What Do His Names Mean?
God told Joseph and Mary to name Mary’s son Jesus (Matt 1:21; Luke 1:31). Jesus is the same name as Joshua, Moses’ successor (Acts 7:45; Heb 4:8). The name Joshua, or Jesus, means Jehovah is salvation. The LORD God Jehovah became the Deliverer and Saviour of His people in the Godman Jesus, who would die for them.
Jesus is also called Christ in the New Testament, because He was God’s anointed Messiah for Israel. Christ = Messiah (John 1:41; 4:25). God promised a Messiah to deliver and save His people from the very beginning (Gen 3:15; 22:15-18; 49:10). He gave a timeline with dated events for Messiah to save His people (Da 9:24-27).
Jesus is called Lord, because He rules the universe under God. David knew that God Jehovah, the LORD, would send His Son as David’s son and yet David’s Lord (Ps 110:1; Matt 22:41-45). Jesus is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; Rev 17:14). He rules over all angels and men, both good and bad (Eph 1:20-22; Heb 2:8; I Pet 3:22).
Jesus of Nazareth means He was from a town in Galilee called Nazareth, which distinguished Him from any other Joshua. Jesus was called a Nazarene, one raised in Nazareth (Mat 2:23). Paul was called a ringleader of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5), which has nothing at all to do with the Nazarite vow or the modern denomination.
Jesus is called the Son of God, for God was His Father by conception in a virgin (Luke 1:35) and by His resurrection (Rom 1:4). He is called the Word of God, for God the Word took on human flesh to become God’s Son (John 1:1,14; Rev 19:11-16). He was called Immanuel, because He was God with us (Is 7:14; Matt 1:23).
How important is the name Jesus? It reveals profound truth, because He would save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21). God gave Him this special name – Jehovah is salvation – to reflect His death and universal reign. You will bow before Him and confess that He is Lord (Phil 2:9-11), so you ought to do so today.
How powerful is the name Jesus? The devils tremble at it, for they know He will cast them and wicked men into hell (Luk 4:34; Acts 19:15; Jas 2:19). The apostles performed great miracles in the name of Jesus (Mark 16:17-18; Acts 3:1-11). God loves the name of His Son and will answer any prayer in His name (Jn 16:23-27).
Jesus has dozens of other descriptive names that describe character traits or events.