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! Just the name itself!

But wait; there's more! Jesus Himself is the owner of that powerful name. Jesus is the embodiment of God's rescue. 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 that action word "yeshuah" that Jesus modeled in His life. 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. We become part of Jesus and part of God and bring others with us, and they bring yet others.

As we track the progress of this saving grace, this vortex of multidimensional saving (healing, incorporating, drawing closer, empowering, joy-producing, bringing others in, and then more and more)... as time t approaches infinity, we find that more and more of the universe is drawn into completion, wholeness, and perfection. Further, if we accept that "All things were made through [Jesus], and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3)... then Jesus is the Alpha (beginning). I've argued above that Jesus and His Name are the process of bringing to perfection. Which implies that Jesus is therefore also the end point of perfection, the Omega (ending). Not only "the author and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:2), but of the universe. Which, interestingly enough, is written out three times in Revelation:

The Creator, the Process of Perfecting, the Perfect Ending. The Name that pulls us into joyous partnership of healing and being healed. The Name that describes God's character and passion and love. The Name that saves, rescues, delivers, resurrects, and gives life, start to end. The powerful Person that began it, redeems it, uplifts it, perfects it, and concludes it.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

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