Summary: Using texts from the prophecies of Isaiah, this is an Advent, Christmas, Epiphany Series on "The Names of Jesus." The theme of this inital sermon is that in the birth of Jesus, God has come to us in human flesh and is our source of strength.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?: HIS NAME IS CALLED IMMANUEL
Everyone is familiar with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are star crossed lovers. Their families are bitter enemies. In Act II, Scene Two is the famous balcony scene. Juliet laments:
Jul. ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What’s a Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
[Act II, Scene 2, ll42-53]
In the realm of faith this is not true. Personal names carry much weight and express deep meaning and significance, especially the Names of Jesus.
Even today the name Jewish parents give their baby is vitally important. The infant’s name testifies to the parents’ hope for the child’s future and proclaims and reveals the basic, fundamental character, nature, and destiny of the child. Your name describes who you are.
Robert means “shining with fame” and David “beloved or loving.” Elizabeth means” God has sworn” and Ann “graceful one.” Sheila literally means “blind,” but spiritually “wise.”
Do you know the meaning behind your name? Mike means “Who is like God?”
Jerry means “Strong, powerful.” Janet means “God is gracious”; Linda, “beautiful.” Tom means “twin” and Sue “graceful lily.”
The Names of Jesus are the most significant and meaningful of all. According to one source our Lord and Saviour is given more than 363 names or titles in Scripture. If I preach 45 Sundays per year, taking only one of His names each week, I would have enough material to last eight years and three weeks. Well, we’re not going to go that long in this series entitled “WHAT’S IN A NAME,” but looking in Isaiah, we are going to examine about a half dozen this names of Jesus this Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
His Name is called Immanuel. Isaiah spells it with an “I,” Matthew with an “E.” The reason is that Hebrew spells it with an I but Greek with an E.
To fully understand the whole, we need to break it down into its parts. Notice the last two letters of this Divine Name, “E,” “L.” “El” is a name for God meaning “strength” or “might.” It is found both in Hebrew and related languages and may refer to the One true God or to pagan gods. Combined with the name “Shaddai,” the compound name means “God Almighty.” It affirms that God is our source of blessing and was the Name by which God revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as in according to Exodus 6:3, “I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as “God Almighty.” El reminds us of the promise of Psalm 46:1:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Immanuel is “The Lord God Almighty.” He is our source of refuge and strength, our very present help in times of trouble.