What’s in a name? Quite a lot


Since the creation, names and titles have been important to God. From the first act of creation, He was issuing names like light, darkness, heavens, earth, Adam, and Eve.

Throughout the Bible names often revealed something about a person’s birth or a physical or personal trait. Isaac’s name means laughter because his mother laughed when God said she would give birth at age 90. When Isaac’s twin boys were born, the older was called Esau which means red. The younger was named Jacob which means supplanter. He was clinging to the heal of his brother when he was born. In the New Testament, John was called the baptizer, Simon was called Peter, and Saul of Tarsus became Paul, apostle to the Gentiles.

As important as names and titles might be, none have been or ever will be more important than the names attributed to the Son of Mary. His birth had been in the heart of God since before the world was created.

Through centuries, prophet after prophet foretold of one who was to come. Wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, and prince of peace were among the names attributed to Him.

Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Hosea all write of one who was to come and they all somehow bind together the manger of Bethlehem, the cross of calvary, and the second coming of the King of Kings.

In Matthew 1, he quotes the Isaiah assigning the title of “Emmanu-El” to this Christ-Child. An angel had told Joseph top take the pregnant Mary as his wife and name the boy Jesus, which means “the Lord saves.” That statement coupled with the name Emmanu-El describes both the mission and message of the Lord Jesus. He spoke of the mission in Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

In John 3:16-17, Emmanu-El is God the Son laying aside His equality with God the Father, stepping across the stars into a manger. He became one of us, born into poverty as a helpless human infant Who, in His lifetime here, would be tempted in every way as we are, but never yielding (Hebrews 4:15). His perfection enabled Him to be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

Never forget that name, Emmanu-El, which means “God with us.” It’s a reminder that the God of Heaven loved us enough to offer His only Son to live in perfect obedience and then offer Himself to be nailed to a cross. He took upon Himself the punishment for our sins and was raised on the third day to make

forgiveness and eternal available to those trust and obey Him. When we do, He sends God the Holy Spirit to live in us.

Indeed, Emman-El, God with us always!