The Name of Jesus: God Saves

Happy Holiday! Happy Holy-day! No, not New Year’s, but a far more significant and wonderful day, the commemoration of the The Circumcision and Name of Jesus.

On the eighth day after the Christ child was born, Mary and Joseph had Him circumcised, which was also the occasion of his being given his official name (Luke 2:21). The former event is important because with His circumcision, Christ began to fulfill the Law of Moses on our behalf. The latter event is important because of the many promises attached to the name of Jesus–that when two or three meet in His name that He is present; that when we pray in His name the Father will hear our prayers; that at His name every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord.

The name “Jesus” means, in Hebrew, “God saves.” Think of that. Notice that the very name of Jesus proclaims His deity and His work. Indeed, the very name of Jesus is the Gospel itself.

One of the sermons I best remember was preached by a young associate pastor on New Year’s Day in which he explored this theme. He talked about Jesus using the translation of His name, along these lines: “God saves” was born in a manger. “God saves” died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead. You were baptized into “God saves.” You can have faith in “God saves.” Your prayers will be heard for the sake of “God saves.” You can live out your faith in love and service to your neighbor through “God saves.” “God saves” can bring you through your trials. “God saves” will be with you in your death. “God saves” will give you eternal life with Him.

In the name of Jesus. Praise His holy name.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bror Erickson

    I don’t know why, but I have always found the Circumcision to be more interesting and possibly more important than the name.
    It’s a shame because experience tells me most pastors opt to preach on the name, and not the circumcision. But it is in the circumcision that Jesus made a down payment in his blood for our redemption. In other words, for the first time, when Jesus was a mere eight days old, he shed his blood for you, entering a covenant God had made with sinful man, when he himself had no use for the covenant, because he was without sin. He did this entered this covenant on our behalf shedding his blood to do so, so that when all was fulfilled, he could replace that covenant with the New Testament in his blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.

  • Bror Erickson

    I don’t know why, but I have always found the Circumcision to be more interesting and possibly more important than the name.
    It’s a shame because experience tells me most pastors opt to preach on the name, and not the circumcision. But it is in the circumcision that Jesus made a down payment in his blood for our redemption. In other words, for the first time, when Jesus was a mere eight days old, he shed his blood for you, entering a covenant God had made with sinful man, when he himself had no use for the covenant, because he was without sin. He did this entered this covenant on our behalf shedding his blood to do so, so that when all was fulfilled, he could replace that covenant with the New Testament in his blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.

  • FW

    wow dr vieth.

    wow bror.

  • FW

    wow dr vieth.

    wow bror.


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