Summary: A christmas sermon about what the name Jesus means. A Saviour- but a Saviour from what?

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Names of God- Jesus: saviour. Carols by Candlelight.

Sun 18th Dec 2005 pm WBC

Matt 1:18-25

We’ve been looking at the names of God…. and tonight we come to the point where the baby in the manger is named: Jesus

- or Yeshua to his mom and adopted dad- as that’s the Hebrew pronunciation

o basically it’s the equivalent of the OT name Joshua

- Yahweh is salvation, or ’the Lord saves’

- Our version, Jesus, comes via the Greek (that this story was written in) as it transliterates the Hebrew name to Iesous

Basically- a common name of the day. Given by the angel for its distinctiveness…. not originality or flamboyance

- but then again you find that, don’t you!: when God, the King, visits earth He does so without regal robes and earthly fanfare

o just a normal looking baby, with a normal name, born in extreme times and humbling circumstances

o Is 53 says there was noting unique about His appearances (nor were there any records of them… and it’s just as well or the whole world would have got caught up on what He looked like and made ’graven images’ and all that!)

There are stacks of graves/bone boxes with the name Yeshua on from early 1st C. Not this Yeshua, though, as the story ends with an empty tomb…..

- and a complete change in the use of the name. By the end of the 1st C no one uses the name

o it was seen as unique, revered (or avoided if the parents wanted nothing to do with this phenomena, people of ’the way’, Christianity, that was sweeping the globe)

Basically- only find the name occasionally used by Spaniards ("Jesus") …. Or by those suffering from delusions of grandeur!

The Lord, Yahweh, saves


But from what?

As a boy remember seeing the graffiti "Jesus saves", and written underneath it "But Best scores on the rebound!" (or was it Keegan?)

- shows my age/era

Maybe you want saving from some things!

- from having to go back to work after Christmas! (can’t help you there I’m afraid!)

- from Christmas! I dunno: I love bits of it (the carols, the family time, the meaning)… but I hate what I see it do to people

o I mean, why did Jesus have to come at Christmas?!

Here’s a taster from this year’s range of surveys and polls (2005)…

· According to official research there are five yuletide personalities: Scrooge, Recycler, Yule Perfectionist, Christmas Kiddie or Unprepared. 15% of Britons are Scrooges, but 38% admit to being Christmas kiddies!

· 94% of the population intended to celebrate Christmas regardless of their faith and nearly two-thirds, 59%, said that celebrating the birth of Christ would be a central part of their family’s Christmas.

· Although 26% said, "there is bound to be some kind of argument in my household at Christmas", 74% expected peace and harmony over the holidays.

· The extra consumption in the 12 days of festivities increases domestic waste by 3m tonnes - enough to fill 120m wheeled bins.

· The UK will consume 5.5m jars of mincemeat, 12m jars of pickles, and 6.5m jars of cranberries. Recycling them would save enough energy to boil water for 60m cups of tea. People will throw away 83sq km of wrapping paper - enough to cover Hyde Park 33 times.

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