Why "Jesus' name"?

What's the significance of the name "Jesus"?

There are some intriguing references in the Bible:

Most dictionaries will translate Jesus' name (which was apparently more properly translated to Joshua than "Jesus") to be "God is salvation." "God is salvation" is a phrase that ascribes a passive quality to God. It says to a person, in effect, "you need God to be saved." It's extremely passive, for both yourself and for God!

But Ben Swett has a far more exciting translation of "Jesus." I was intrigued by it back when I read it in this page. I recently asked for clarification, and he wrote back:

In other words, the more appropriate translation for Jesus' name is "God rescues." That immediately changes the implication, as Ben pointed out in his page. To believe in Jesus' name thus becomes to believe that God actively cares about and actively goes about rescuing lost souls.

As a contrast, think of someone who believes in the existence of God, but who doesn't think God really cares. Such a person is missing out on a crucial aspect of God and the nature of Divine love, and has less reason to himself get involved in rescue work. Or, think of someone who believes "God is salvation." Sure, he'd know God is vital, that faith is important, and so on. But he's missing out on the full richness and awe of the concept that God Himself is reaching out to the lost ones.

But if you believe in Jesus' name as "God rescues," then you believe God is actively loving and caring; you believe God wants to rescue lost souls; and you'll likely be empowered and inspired to help God in this task. With all those things combined, you are more likely to become part of God's network/kingdom/family of those who care about others and actively seek out and rescue the lost. You would also be more able to see God's actions in even our murky world of pain and strife. And, if you have deep faith in the good-will of God, you would become more like God (and, not coincidentally, Jesus too): someone who dares to care and rescue.

Hence, a person who comes to God through a realization that God is actively caring and rescuing is, in fact, himself being rescued! (And then goes on to rescue others!)

The power of Jesus' name!

And last, but not least, Jesus Himself is the owner of that name. Jesus is the embodiment of God's rescue. In fact, the Greek word "sozo" is what is translated in the New Testament into "saved" as well as "healed" or "made whole" or "delivered" - a complex word that seems similar to "shuah" and which Jesus used and did often. He saved, forgave, healed, made alive. He still does this today. Everything about Him, including His name, His action, and His presence, have the same meaning and action and result. By not only believing in the name, but believing in Him, by following Him, by inviting Him to dwell within so that He is in us as God as in Him, we truly become a child of God.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

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