The Designations Of Christ At His Birth
(Matt. 1:1,18-2:15; Lk. 1:15-17,26-56,69,78; 2:1-34)

Names and/or designations are terms that describe a particular aspect of a person.  They help to “set them apart” from all others.  They identify, with certainty, a particular individual.  They provide insights into the person’s background, occupation, character, physical characteristics, personality, position, etc.  The more “designations” we have of a person, the more we can know about that person.  And when that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ, the designations take on an eternal significance that overshadows all others.  In the birth of Jesus the Christ, from His announcement to His removal to Egypt in Matthew and Luke, there are 28 designations/descriptions of Jesus Christ .

Child

 

This term is found 13 times.  It speaks of Christ’s humanity, and His likeness to sinful man.  As an unborn child, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isa. 7:14.  Jesus is twice called a child in the womb (Matt 1:18; Lk. 2:5).  After His birth He is referred to as a child ten times up to about two years old.  

Jesus

This is the human name of Christ.  It is found 6 times.  It is the O.T. name Joshua, meaning God is Salvation. His name identifies His purpose in coming.  Twice He is called Jesus in the womb (Matt. 1:21; Lk. 1:31).  The remaining uses are from His birth to His presentation in the Temple. (8 days old).

Son

Son, speaks of relationship, which includes His humanity, likeness, and descent.  It is used 6 times.  He is called God’s Son (Matt. 2:15), which refers to Jesus’ deity.  All other references are to Jesus as Mary’s son (never Joseph’s).  As her son, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isa. 7:14.

Lord

Lord (Sovereign, Master), when applied to Christ is the O.T. word Jehovah.  It is used 4 times. This speaks of Jesus’ deity and divine rule in the affairs of men. Thence He is called the Lord their (Israel’s) God (Lk. 1:16); the One for whom the Nation must be prepared (Lk. 1:17); and the face of the Lord (Lk. 1:76).  As to His individual rule, Elizabeth calls Mary, “the mother of my Lord.”

Christ

This term is used by itself once.  Christ is not a name, but a title.  It means “the Anointed One of God.” At Jesus’ birth the promised Messiah of the O.T., became the present Messiah.  Jesus was chosen by God to be the King and Redeemer of His people.  Herod recognized this when he asked where Christ would be born (Matt. 2:4). 

Jesus Christ

This combined name/title is recorded twice.  Matt. 1:1 refers to His O.T. genealogy as Messiah (Christ), while 1:18 highlights His human birth (Jesus). Thus is shown the past, present, and future of Jesus’ humanity.

Babe

A babe is a child still in the womb, or a new born.  It is used 2 times.  It speaks of the humanity of Jesus, who took on Himself the total experience of mankind from womb to tomb. The babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger is said to be a sign to the shepherds (Lk. 2:12,16).

Son of the Highest

The “Highest” is a reference to God.  To be the Son of the Highest is to be the same as God as to His position and power.  It is used 1 time.  Those He came to save would see Jesus as the highest expression of God and His rule (Lk. 1:32).

Holy Thing

 

Used 1 time (Lk. 1:35).  For Jesus to be that Holy Thing, it took the involvement of the Trinity (Holy Ghost, Highest, Holy Thing).  Holy means to be separate, distinct, unique.  There has never been another like Jesus Christ, God come in the flesh.  Thing is a neuter word which refers to the embryo about to be generated.  Thing refers as much to His work as His Person.

Fruit of the Womb

The Fruit is the result of  planting the seed in the womb.  Fruit provides, refreshes, sustains, and delights. This Fruit is of the womb, referring to His human birth as a result of His divine conception.  Jesus birth meets the need of every hungry heart.  

Son of God

The Holy Thing of Lk. 1:35 was to be  called (future) the Son of God Son of means the same as.  Jesus always existed as the Second Person of the Trinity (God).  Therefore He is the same as God.  Yet it took the presence of the Spirit and the power of the Father to produce the humanity of Christ.  Born by God, born of a virgin, Jesus is the Son of God.

Horn of Salvation

This O.T. term (2 Sam. 22:3) is found on the lips of Zacharias (Lk. 1:69).  Horn refers to protection and power: the figure is borrowed from animals.  Horns protected the corners of the O.T. altar where the sacrifice was offered.  The Horn of Salvation relates the coming Christ’s power to provide and protect His people’s deliverance/salvation.

