"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 (NKJV)
No study of the names of God could be complete without addressing the name of Jesus. The name Jesus is so familiar to us that it's difficult to imagine a time when it wasn't a part of our vocabulary. But despite its familiarity, there's meaning in this name that's not so obvious on the surface.
For starters, Jesus is a transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua or Yehowshuwa. Dig a little deeper and you find that the name Yehowshuwa comes from the words Jehovah and yasha. Jehovah is the personal name of God, and the word yasha literally means "to be saved" or "to be delivered." When we put this all together, we see that the name Jesus, when taken back to its Hebrew roots, means "God saves."
It doesn't get any more spot-on than that! And it brings new meaning to the statement above: "He will save His people from their sins." The name of Jesus wasn't randomly pulled out of a hat. It was specifically and deliberately chosen to identify God's Son, because everything about Him, from the cradle to the grave, was about the salvation He would secure for us.
Every time we say the name Jesus, it's a declaration of what He was all about. We declare His earthly mission and His eternal passion to save. He is the God who is not interested in serving Himself, but in saving others…saving us…even though we don't deserve it.
Yet despite the fact we don't deserve to be saved, He has saved us. Not because of who we are, but simply because of who He is. And there's no stronger exclamation mark of God's heart to save than the name Jesus!
Written by Pastor Bob Coy of "The Active Word"