Saturday, April 9, 2022

Naming the Savior - Luke 2:21 - April 10, 2022

 Luke 2:21 Naming the Savior

Good morning! Today is Palm Sunday, the warning shot across the bow of pastors across the world that next Sunday is Easter! You better get ready!

In truth, on Palm Sunday we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey walking on the cloaks of His followers spread on the road and palm branches waving and shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

This is the beginning of what is often called Passion Week or Holy Week where the New Testament describes daily accounts of Jesus ministry in and around Jerusalem culminating with His death of Good Friday and His Resurrection Easter Sunday.

We’ve spent the last few weeks focusing on Jesus’ birth that we celebrate at Christmas and in the week to come we will remember His death on Good Friday here Friday at 6:30, and His Resurrection Easter Sunday at Sunrise-ish 7am.

Today I’d like to focus one a day that happened somewhere in between Christmas and Easter, a significant day, as significant as the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that donkey, the day that Jesus was given His Name. Turn with me in your Bibles to Luke 2:21, page 857 in the pew Bibles.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Let’s pray.

So Mary and Joseph, in obedience to the Law of Moses, specifically Leviticus 12, eight days after Jesus was born had him circumcised and officially named Him Jesus.

It was significant that Jesus was circumcised.

Circumcision was a seal of the covenant between Yahweh and Abraham, that God would make Abraham a great nation and that all the world would be blessed through his offspring which was Jesus.

For the Jewish people circumcision was symbolic of the putting off of sin and for Jesus to be circumcised, even though He had no sin, was a token that He belonged to God’s covenant people. He took on the emblem of the purification of sin so that He would be like His brethren in every way except for sin itself.

Galatians 4:4-5 says,  …when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Jesus lived His earthly life in complete obedience to the Law, there was no sin in Him, and now He lives as a fulfillment of that Law for us who have faith in Him.

So His circumcision on the eighth day was significant. In this first earthly act of obedience for us He shed His first drops of blood, and on His last, on the cross, He would shed streams of blood for us.

But what I’d like for us to focus more on today is the significance of the naming of the Savior.

Back in chapter one and verse 31 that angel Gabriel announced to Mary, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus.”

Matthew 1:20-21 records the angel announcing the same to Joseph in a dream. 

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

The first of three points, of course, is that naming the child, “Jesus,” was an act of obedience.

So something to note here for you language nerds. The way we pronounce “Jesus,” is not the way the First Century church did, it’s not the way Gabriel did, and not the way Mary and Joseph would have either. “Jesus,” is the English pronunciation of the Greek name, “Iesous,” which is actually the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name, “Yeshuah,” which, in English, we pronounce, “Joshua.”

That doesn’t mean that we should start calling the Lord Jesus, “the Lord Josh,” nor the Lord Yeshuah. What it does mean is that there is meaning in the Name of Jesus that was assigned by the Lord God when He instructed Mary and Joseph about what to name their Son.

Naming the Savior, “Jesus,” was a word of prophecy.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

The Name, “Jesus,” no matter how you pronounce it means: “Yahweh is salvation.”

When we think of Joshua, in the Old Testament, he was the leader of Israel after Moses and led Israel from the wilderness into the Promised Land. The Lord Jesus followed that pattern by leading His people out of the wilderness of sin and into the promised land of His kingdom through faith in Him.

Jesus’ Name is in complete harmony with His work, Yahweh is salvation.

Naming the Savior was an act of obedience, a word of prophecy, and also a promise fulfilled.

Yahweh is indeed salvation, it is by faith alone in the Name of His Son Jesus that we are saved.

There’s a great story in Acts 4:5 after Peter and John had healed a lame man in the Name of Jesus… 

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 


No amount of good deeds, nor religion, no name of any other god or prophet has the power to save people from their sin, only the Name of Jesus.

And to call on His Name is to believe all that He said, to trust all that He did, and to obey all that He commanded. 

There is power in that Name!

Philippians 2:4 says,

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

All that we believe and confess is summed up in that one Name.

If we were to stand before God and he were to ask us: “Why should I let you into my kingdom?” The answer is: JESUS.

All that we do we do in that one Name: JESUS. The early church turned the world upside down with the Name of Jesus even if it cost them their lives. But it didn’t matter because all that we take out of this life is that one Name: JESUS.

You can line your coffin with silver and gold but it won’t go with you, all that we take with us beyond this life is the Name of Jesus.

Without the Name of Jesus, Christmas is just for Santa and trees and presents, without the Name of Jesus Easter is just bunnies and eggs, without the Name of Jesus we are among men most to be pitied, without the Name of Jesus we are all bound for destruction.

What name has ever been given that promised more and disappointed less than the Name of Jesus? He is all we need!

In His Name we have new life, new purpose, new hope, a new family, and a new home, His home, God’s eternal kingdom. All because of the Name of Jesus!