Summary: Jesus-we use the name all the time but do ever think about the name we're using? Why was he named Jesus? What significance does it have? How did the disciples use it? Let's find out and see what the takeaways are from looking at the name of Jesus.
THE NAME OF JESUS
Jesus-we use the name all the time but do ever think about the name we're using? Why was he named Jesus? What significance does it have? How did the disciples use it? Let's find out.
1) The name of Jesus.
The name Jesus is used nearly 1,200 times in the bible; all in the NT. Jesus is found in the first verse and the last verse. The name Jesus appears in every book of the NT except for 3rd John. We call him Jesus but he would've been called Yeshua by the Jews and Iesous by the Greeks. Neither the Hebrew nor Greek alphabet contain the letter J. Jesus is the English translation. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means, the Lord saves.
What's interesting is today, although many boys are named Joshua you don't see anyone named Jesus; except in Mexico where it's pronounced, Hay-zeus. Have you ever wondered why that is?
Keith Rockefeller, who studied History & Political Science at Nebraska Wesleyan University said, "The Bible was written largely in two languages: Hebrew and Greek. Since English, Spanish, German, Russian, etc., are neither of those two languages, transliteration can be a problem. NT Greek also transliterates Hebrew words, so the Hebrew word Yohanan becomes Ioanan in Greek, Johann in German, Ivan in Russian, Juan in Spanish, and John in English. The same is true for the Hebrew word Yeshua. In Greek it's Iesous and that gets turned into Jesus in English and Spanish. Since in English Yeshua is also translated as Joshua, that name gets used more in English. We use Joshua, Spanish speakers use Jesus."
His point is a Spanish boy named Jesus is the equivalent of an American named Joshua.
Be that as it may, for the most part you don't see people naming their kids Jesus. People know there's something sacred about that name; like it's primarily off limits. But it's understood that during the time of Jesus his name was somewhat common. Acts 13 talks about Saul and Barnabus coming across this Jewish sorcerer and false prophet known as Bar-Jesus. Bar means son of so this man's father would've had the name Jesus.
There was another person with the name Jesus in scripture. When you look at the verse that mentions him you see something interesting. In Col. 4, Paul was giving his final greetings. Col. 4:11, "Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me."
Jesus who is called Justus. Why would he be called Justus? Some believe that it was his surname, while others conclude he was called Jesus among the Jews and Justus among the Romans. But bible commentator Matthew Henry suggests a different reason. "It is probable that he changed his name for that of Justus, in honor to the name of the Redeemer."
The name Jesus was becoming a sacred name; honored among those who loved and served him as Savior and Lord. So, this person who had the given name Jesus became better known by Justus, which could've been his last name. But it's probable that the reason he went by Justus was to keep the honor and integrity of the one who truly deserved to be called Jesus-the Lord saves. Jesus is synonymous with the Son of God and it will always be that way. No matter how many Hey-Zeuses there are, there's only one, true Jesus.
When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant he was going to divorce her but the angel appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Then the angel said: Matt. 1:21, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Names were very significant in biblical times; even prophetic, like in this case. The baby inside of Mary's womb would someday die on the cross to save mankind from their sins. He would be the personification of what this name meant.
There are many times in the bible where his name is written as Jesus Christ. One might think when we say Jesus Christ that Christ is his last name but that's not the case. The proper phrase would be Jesus who is the Christ. That's why you will also find it written as Christ Jesus.
Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah or Anointed One. The one the Jews had been waiting centuries for was here. Jesus is the one who was to come into the world. He is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Redeemer, the great deliverer; the Savior. This is the name of Jesus.