Thursday, December 23, 2010

Matthew 1:21-25, The Meaning Of Jesus' Name

Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “Jehovah saves.”

Jesus’ life’s work was appointed from before time. Paul said in Philippians that Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, and you can certainly see it as humbling, to step down from the throne of God to enter into the womb of an ordinary young girl, living in Israel. Paul went on to say that Jesus humbled himself in obedience to His Father, He became obedient even to death on the cross.

This was how Jehovah would save His people from their sins, He would die for them, sacrificing Himself in the place of those who are guilty, you and me, every sinner.

The ancient Jew, at this point in the text, would have taken particular note of the name Emmanuel since this was what God had said to Moses was His desire, to dwell among His people.

When the tabernacle was dedicated, and later the temple, God’s presence descended to dwell visibly in the midst of His people. But God had never been so present as to become a human being, living side by side with His people. It is an amazing truth. The Lord understands you and me because He went through every kind of life experience you and I live through, yet He never sinned (Hebrews).

Whatever is going on in your life, you can talk to Jesus about it. He will listen with compassion and love, He knows you and loves you, and understands completely what you’re going through.

But the most important name given to Jesus is the one Matthew used in verse 1, verse 16, verse 17 and verse 18: Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One.

Messiah is the unique God-Man, the eternal Son of God, Who is also the Son of Man, with two distinct natures in one Person forever – fully God and fully man.

Because of Jesus' humility in obedience, God has exalted Him, giving Him authority over every authority. Jesus is actively ruling with God, as Lord over all.

Just as you can't separate the brilliance of sunshine from the sun itself, Jesus is described as "the radiance of the glory of God." (Hebrews 1) Not just an image or a reflection of God, He is "the exact imprint of God's nature," "He is the image of the invisible God," Jesus is the absolutely authentic representation of God's being.

God says that all of His fullness – the totality of God's powers and attributes – rests in the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are two kinds of prophecy about Messiah:
* The first kind of prophecy points to Christ Who will suffer for the sake of His people, out of love for them.

* The second kind of prophecy points to the future when Christ has promised He will one day come back to rule the earth in righteousness, and gather His people to Himself forever. How much of your trust have you put in this Christ?
God requires faith in a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ
In what ways is your life reflecting your response to God's word?

What insights and commands have you received from God through this study of His word so far?

Joseph had only one night of instruction with God’s word. What has God given you to believe and have faith in Him about?

What has God given you to apply in your life right now, without delay?

Who has God given you to protect -- to feed and clothe, to care for and teach, to pray over and tenderly love?

God gives us His presence on earth, He is with us and has promised to live in us when we believe in Him. God offers us forgiveness for our sins, He has come to save you from your sin. When was the last time you simply thanked Jesus for His presence with you and in you, and for His forgiveness?

In just one chapter Matthew showed that Jesus called Christ is fully qualified to be king and savior by His royal ancestry, His divine conception and birth, and by His credentials through the fulfillment of prophecy in His coming and His identity. How fully have you accepted Christ as your king and your savior?

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation


  1. Christ as King...what a magnificent truth. And yet how infrequently we hear this phrase except in shallow, quick passing. It seems that the masses want the Savior, the cuddly Jesus in the manger who will grow up to be their divine Buddy. But how many truly want Him to reign and rule over their entire lives? May the Father give us grace to CRAVE bending the knee in obedience and loyalty.

    Thank you for a thoughtful post.


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