There is a growing controversy over the correct name to use for talking about, Jesus, the Son of the Most High God. For some it seems, the only correct name to use is Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua. There are many excellent, detailed articles (such as this one) about how we in America have come to call the Messiah, our Savior, “Jesus”. Let’s take a different look on the subject.
How Jesus Answered
When John the baptist was locked up in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Christ, the One they had been waiting for. Jesus, in His wise way of answering John’s request, gives us even more insight about Himself. Matthew 11:4-6 gives Jesus’ answer. He says that not only are miracles happening and lives being changed, but the Good News, the Gospel, is being preached to the poor. He gives us here a way to know He is working, a way to see the fruit or evidences of His power.
Evidence of His Power
All around the world, in many different languages and signs by those who cannot speak, miracles are being done in the name of Jesus. Most of them are not using His Hebrew name, even though some may know it, and yet, His power is being displayed. The evidence of His work, who He is, of His great love is being proclaimed not only through the miracles, but also in the preaching of the Good News to everyone (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, Acts 3:16). Salvation is found in no other name, the name of Yeshua, regardless of the language (Acts 4:12). This only shows us how great and majestic and wonderful our God is! Jesus brings glory unto Himself because of who He is, not because His children can say His name in a specific pronunciation.
What About the Others?
Matthew 7:21-23 is a powerful reminder of our relationship to Jesus. If He does not “know” us, then we will not be allowed into Heaven with Him. The Good News is about a relationship with God, not a list of dos and don’ts. Notice how some who were not His did miracles and wonders in Jesus’ name. Even though they did not belong to Jesus, the power of Jesus’ name was still evident! It is not about the person, it is about God, His name, His love, His power. Thus, it is also, not about the language spoken by the person.
When Paul, who spoke fluent Hebrew, wrote His letters in Greek, he used the Greek spelling of Jesus’ name, Iesous. The Greeks would have read Jesus’ name as “Iesous” while reading the letters. Historically, Jesus was know as Iesous to the Greek speaking world. Those who knew Jesus’ apostle, John, used Iesous in their writings and teachings too. John was the disciple Jesus loved, if he did not use Jesus’ Hebrew name, why must we?
It is also important to point out that traditionally Jews preferred to use “Hashem” which means “The Name” instead of the proper Hebrew name of God. Why would many who promote Hebrew culture and teachings tell us we must call Jesus by His proper Hebrew name then? Jesus is God with us, Emmanuel, fully God and fully man.
Praise His Holy Name!
Proclaim and praise Jesus’ holy name, in whatever language you desire. In Hebrew? I rejoice in the name of Yeshua with you! In Spanish or American Sign Language or French or Russian, I rejoice with you, my brothers and sisters in Christ!
“Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:15-16
“And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us.” 1 John 3:23 (This is Jesus’ commandment for those who raised their eyebrows, but that is another article.)