On the Eighth Day of Christmas

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.” (Luke 2:21)

When my wife and I were expecting our children we spent massive amounts of time choosing their names.  There were all kinds of factors that entered into our decision-making process.  It was much easier for Mary and Joseph.  Luke tells us that they used the name the angel had given him.  Luke is referencing a story that Matthew wrote about.  “… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 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.’” (Matthew 1:20-21)

The English name Jesus comes to us from a Hebrew name, having first passed through a couple other languages along the way. If it had come directly from Hebrew it would have been Joshua.  But the name was first translated into Greek, and from Greek it was adapted into Latin, and then from Latin to English.  In other words, when it comes to its meaning, Jesus and Joshua are the same name. 

The original Hebrew name back in the Old Testament meant, “God saves.” The New Testament Greek form is basically, “God is salvation.”  In other words, because Joseph was obedient and used the name the angel gave him, Jesus’ very name expresses the truths that he is God incarnate and that he is our Savior!  Remember that whenever you say or hear his name.

Leave a Reply