Sparta Baptist Church

Advent Day 14

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“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

When you find out a friend is expecting a baby, one of the first questions you’re likely to ask is, “What are you going to name him/her?”  It’s exciting and fun, and expectant parents can spend hours sifting through baby naming books and word meanings before deciding what to call their new addition.

Mary and Joseph didn’t have to do that.  Their baby’s name was given. By God. He had chosen the name for his child, and he commanded them to use it.

Why?  Because names mean something.  Especially in Biblical times, names were used to commemorate things God had done or to prophesy about things he would do.  Jesus’ name was no different.

Sure, Jesus is the Greek form of the name Joshua, so it was fairly common.  After all, it means “the Lord saves” so naming boys “Joshua” reminded the Israelites He would.   

The difference is that Jesus was the way he would. So, every time he heard his name, he knew his purpose.  Every time Mary or Joseph called him to come, they remembered why he came.                

Worship:  Spend some time recalling the names of Christ.  Here are a few:  Jesus, Emmanuel, Living Water, Alpha and Omega, Savior, Redeemer, and King.  Pray and tell him your favorite name for him.

Family Focus:  Create a special Christmas craft that highlights the names of Christ.  Perhaps a poster or painting with his names forming a Christmas tree or maybe add his names to a wreath and display it in your home.  Discuss how his names reveal different aspects of his character, of who he is.  Encourage children to learn different names for Jesus and what they mean.