The Holy Name of Jesus


“…he was called Jesus” (NRSV, Luke 2:21)

Such was the Name which God the Son chose for himself when he became Man.  And he chose it because it summed up the whole sublime purpose of his coming into the world – Jesus, Saviour.  So the angel announced to St Joseph, “…you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (NRSV, Matthew 1:21, our emphasis).

And because Jesus, God made Man, is the personal centre of our holy Faith, its beginning and its end, so from that day to this the Name of Jesus has, for each believer, comprehended within its two syllables the whole of the Christian life – its meaning, its direction and its inner power.

As we cannot think of Our Saviour’s Name without at the same time thinking of him, so Christians throughout the ages have treated his Name with especial love and reverence.  Thus the Canon Law of the Church of England confirms ancient custom in expressly ordering the faithful to bow the head whenever the Name of Jesus is pronounced.

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