Elizabeth Rice Handford asks, “Why was Jesus’ name so important?”
This was no ordinary Baby. His birth had been planned literally before time began. But the news was so awesome, the Father couldn’t help but reveal His name 700 years before the Child would be born. His name would be, the Father revealed,
Unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6,7)
This Child is Wonderful, and no matter how many other names He’s given, they are all summed up in that “Wonderful!”—so full of wonder that we can hardly comprehend it.
To the Baby’s surrogate father, the Father announced,
You shall call His name JESUS,
for He will save His people from their sins. . . .
They shall call His name Immanuel,
which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:21,23)
To the virgin Mary, who would bear the child, the Father revealed,
That Holy One who is to be born
will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
These are just a few of the names of Jesus given in Scripture. There are literally dozens more. He’s the Lamb of God, but also the Shepherd. He is our Advocate with the Father, but also our Judge. He’s the Friend of Sinners, but He is the Holy One. He is the Son of Man, but He is also the Son of God. He is the Bondslave who died in our place for our sins, but He is also King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Why so many, many names for this Baby that would be born? The Apostle Paul gives us a clue:
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
The New Living Translation translates it “Thank God for His Son–a gift too wonderful for words!
Because the dear Lord Jesus is so wonderful, so awesome, I believe God’s reveal-the-Baby’s-name party will continue through eternity. I doubt that we’ll never be able to explore the depths of His love and grace. But these lovely names help us treasure the gift of Himself.
And that, dear friend, is why Christmas is worth celebrating. Not the gifts. Not the entertainment. Not friends and family, precious as they are. But Jesus! The Son of God who humbled Himself to become a human being so He could take us to Heaven with Him. That infinite, holy, loving Savior walks with us through every difficulty and hazard of life, and will be with us throughout eternity. Jesus! Dear Jesus!