Summary: Names tell a story, a message about the story the name Jesus tells.

Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus

Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

1. Names tell a story

2. The name above all names.

3. Calling on the name of the Lord.

4. His people, their sins.

1. Names tell a story

In Hebrew thought a name tells a story of a person's nature, character and or deeds. When we westerners think of a name it simply means to us a designation by which we can differentiate people, but in Judaism it is much more. Names tell us about people, about their character, the circumstances of their birth, or the destiny God has for them. For example:

Jacob - means supplanter. He used deceptive means to take the first born place and inheritance from his brother. In other words he supplanted him.

Moses - means to draw out. He was used of God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Nabal - means fool. His wife tells King David, who was so angry with the man he wanted to kill him that: 1Sa 25:25 "Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him...

Barnabas - Son of encouragement. Certainly a description of his character.

Barabbas in the New Testament - Son of the father. Think of the irony of that name. The bible tells us that satan was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. Barabbas was a murderer, so then in some ways we could say he was a son of the devil. The crowd then, on that fateful day had a choice between the son of God (The Son of "THE" Father), of the son of the devil. They chose Barabbas, to their eternal shame.

Think of it this way, here in the U.S. the Indians gave names that were normal words of description that became names: Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, etc.. So names are nothing more that ordinary words. Jesus means God is salvation. We read the name Jesus, Jews read God is salvation.

A preacher by the name of Ray Steadman went through the names of Genesis 5 and came up with the following: (Link provided at end of message)

The list begins with Seth, which means "Appointed."

Enosh, his son, means "Mortal;" and

His son, Kenan, means "Sorrow."

His son Mahalalel, means "The Blessed God."

He named his boy Jared which means "Came Down," and

His boy, Enoch, means "Teaching."

Methuselah, as we saw, means "His death shall bring;"

Lamech means "Strength," and

Noah, "Comfort."

Now put that all together:

God has Appointed that Mortal man shall Sorrow; but The Blessed God, Came Down, Teaching, that His Death Shall Bring, Strength and Comfort.

There are a lot of bible scholars who find fault with this treatment of names, but I wouldn't put it past God to do a such a thing and put the Gospel in the first list of names in Genesis, He already spelled it out subtly in Genesis 3:15. (Bruised heel and crushed head).

Whether true or not, the simple fact is bible names have meanings and they tell a story. Jesus' name tells the story that He will save His people from their sins. More on that in a little while.

2. The name above all names.

Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;

The name above all names is Jesus. The story above all stories is Jesus'. We give men great names for trivial things; performances in movies, sports, think of all the trivial and irrelevant things in the Guinness book of world records. From God's perspective the highest accolade belongs to the One Who gave His life a ransom for many. The bible teaches that the true worlds greatest heroes are those who lead others to God, and Jesus is at the forefront of that line, hence His name is the name above all names. We read in the book of Daniel

Da 12:3 "And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

I believe that is a literal truth, not a symbolic. I believe people will literally shine who have led others to God, and that Jesus will outshine us all, in point of fact:

Re 21:23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp [is] the Lamb.

Jesus is the most wonderful name, and the highest name ever given.

3. Calling on the name of the Lord

Ge 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Calling on the name of the Lord means several things, first and foremost it means prayer:

1Ki 18:24 "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people answered and said, "That is a good idea."

Ps 116:4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I beseech Thee, save my life!"

2Ki 5:11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, "Behold, I thought, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper.'

Secondly, and just as importantly it means to tap into what the name represents, or stands for.

Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

To ask for something in the name of Jesus is to ask on the basis of what Jesus has done, what His atoning sacrifice has appropriated, to ask on the basis of His account in heaven and not your own. It is like someone says go see so and so, and tell them I sent you, and on the basis of who I am to them, they will help you. It is illustrated in the NT story when Jesus sends the disciples to get a colt for Him:

Mt 21:1 And when they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,

Mt 21:2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied [there] and a colt with her; untie [them,] and bring [them] to Me.

Mt 21:3 "And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them."

So what He is saying is that, they don't know you, or have any regard for you, but for Me, and because of who I am to them they will immediately release the colt.

So calling on the name of the Lord is prayer, and asking on the basis of God's nature and what Christ has wrought for us on the cross of Calvary. Asking the Father in my name, is synonymous with calling on the name of the Lord.

4. He will save His people from their sins.

Mt. 1:21... thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

In a moment I will connect all the dots, but first....

The text is a unique one, it does not say that Jesus will save everyone from their sins, it is group specific - His people. There are verses that indicate Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, for example:

Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

But in this text in Matthew we are told to call Him Jesus for He will save HIS people from THEIR sins. I believe that the name Jesus is a powerful weapon for the people of God to combat the presence of sin in their lives. What I am saying is this - on the cross Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, but we can call on His name and expect help with removing them from our daily life.

It is almost as if God, by the angel of the Lord is sending a special message to the church. The text doesn't say, you will call His name Jesus because He will save everyone who wants to get free from the penalty of sin. The text is not about the lost getting saved, it is about the saved getting free from the daily presence of sin. The penalty was paid for us at Calvary, but like Paul we can say we still see sin inside of us.

Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The bible tells us that:

Pr 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. (they are saved - KJV)

I am not talking about using the name of Jesus as some magic incantation, or that by repeating certain words presto chango everything is better. I don't think the bible teaches that at all. But I do think that if we go to God in prayer and say, "on the basis of Jesus' atoning sacrifice I ask for mercy and help to free me from this sinful trait in my life", that coupled with the promise of Mt. 1:21 can give us strong hope of deliverance from ongoing sin in our life.

The very reason we are to call Him Jesus, is because He will save His people from their sins. So when we call on the name of the Lord, we are reminding God of His purpose and stated plans for His beloved son. It is like we are going to heaven's bank of forgiveness and deliverance and saying, "Jesus sent me," that always gets the tellers attention.

So let's connect all the dots:

Names tell a story, Jesus name tells us that God will save His people from their sins.

Jesus' name is the name above all names, that leading people to God so they can be delivered from sin is the highest and most noble thing there is in this world. Forget the Oscars, forget the Golden Globes, the soul winners crown is the greatest crown there is. When we call on the name of Jesus, we recognize it is the name that opens doors, particularly of deliverance from sin. Jesus name reminds us that one of His central functions was to save His people from their sins. That is what the angel of the Lord, told Mary so long ago, and it is still true today, He is still in the business of removing sin from the people who have already found forgiveness in Him.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

There's just something about that name

Master, Savior, Jesus

Like the fragrance after the rain

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

Let all heaven and earth proclaim

Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away

But there's something about that name.

Joh 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Link for message with meaning of Genesis 5 names: