“But after he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins’” (Matthew 1:20-21).
The English name ‘Jesus’ comes from a Latin transliteration of a Greek rendering of the Savior’s name; however, Jesus was not Greek, Latin or English. The angel refers to Joseph as a ‘son of David,’ thus Jesus’ human lineage as found in Matthew and Luke is from the Tribe of Judah making him Jewish. When Joseph took his infant son to be circumcised and named, he did not name him ‘Jesus.’ When his parents wanted him for dinner, they did not call him ‘Jesus.’ His brothers and sisters did not call him ‘Jesus.’ His friends and relatives in the Galilee did not call him ‘Jesus.’ His disciples and the Jewish leaders did not call him ‘Jesus.’ They called him Yeshua.
Most Bibles have a footnote in Matthew 1:21 after the name of ‘Jesus.’ Generally, the footnote reads something like “the name Jesus comes from a Hebrew word that sounds like Joshua and means God saves.” In the Hebrew language there is no letter “J” so even Joshua would be incorrect as it would be Yoshua.
“I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him” (John 5:43)
“God saves” could be translated Yah-shua – the Yah coming from Yahweh and shua meaning ‘salvation.’ Sometimes this is considered a possible rendering of Messiah’s name since Yeshua did say that he came in his Father’s name. However, by having Yah in his name, he would have caused an even greater uprising with the Jewish rulers since, by the time of Yeshua, they had stopped using the memorial name of God. Though he was called a blasphemer which could suggest he used his Father’s name as his own, I personally believe that he respected his Father’s name just like he respected the culture in which he lived. He did not toss Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh around to prove he was God’s Son; he used his actions and teachings.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
A more accurate Hebrew rendering of the passage in Matthew 1:21 would be “You are to give him the name Yeshua because he will yesa his people from their sins.” Just as the character of “I am who I am” is embedded in Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the character of ‘salvation’ is embedded in Yeshua’s name.
Using a common Hebrew dictionary, the word for ‘salvation’ is yeshua. This is the name that was most likely given to Joseph and used by everyone who knew God’s Son while he walked on earth. There are many different thoughts about the spelling of the Savior’s name, but because yeshua is the literal Hebrew word for ‘salvation’ and found in Scripture, I will use Yeshua for the name of God’s Son.
“The LORD (Adonai) is my strength and my defense he has become my yeshua” (Exodus 15:2).
“The LORD (Adonai) is my light and my yeshua – whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1).
“Sing to the LORD (Adonai) a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked yeshua for him” (Psalm 98:1).
Throughout their generations the Israelites looked for yeshua. They knew that God would make provision for their ‘salvation’ because they understood the binding of Isaac and the substitute ram. They knew that God and His ‘salvation’ would be of Himself because the Scriptures revealed God working His yeshua on behalf of His people. When ‘salvation’ appeared in the physical body of Yeshua, many accepted him and many did not. Even though they had the prophecies of Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, many struggled with the idea that the Word had actually become flesh in a man from Nazareth (John 1:14). As they looked at his physical presence, it didn’t match the voice they heard from the prophets. This could be compared to having a phone conversation with someone for a period of time, but when you finally meet in person, they don’t look anything like you expected; their voice doesn’t match their physical representation.
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Yeshua)” (Colossians 1:19).
It is important to know the name of the Messiah given to his parents by God. There is power in his name (John 17:11, Acts 4:7). There are answered prayers in his name (John 16:23). There is protection in his name (John 17:11-12). There is life in his name (John 20:31). Repentance and forgiveness will be preached in his name (Luke 24:47). Miracles will be done in his name (Mark 9:39). There will be persecution because of his name (John 15:21). He will return when the Jews call on his name (Luke 13:35). These are all things that have been done in the name of Jesus, but using the God-given name of Yeshua and accepting his Jewish heritage, his name may bring even more repentance, power, life, miracles, and even life from the dead.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Yeshua is LORD (Adonai) to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Paul states that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Yeshua, not only as Lord, but as Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh in the flesh (Philippians 2:9-11). This means that everyone will confess ‘salvation’ in the person of Yeshua as being Adonai and no one else. For many centuries, the name of Yeshua has been hidden away just like the name of God. The time has come for the restoration of all things which includes using the Hebrew, Jewish name of the Messiah of Israel –– Yeshua.
Hebrew Word Pictures
Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet or the alef-bet is a word picture derived from what the letter looks like. When word pictures are put together, unique meanings to words and phrases appear.
Salvation or Yeshua – ישוע
י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘a finished work.’
ש Shin – A Tooth and means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’
ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’
ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘to see’ or ‘understand.’
The Hebrew word picture for yeshua: The finished work destroys the binding, see and understand.
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