January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’”—Matthew 1:22–23 (HCSB)
Do you love making new friends? What’s the very first thing you learn about someone when you first meet them? It’s their name, right? Or, if someone asks you, “Who are your very best friends?” you immediately say their names, right? Why? Because names are important! Names help us identify who is who, and names help us remember who people are. We get to know our friends by their names so we can properly address them. Instead of just saying, “Hey you!” we’re able to say, “Hi Isabella!” or “Hey Daniel!” or “What’s up, Sophia?”
Did you know that names have meanings, too? Sometimes babies are given a special name when they’re born based on what the name means. Sometimes babies are named after someone special like a grandma or great grandpa. What does your name mean? Do you know? Were you named after someone in your family?
It’s a big decision for a mom and dad to decide what to name their baby! In the Bible, when Mary was going to have a baby, an angel appeared before her and told her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God” (Luke 1:30–32 NIRV). Wow! That is amazing, right? An angel appeared to this young woman who was going to have a baby and actually told her what to name her baby before He was even born!
That’s a huge part of the Christmas story. We celebrate Christmas because of the birth of a baby who was named Jesus. As you get ready to celebrate Christmas this year, remember that it’s because God loves us SO much that He sent His son Jesus to be born so we can live forever—and that’s incredible!
I want to know more about what Jesus’ name means. How about you? We can learn so much about Jesus by learning about His name. Did you know the Bible contains 50 different names and titles given to Jesus? Wow! I have trouble with remembering people’s first names! But Jesus has over 50 different names and titles!
Each of Jesus’ 50 names tells us a little more about who our Savior is and how wonderful and good and mighty He is! Here are just a few of them:
Son of the Living God
Only Begotten Son
Prince of Peace
King of Kings
Alpha and Omega
The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Christ (The Chosen One)
What’s your favorite name for Jesus? What does it mean to you? Try to memorize a few of Jesus’ names that are your favorites. Speaking of names, do you know what your name means? If not, you can find out! Together with your family, look up your name and see what it means. Then, make a poster of your name and decorate it with all the different meanings.