What’s In A Name?

Dr. Shane Stanford

What’s In A Name?

November 2, 2023
Dr. Shane Stanford

His arrival astonished our human expectations. Matthew describes it in this way: “‘They will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23).

God came to earth in Jesus Christ to be with us. We have the privilege of traveling through life with the greatest Teacher, Friend, and Savior we could ever know.

Where are you in your journey with Jesus? As with any trip, to arrive at your desired destination, you must first begin. Therefore, each leg of a journey starts with the first step. If you want to finish well, it matters where you begin.

Scripture is clear that Jesus Himself had no “beginning.” He is the eternal God—God the Son—from everlasting to everlasting. (See John 1.) But Jesus left His throne in glory, robed Himself in humanity, and intersected our lives. Therefore, to walk with Jesus through His earthly existence is to witness a holy God enter into humanity’s journey and make it His own in order to redeem us and give us true life.

Take a moment to consider how Jesus’ God-given name draws us into this journey with Him. Luke 2:21 says: On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

In biblical times, names were extremely important and were always chosen for very specific reasons. A naming ceremony took place for a child eight days after they were born, and the entire village would turn out for the proclamation. On two occasions before the birth of Jesus, an angel told Joseph and Mary what they were to name their child.

God revealed His grand plan when He instructed that His Son be named Jesus, meaning “God saves.” Both Jesus’s future and ours were written into His very name. It was a significant designation declaring Jesus’s path as well as our own paths under God’s grace.

As you begin to consider (or consider again) the implication of the name of our “God with us, God saves” Savior, I pray that you will find yourself walking ever more closely with the One who is with you always.


Begin a journey with Jesus in our first book in the Life Along the Way series, Jesus With Us.