This is part one of a three-part sermon series on parsing out and understanding the name of Jesus Christ and just what that means to us as Christians and our understanding of who He is. Please, join us for service on July 19 and 26 for the last two parts.
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1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
To us in the modern Christian world, Jesus is the most important name of all names. But what we often forget is that, truthfully, this name was nothing special. Jesus was actually very common name.
Greek –> Transliteration: Iésous, Phonetic Spelling: (ee-ay-sooce’) (Source: Strong’s Concordance: http://biblehub.com/greek/2424.htm)
Latin –> Iesous
Hebrew –> Transliteration: Yeshua, Phonetic Spelling: (yay-shoo’-ah) –> means “he will save” (Source: Strong’s Concordance – http://biblehub.com/hebrew/3442.htm)
To name a boy “Jesus” was, essentially, to name him “Joshua” or “Josh”, what is, to us, one of the most common boys’ names in recent memory. The Messiah who was prophesied was not given a unique name that would separate Him from everyone else. Rather, He was given a name that several of His friends could have possibly also had.
While His name was indeed common, for it to be given to Him was also rather unusual. The Hebrew tradition was for firstborn sons often to be named after their fathers. Jesus, however, was not named for his ‘father’ Joseph, which was undoubtedly commented upon and, perhaps, even possibly shameful for Joseph. Regardless, he and Mary were obedient to the angel of God’s words and named the baby boy Jesus as instructed.
It was not Jesus’s name that proclaimed Him Lord. It was His obedience to God, His servanthood to his people, His authority in the word of God, and His humility. Jesus stood as the reconciliation between God and man, one who was both and who understood both sides of the equation. He chose His ministry, He chose to be a servant obedient to his Father to save us. This is what made the name of Jesus so great.