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What’s in a name? – 10/10/2020

Names in the Old Testament were different than names now. Not just the names themselves, but in OT times names conveyed meaning, unlike today, when it seems anything goes.

And there were generally not last names in the OT – villages were small, and you might be the only one with your name, likely known as “son of”, you remember: Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah…” Everybody in town knew you by your name, by your father’s name, and by his father’s name. No need for last names. And, you were known by your character.

So how did Jesus get His name? You remember the angel coming to Mary, telling her His name would be Jesus, and oh by the way He would be the Son of the Most High. So, now read Isaiah 25:6-9. This is a beautiful statement of God’s intention for His people – and look at the last word in verse 9: salvation.

If you were going to name the Son of God, would you call him Salvation? I think of His mom: “Hey, Salvation, will you take out the trash please?” Or, “Salvation, where did you go after Hebrew school?” Moses, the Psalmists, Isaiah, Jeremiah, all the ancient writers spoke of God’s salvation. The word meant deliverance from the Egyptians for Moses, for David, deliverance from his enemies, for Isaiah, deliverance from the apostasy of his times and the coming disaster.

So why not name the Son of God Salvation? After all, it describes the character of Jesus, doesn’t it – love and grace and forgiveness for His people, and a sacrifice at the end of His life which meant Salvation for all who believe. So in this service let’s look at the name Gabriel gave to Mary and find out if it fits.

May God continue to bless you in His grace, with His peace, and under His power.

Pastor Phill

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