5 Names of Christ (And What They Mean)

The five most important names of Christ are the following:

1) Jesus

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt 1:20-21)

This is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua (Jos. 1:1; Zech. 3:1) or Jeshua (Ezra 2:2). Derived from the Hebrew word “to save”. It designates Christ as the Saviour (Matt. 1:21).

Two types of Christ bore the same name in the Old Testament – Joshua, the son of Nun and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak.

2) Christ

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16)

This is the New Testament form for the Old Testament “Messiah”, which means “the anointed one”. According to the Old Testament, prophets (1 Kings 19:16, priests, Ex. 29:7) and kings, (1 Sam 10:1) were anointed with oil. By this anointing they were set aside for their respective offices, and were qualified for them.

Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit for the threefold office of prophet, priest, and king. Historically, this anointing took place when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and when He was baptized. (Matt 3:13-16)

3) Son of Man

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45)

This name, as applied to Christ, was derived from Dan. 7:13. It is the name which Jesus generally applies to Himself, while others seldom use it.

While it does contain an indication of the humanity of Jesus, in the light of its historical origin in points far more to His superhuman character and to His future coming with the clouds of heaven in majesty and glory (Dan. 7:13; Matt. 16:27, 28; 26:64; Luke 21:27).

4) Son of God

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 Jhn 4:14)

Christ is called “the Son of God” in more than one sense. He is so called, because He is the second Person of the Trinity, and therefore Himself God (Matt. 11:27), but also because He is the appointed Messiah (Matt. 24:36), and because His birth to the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:3).

5) Lord

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Pet 3:18)

Jesus’ contemporaries sometimes applied this name to Jesus as a form of polite address, just as we use the word “sir”. It is especially after the resurrection of Christ that the name acquires a deeper meaning.

In some passages it designates Christ as the Owner and Ruler of the Church (Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:17), and in others it really stands for the name of God (1 Cor. 7:34; Phil. 4:4, 5).

– Louis Berkhof

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