You Shall Call His Name Joshua

You Shall Call His Name Joshua

Hear the angel say, “You shall call his name Joshua,” for that name will most easily connect us to the Old Testament background. Jesus didn’t come merely to promise deliverance or to sustain the hope for deliverance or to point us to some other source for deliverance. He came to be our deliverance. His name means “Yahweh is salvation,” and he is the deliverance we need. 

Old Testament readers will notice that the significance of a character can commonly be found even in that character’s name. The names Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Solomon, and many others, carry with them some kind of verb or noun that connects to their origin, demeanor, or purpose.

And every once in a while, the name of a character is announced before the birth. When that happens, the reader can be especially intrigued, because announcing a person’s name ahead of time raises our expectations for what that character will be and do.

When the virgin Mary is in Nazareth, the angel Gabriel reveals to her that she will have a son and that her son will be the promised king who would rule on David’s throne (Luke 1:30–33). She will give birth to the Messiah.

Gabriel tells her, “You shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:31). He told Joseph the same thing: “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Matt. 1:21). What’s interesting in Joseph’s case is that Gabriel explained the name: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (1:21).

The angel not only made an announcement, he also gave an instruction.

Read More

Scroll to top