The Gospel of Luke | Tracking with Advent: The Name | Luke 2.18 |

by | Dec 23, 2021

“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 2.18

“And his name shall be Jesus…” The naming of the Christ was given to both Mary and Joseph by the Angel of the Lord. It was repeated a few times to make sure there was no doubt about it. His name is Immanuel, God with us. And “Jesus,” because he will save the people from their sins.

What’s in a name? Names are significant. They are identifiers of an object, a person, a place, a thing. They point to both the relevance of something as well as it’s purpose. Jesus’ name told of who he was and what he would do. My given name, Russell, or “fair-haired one” might suggest what I resemble but certainly doesn’t designate purpose.

Jesus’ name is something entirely different. It denotes purpose and position. It involves power and importance. The actual name of Jesus has the power to save, to redeem, to renew. It has the power to cast out evil spirits, to heal, to sustain, to love. My name has nothing of the sort! It’s without the power or the prestige.

When the angel said that his name will be Jesus, because he will save the people from their sins, it came with a built-in mission. Sometimes for us humans we have to figure out our purpose, but not so for Jesus. He was born to die, killed to resurrect, rejected to redeem. The name of Jesus saves the lost sinner, heals the broken marriage, sets captives free and brings glory to the Father.

Christmas is suppose to be all about the birth of Jesus. We know from a quick visit to the store that consumerism has taken over. A portion of our nation celebrates the birth of Christ with an appropriate mix of wonderment and awe. But to do so, we must acknowledge the name above all the other names. We must realize the power of the season, the readiness of the moment.

Jesus, God with us means he is living and he is here. He is with everyone who calls upon his name. Christmas gained little significance for me until I surrendered my life to this Savior. It wasn’t until I relinquished my life to the Lover of my Soul, that I read the accounts of his birth in Matthew and Luke anew.

Have you called upon this name? Have you experienced his power? Have you surrendered your heart to the one who is Immanuel, God with us?

“O Lord God, you are good. You power to love supersedes my ability to understand. Your truth lies heavy upon my lips, like your blood upon the cross. Come now, Christ Jesus, find your way into the manger that I might rediscover you in my heart. I make you my own, my Savior and Lord. My king and friend. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen