She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That’s because He will save His people from their sins. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a Son. And He will be called Immanuel.”… The name Immanuel means “God with us.” (MATTHEW 1:21, 23) 

(You can read more about the story of how John the Baptist was named in Luke 1:57–65.) 

When John and Jesus were named, it was at the command of God. The angel told Zechariah to name his son John. Mary and Joseph were told to call their son Jesus. 

Here are some things done in “the name of Jesus.” 

When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone will kneel down to worship Him (Philippians 2:10). 

After hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5). 

To a crippled man: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk” (Acts 3:6). 

“[The apostles] considered it an honor to suffer shame for the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41). 

“We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus will receive glory through what you have done” (II Thessalonians 1:12). 

Jesus’s name carries power, inspires hearts, endures suffering, and points to God’s love. That’s just His name! Think about how Jesus is so much more than His name. 

What does your name mean? We don’t often think about our names—a name is just what everyone calls you. Names can’t control you or determine your future, of course. But names are actually part of your identity. There was once a woman named Erin Amelia. Growing up, she was called Amelia. But when she went into the military, she started using her first name, Erin. She didn’t change. And yet changing to her first name said something important about her. She was an adult now. 

What does your name mean to others? What does it mean to you? 

He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3). Father God, I’m amazed that You know my name. Call me and lead me in the path of righteousness! I want to follow You. 

This is an excerpt from The Wonder of Christmas by Shanna Noel - a devotional book now available on Learn more about this book, or shop other books & devotionals from DaySpring.