His Name is Jesus!

In Matthew’s Gospel, an angel informed Joseph that the child Mary is carrying is “begotten of the Holy Spirit,” and he instructed him to name the child ‘Jesus’ - “Call his name Jesus, FOR HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.” This name links him to the saving act of God for His people. When his name is spelled ‘Jesus,’ it is an anglicized form of the Aramaic name ‘Yeshua,’ the shortened form of the older Hebrew name ‘Ye-hoshua.’

The very first verse of Matthew identifies him as the “son of Abraham.” This is more than one name among many on a genealogical chart. Not only is he the biological descendant of Abraham, but he also came TO FULFILL THE PROMISES MADE TO THE PATRIARCH, and Matthew’s Gospel demonstrates this in several ways - (Matthew 1:20-21).

Jesus Saves - Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash
[Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash]

For example, the announcement to Joseph is conceptually parallel to the prediction made to Abraham about his firstborn son by Sarah. That occurred when he was ninety-nine years old, and Sarah was ninety. Though not a virgin, she was well beyond childbearing age, making her pregnancy miraculous.

Moreover, like the angel’s announcement to Joseph, Abraham received his son’s name by divine appointment:

  • (Genesis 17:19) – “And God said, Nay, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son; and YOU WILL CALL HIS NAME ISAAC, and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

Just as the angel announced his name to Joseph - “Jesus,” the one who “saves his people from sin” - God commanded Abraham to name his son “Isaac” since through him He established His covenant “for his seed after him.”

In the Hebrew Bible, the name ‘Jesus’ or ‘Joshua’ first appears in the Book of Exodus - “And Moses said to JOSHUA, choose for us men and go out, fight with Amalek.” His original name was ‘Hoshea,’ the “son of Nun,” one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to investigate the land of Canaan. Later, Moses changed it from ‘Hoshea’ to ‘Joshua,’ or more correctly, ‘Ye-hoshua’ - (Numbers 13:1-8, Exodus 17:9).

The name ‘Hoshea’ means “salvation, deliverance, help.” It is derived from the Hebrew verb for “save, help, deliver,” yasha (Strong’s - #H3467). For example, “Thus Yahweh SAVED Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians” - (Exodus 14:30. Compare Deuteronomy 20:4).

By prefixing the first syllable from the Hebrew name of God or Yahweh to Hoshea, the name became Ye-hoshua. In several of the later books of the Hebrew Bible, the second syllable was dropped, and the name was contracted to Yeshua. The change reflected Aramaic influences on the Jewish people following the Babylonian Captivity - (Nehemiah 8:17, Ezra 2:2).


Hence, ‘Jesus’ means more than simply “savior.” It is a combination of the name Yahweh and the Hebrew word for “save” or “salvation.” It means “YAHWEH SAVES” or “salvation of Yahweh.”

The promised salvation of the God of Israel came to fruition in Jesus of Nazareth. Wherever his name is proclaimed, God is reconciling men and women to Himself.

The angel’s announcement that “he will save his people from their sins” echoes key themes from the so-called ‘Servant’s Song’ in the Book of Isaiah, and deliberately so. For example:

  • (Isaiah 53:10-11) – “Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you will make his soul an offering for sin, he will see his seed, he will prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahweh will prosper in his hand. He will see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by the knowledge of himself WILL MY RIGHTEOUS SERVANT JUSTIFY MANY, AND HE WILL CARRY THEIR SINS.”

The genealogy of Jesus presented in Matthew begins with Abraham, the Great Patriarch and progenitor of Israel. Jesus is the “Son of Abraham,” the promised “seed” who brings the covenant promises to fulfillment.

Likewise, he is the “Son of David,” the prophesied Messiah and king who will reign from David’s Throne on Mount Zion. He is the one who establishes the “Salvation of Yahweh” and ushers in the Kingdom of God.

He is the Greater Joshua, the national leader who delivers the saints from bondage to Satan and leads them to the true and greater ‘Promised Land,’ the Kingdom of God. Therefore, in the truest sense, Jesus is the one who “saves his people from their sins.”



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