What’s in a Name?

In the Scriptures, a person’s name identified their purpose, calling and character. We see this in many cases but Jacob is a perfect example: after Jacob’s night-long wrestle with the Angel of the Lord, his name was changed from Jacob (supplanter or heel) to Israel – literally Prince with God. (Genesis 32:28).


In Matthew 1:21, the angel instructed Miriam/Mary, ‘…you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.’ Jesus (Yeshua), in Hebrew, means “the Lord saves” so it is no wonder that the Saviour of the world was called Yeshua. The sole purpose of Yeshua, was to save His People, the Jewish nation, from their sins. Another place records the angel saying:

“Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and He shall be called Yeshua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33


Salvation was not limited to the Jewish people, however, for Yeshua said:

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:16


So, is the name of Yeshua limited to the New Testament? There have been times in the past, when I’ve been asked the question, “If Jesus is the Messiah, then how come there is no mention of His name in the Tenach (Jewish Scriptures/ Old Testament)?”


However, a closer look at the Jewish Scriptures shows the exact opposite!! There are hundreds of examples of the name of Yeshua throughout the Tenach. Nearly every time the Tenach uses the word “salvation” (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my”, “thy” or “his’) it is the same word Yeshua in Matthew 1:21 and in Luke 1:30. Sometimes we forget that the angels that appeared to Mary and Joseph spoke Hebrew – not English!!”


One example of His name in the Hebrew Scriptures is in Isaiah 12:2-3:

Behold, God is my salvation (Yeshua), I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation (Yeshua).’ Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

This revelation is a real eye-opener – what was once “hidden” suddenly seems so clear.


So, if Yeshua is the Messiah, how does salvation work?


In the Scriptures, we see two types of salvation mentioned; the national regeneration of Israel when Yeshua returns to the Mount of Olives and an individual salvation for each person on the planet. Zechariah chapters 12 - 14, describes the return of Yeshua to save the nation of Israel, physically and spiritually at the final battle of Armageddon. The physical salvation of Israel from their enemies is described in Zechariah 14: 3-4:


“Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two…”


The spiritual salvation is described two chapters earlier in Zechariah 12:10:

“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for (his) only (son), and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”


As far as individual salvation is concerned, the Scriptures are clear in many passages that there is only one way by which we can be saved – through Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah. Acts 4:12 says:

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”


In what name have you put your faith?


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