One upon a time there was a little boy with too many names.
I wonder sometimes about names people give to their children. Recently a sports fan named his child ESPN after the sports station. There can be a problem with some names that can be used for boys or girls – Terry, Frances, Erin/Aaron. You don’t want your boy sent to the girls cabin at summer camp.
Some names are very long. Engelbert and Zechariah are two examples. Some parents make up names with special spelling.
Some names are too common. When I was a kid David was the most popular name for buys. I once had 5 David’s in a class. How can we keep them all straight? David, Dave and Davie? David 1, 2, 3, 4, 5? Hey you!
At Christmas time we hear a lot about Jesus. His name Jesus is pretty easy. But is Christ his last name? No it is his title – Christ means King, anointed one. Then we start reading in Isaiah. It says, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a child.” Well, we know that has to be about Jesus, because it only happened once. “and you shall call his name Immanuel.” Immanuel in Hebrew means God with us. It is a cool name because Jesus is God who came to be with us. But we call him Jesus not Immanuel
Later Isaiah adds this, “and his name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.”
So what did Jesus write on his paper when he did his homework? Yes, Jewish boys in the 1st Century went to school to read and to write. Jesus could read the bible. So did he write “Jesus Immanuel Wonderful Counselor Mighty God Everlasting Father Prince of Peace Christ?”
There would be no paper left for his homework.
And then there are other names for Jesus. Here is a list: Son of God, Son of Man, Son of Joseph, son of Mary, Savior, Shepherd, Servant, Seed of David, Morning Star, Living Stone. Those are just some of the S names.. There are maybe 200 names and titles of Jesus in the Bible.
Once upon a time there was a boy with too many names. That is how I started this story. However, really there are not too many names. Each of these names tells us a little bit about Jesus. Each is another piece of the puzzle.
But I know how to make it easier. This is what the Angel Gabriel said to Joseph. “…you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Just remember Jesus. Jesus came to save us from our sins – to free us from our mistakes, to rescue us from death and hell, and to save us to a home and a place in Heaven with Him, and with the Father and the Spirit and with a very large family of people from every nation and language.
Once upon a time there was a boy named Jesus!