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A Song to the Lord

The Name of Jesus - "That Beautiful Name"

"After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb." (Luke 2:21 NRSV)

My parents named me after my father. His name, followed by “Jr.,” is on my birth certificate. But they never called me by any part of that name. They gave me a “nickname” which they always called me by – the name of a young boy on a television program that they enjoyed watching when I was born. So, on legal and bank and medical records, I am identified by a name that few people use to address me.

Parents have varied reasons for giving their children the names that they do. My wife and I gave each of our three children a Bible name as their first name. For their middle name, we chose a person or character trait that we hoped our child would emulate in their life. But the choice was ours.

The eighth day of the Christmas season – New Year’s Day on our calendars – is known as the “Day of the Holy Name of Jesus.” This day commemorates when Jesus was circumcised and officially named. The choice of names, however, was not Mary and Joseph’s to make. They were both given angelic instructions as to the child’s name.

You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
Luke 1:31 NRSV

She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21 NRSV 

Hymnwriter Jean Perry has penned a song titled That Beautiful Name that helps us grasp a bit of the significance of the name of our Lord Jesus.

I know of a name, a beautiful name, that angels brought down to earth;
They whispered it low, one night long ago, to a maiden of lowly birth.
I know of a name, a beautiful name, that unto a Babe was given;
The stars glittered bright throughout that glad night, and angels praised God in heaven.
That beautiful name, that beautiful name, from sin has power to free us!
That beautiful name, that wonderful name, that matchless name is Jesus!

The name Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name “Jeshua” (or “Joshua”). Our Lord was given this name – which means “Jehovah is salvation” – because of the divine purpose of his coming to “. . . save his people from their sins.” Jesus was the promised “serpent crusher” who would free all of humankind from the curse of sin (Genesis 3:15). Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that one of his descendants would bless the entire world (Genesis 12:3). Jesus was the promised Messiah whose titles were foretold by the prophet Isaiah.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NRSV 

The One of that name my Savior became, my Savior of Calvary;
My sins nailed Him there, my burdens to bear, He suffered all this for me. 

Jesus our Messiah – God the Son – was born with the mission to die for our sins. But He was raised the third day, and now his name is – and will be – the focus of worship of all creation for all eternity.

Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 NRSV

I love that blest name, that wonderful name, made higher than all in heaven;
‘Twas whispered, I know, in my heart long ago, to Jesus my life I’ve given. 

The apostle John wrote:

He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:11-13 NRSV

That was true when Jesus lived on earth, and it is just as true today. Believe in who his name says he is. Jesus. Giver of salvation. Let him make you into a child of God today. 

That beautiful name, that beautiful name, from sin has power to free us!
That beautiful name, that wonderful name, that matchless name is Jesus!

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To subscribe and receive A SONG TO THE LORD in your email, just follow this link. And if you are interested in other devotional writings by Rusty Rabon, click here. T. M. Moore and Rusty Rabon host THE AILBE PODCASTwhich you can find here. Rusty also hosts a Zoom book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS five nights each week (Thursdays through Mondays). The Zoom link and current book information is available here.

Rusty Rabon

Rusty Rabon has served in vocational Christian ministry in local churches since 1981. He also served as a Christian radio announcer for 15 years. He married his wife Terri in 1978 and they have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. You can find books by Rusty Rabon here.

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