Whenever I read this first part of the gospel of John, I reel—partly from the beauty of John’s writing and partly from the density of this passage. There is just so much info about our beloved Jesus in such a short amount of space.
These opening verses in the gospel of John are rich. In the span of 18 verses four major names are attributed to Jesus:
The Name of Jesus
This Jesus who was both fully God and fully man came down from heaven and walked the earth in flesh. Though nowadays the name of Jesus is special and sacred, His name back then was actually quite ordinary.
In Hebrew, His name was Yeshua, or Joshua. It was a pretty popular name that meant “savior” or “deliverer.” It was the same name as the man who led Israel into the Promised Land after Moses died. You know, the guy named Joshua who was commanded to march around Jericho. And here in the New Testament, that same name is given to God’s Son.
Before He was even born, God was clear about what His Son’s name would be.
From the moment the angel declares to Mary that she will give birth to a son, we know exactly who Jesus will be. He will be the savior of the world, the one who would save His people from their sins (Luke 1:26-33 ).
The Importance of Jesus’ Name
Paul declares the importance of Jesus’ name in Philippians 2:10-11 when he writes that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
God has a special knack for taking what is ordinary and making it holy. The name of Jesus is no different. The name of Jesus is simple. It was popular among the Jews because those sons they named Yeshua carried with them the reminder that one day, in the same way that God delivered Israel from Egypt, He would deliver the Jews from their enemies.
The name of Jesus is something special and holy.
It truly is the name above every other name.
I encourage you to hold his name in your heart. Repeat it to yourself over and over.
Truly there is no sweeter name.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”) Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him. (John 1:1-18, ESV)