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Jesus lives up to his name

#2 Christmas Ornaments III, #Flickr12Days
Creative Commons License photo credit: Elisa R Baralt

Matthew 1:18-25

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Here’s another reason why I am glad Joseph stayed in this story – because it is Joseph who names the baby. Tradition says at the briss – at the circumcision  – the baby is named by the Father,

Luke 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.

In Biblical times, your name says something about you….either about your family, your destiny, your history – names are important.

· Isaac = laughing (Gen. 18:9-15; 21:1-8)

· Jacob = deceiver (Gen. 27:36)
· Moses = drawn out (Ex. 2:10)
· Jabez = sorry (1 Cor. 4:9-10)

Joseph names his son “Jesus” – which means “God saves.” And not only is Joseph obeying his vision, but he is also naming his son after another prominent figure from the Bible – Joshua. Another man who was destined to “save” his people. And it’s a lot to live up to. So did he? Did Jesus live up to his name?

The name of Jesus brings forgiveness…..

Acts 2:38-39

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

It was one of the most controversial things Jesus ever did. Forgive sinners. His critics claimed that “only God could forgive sin” which is true, so Jesus would heal or do a miracle in order to validate – in order to prove – He had that authority. In fact, many believed that sickness or brokenness was a result of sin – so even the very fact that he healed the body was a visual symbol that God was forgiving.

The name of Jesus brings wholeness…..

Acts 3:6-8

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

To prove the power didn’t come from themselves, the disciples healed in the name of Jesus and when they were tried and arrested – they were ordered not to “teach” in the name of Jesus. Jesus’ name was like a magic word – things happened – bones grew back – sickness left – muscles tightened in the name of Jesus – and when you witness that – you believe in the power. Jesus’ name healed…. it gave people their lives back – it gave people hope and mobility and income and life.

The name of Jesus drives out darkness…..

Acts 16:16-18

She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

Spiritual darkness was a lot more visible and obvious in these times. The forces of darkness were not just scary stories or fantasy, it was the evening news. The hand of darkness was a viable threat and how do you combat it? How do you protect yourself from it? The Bible says the “name of Jesus” was the power. The demons fled and the shadows burst the moment the son of God’s name was mentioned.

The name of Jesus is complete…..

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The apostle Paul says the name of Jesus is so wonderful, so powerful that literally everything we do – should be bathed in his name. Sadly we just tack his name onto the ends of prayers – but here Paul says “Whatever you do.” How many of you love salt? You put salt on everything, right? Why not? Everything tastes better with salt. Paul says you want life to be better? Taste sweeter? Put Jesus on everything!

The name of Jesus restores us back to the creator…..

Acts 4:8-12

Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”

This may be the most exclusive, controversial, non-politically correct, intolerant verse in the Bible. Where does salvation come from? Jesus. Where else? No where else. Which path leads to God? Jesus. What other path? No other path. The Bible isn’t gray on this, it’s not open to interpretation, the only way back to God is through his son. In fact the Bible says that one day, everyone will admit that the name of Jesus is perfect

Philippians 2:10

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.

And listen, no other religious leader ever claimed to BE God’s son. Jesus said he had God’s power, Jesus said he had God’s authority, and Jesus said he came from heaven. So I don’t think it’s any surprise that the path to God – comes from God.

So what do you think?

Does Jesus live up to his name?

Does he save?

 

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