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He Was Called Jesus

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Until about the year 1100, most people in Europe had only one name. With population increasing it became difficult to distinguish among people, so surnames were added. These came from four primary sources: a man’s occupation, such as John Cook, or Miller; location, such as John Overhill or Brook; patronymical, such as John’s son (Johnson); and characteristics, such as John Small, Short, Longfellow, and so forth.
How do you decide what to name a child? Sometimes people use a family name, perhaps a grandparent’s or aunt or uncle, or after some famous person. Other times it might be something associated with when the child was born – Summer, or April. Often the name was to express the parents’ hopes for the child – Grace.
Judy – she will be praised
Linda – pretty
Stephen – wreath or crown – honor, fame
And once in a while it something humorous – Justin Case
Both Mary and Joseph were told by Gabriel to name the child Jesus. You have to figure that this name is important.
Luke 2:21 NIV84
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

The meaning of the name

The name represented the character of the person.
The name meant originally “Yahweh helps / is salvation”, and signified deliverance. The Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Jeshua” (or “Joshua”), and was fairly common.

The use of the name

The name of Jesus carries with it many benefits:
A father took his children to the county fair one day. Since they were obviously not interested in the prize pig or calf, the father bought a whole roll of tickets for the various rides at the fair. As each of the children approached a ride, they would hold out a hand to get a ticket from their father. At one ride, after all his children had received tickets, a strange boy whom the father had never seen came up and held out his hand, obviously expecting a ticket.
The father drew back his roll of tickets. He wasn’t about to give this boy a ticket. Upon seeing this, the man’s son Stephen turned and said to his dad, “It’s okay, Dad, this is my friend. I told him you would give him a ticket.”
Do you know what the father did? He gave the boy a ticket in Stephen’s name. That boy had no right to a ticket, but since his son had said he would do it, the father honored the name of his son by giving that strange boy a ticket.
Authority
Philippians 2:10–11 NIV84
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.
Power in the name
Acts 4:30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Healing
Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
Forgiveness
Acts 2:38 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.
Gives life
John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
It’s not enough to say the name. Remember the Jewish exorcists who tried to cast out a demon in Jesus’ name? It responded, “Jesus I know, but who are you/” and then beat them up (Acts 19:15). The name of Jesus is not a magical formula, ending a prayer “in Jesus’ name” does not guarantee we will get what we wanted.

The purpose of the name

Salvation
Matthew 1:21 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.”
Acts 4:12 NIV84
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Saves from the penalty fur sin - Saves from God’s wrath
Saves from the presence of sins – cleanses us and gives us Christ’s righteousness
Saves from the power of sin – sets us free from sins control so that we can live lives pleasing to God

Claiming the name

Believe
Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Call on
Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Live worthy of
Colossians 1:10 NIV84
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
Dennis, from Katy, Texas, needed some same-day dry cleaning before he left on a trip. He remembered a store with a huge sign, “One-Hour Dry Cleaners,” on the other side of town, so he drove there to drop off a suit. After filling out the tag, he told the clerk, “I need this in an hour.”
She said, “I can’t get this back to you until Thursday.”
“I thought you did dry cleaning in an hour.”
“No,” she replied, “that’s just the name of the store.”
Likewise, we who say we are Christians but fail to act like the one whose name we bear create confusion and disillusionment for those who have yet to believe.
Let us remember, then, that when we say the name Jesus we are not just saying the word which is His name, we are proclaiming all that His name stands for, all that He is. May we never take that name in vain, but may we always be ready to lift up His name as a witness to others of His salvation.
George Beverly Shea was once asked to sing “How Great Thou Art” at a gathering and he said he’d be happy to, but when he was asked to leave out the verse which spoke of Jesus being sent to die to take away our sin he calmly replied that He couldn’t do that, because it would mean denying his Lord, and so he wouldn’t sing. He was allowed to sing the entire hymn.
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