.”  Why not praise Jesus rather than his name?  But I found out the Bible uses the same language, so I did a little research.  John 1:12.  “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be children of God.”  What does “believed in his name” mean?  Mt. 1:21.  Joseph was told in a dream that the baby should be called Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.”  Matthew follows that with a quotation from Isaiah 7:14.  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means ‘God with us.’”  So  Jesus had two names, even though John 1:12 says “name,” not “names.”  I don’t know which one of the two Jesus was thinking of, or if he had both names in mind, but those two names  tell us exactly what we need to know—that he was God and that his mission on earth was to save us from our sins.  Believing those two truths leads to salvation.  I now sing about praising his name with “gusto.”

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