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.
Meditation: What's the significance of a name? For the
Jewish people the giving of a name had great importance. When a name
was given it represented what that person should be in the future. An unknown
name meant that someone could not be completely known. To not acknowledge
someone's name meant both denial of the person, destruction of their personality,
and change in their destiny. A person's name expressed the reality
of his or her being at its deepest level. A Jewish child was named at the
time of circumcision, eight days after birth. This rite was instituted
by God as an outward sign to single out those who belonged to the chosen
people. It was a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his
In fulfilment of this precept, Mary's newborn child is given the name Jesus on the eighth day according to the Jewish custom. Joseph and Mary gave the name Jesus because that is the name given by God's messenger before Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb. This name signifies Jesus' identity and his mission. The literal Hebrew means the Lord saves. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). In the birth and naming of this child we see the wondrous design and plan of God in giving us a Savior who would bring us grace, mercy, and freedom from the power of sin and the fear of death. The name Jesus signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son who became man for our salvation. Peter the Apostle exclaimed that there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved (Acts 2:12). In the name of Jesus demons flee, cripples walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised. His name is exalted far above every other name (Philippians 2:9-11). The name Jesus is at the heart of all Christian prayer. It is through and in Jesus that we pray to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many Christians have died with one word on the lips, the name of Jesus. Do you exalt the name of Jesus and pray with confidence in his name?
"Lord Jesus Christ, I exalt your name above every other name.
For in you I have pardon, mercy, grace and victory over sin and death.
You humbled yourself for my sake and for the sake of all sinners by sharing
in our humanity and by dying on the cross. Help me to always praise
your holy name and to live for your greater glory."