Saviour

Matthew says, “Jesus shall save His people from their sins,” but only Lk. 2:11 calls Him Saviour.  The word means “Deliverer,” or “One who saves,” and refers to deliverance/salvation from the penalty of sin.  Jesus is Saviour because God anointed Him to fulfill what only God can do, forgive sins.  Jesus birth brought the possibility of eternal forgiveness to mankind.

Dayspring

Used once in Lk. 1:78, the continuation of Zacharias’ praise to God.  The Dayspring is the “rising from on high,” like the dawn of the morning sun (Mal. 4:2).  Jesus’ birth (“visit”) brought a new day with new hope and new “light.”  It also means “a growing,” hence “a shoot,” “a Branch” (Isa. 11:1; Zech. 6:12).  The birth of Jesus brought forth life from the dead stump of “formal” religion.

Christ the Lord

Lk. 2:11 reveals that a Saviour would be born, and that He would be Christ the Lord.  Here we have a combination of the O.T. Messiah (Christ), and His identity (Lord).  Jesus is to be born Saviour, who is the O.T. Messiah, who is Jehovah.  God fulfilled His promise by Christ’s presence.

Male

The O.T. law said that, “Every male shall be holy to the Lord” (Num. 18:15-16).  As applied to Jesus, male speaks of His humanity, and His identification with the masculine side.  God, who wrote the Bible, always refers to Himself in the masculine.  Jesus was born a male to pay for the sins of mankind.

Consolation of Israel

Consolation of Israel is an O.T. Messianic title (Isa. 11: 10; 40:1) spoken by Simeon (Lk. 2:25).  Consolation means to “call to one’s side.”  It is the same root for the designation of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit). Jesus’ birth fulfilled the O.T. prophecy, given to Israel, of Emmanuel (”God with us”). 

Lord’s Christ

Simeon was promised life until he saw the Lord’s Christ (Lk. 2:26).  This is a term of possession and authentication.  Christ belonged especially to God as His anointed, and Christ’s ministry was attested to by God.  Jesus’ birth revealed the “real McCoy,” One we could trust in as sent from God.

God’s Salvation

The O.T. believer put his/ her trust in God and His promise of a Deliverer.  This possessive term (Lk. 2:30) reveals that salvation is of the Lord.  He is its author and Provider.  The Hebrew word for salvation is Yeshua (Jesus).  The birth of Jesus fulfilled God’s eternal (and only) plan and purpose in salvation.

Light

Simeon calls Christ, “A Light to lighten the Gentiles” (Lk. 2:32).  Light chases darkness, makes things visible, dispels falsehood.  Gentiles (those who are not Jews) have always walked/worshipped in darkness.  The birth of Jesus brought the light of God’s salvation to the Gentiles that they might “see” the truth.

Glory of Israel

In the same verse (Lk. 2:32) that Jesus is called “Light,” He is also revealed as the Glory of Israel Glory means to “make manifest,” or “bring to light.”  Jesus was the “manifestation/ Glory” of the totality and completion of every promise God ever made to His chosen people Israel.  Further, Jesus was the outward “manifestation/Glory of God.  His birth revealed all that Israel had hoped for from God.

Sign

A Sign convicts, directs, warns, makes known.  Jesus was the Sign that pointed men to their sinful condition before God, and the Sign that pointed men to reconciliation with God through His shed blood.  Simeon calls Jesus a Sign that shall be spoken against.   Perfect righteousness and holiness are always “spoken against” by men steeped in unrighteousness, self-righteousness, or man-made religion.  Jesus' birth was praised by the shepherds, and hated by Herod and the Pharisees.

Son of David

Found in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:1), this Messianic title confirms Christ’s right to occupy the “throne of David,” or God’s prophesied earthly rule over the Jews.  Jesus is the son of David as being the rightful heir of David’s throne.  At Jesus’ birth He was worshipped as “King of the Jews.”

Son of Abraham

The second term found in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:1), this “faith” title confirms that Jesus is the “heir apparent” of the faith principle found in Abraham (first of the Jewish nation).  Jesus is the “repository” of faith before God.  Jesus birth brought faith “alive” to all who believe.  

Emmanuel

The term Immanuel is found in the virgin birth prophecy of Isa. 7:14, but it is in Matt. 1:23 where it is fulfilled and interpreted.  Joseph and Mary were to call His name Jesus, but they would call Him Emmanuel, God with us.  The birth of Jesus provided the personal presence of God in human flesh.  

King of the Jews

A King is a ruler.  Here His realm is said to be over the Jews.  This term was applied to Jesus by the Gentile Magi rulers from the East.   Here a child is recognized for what He is.  Jesus did not become King of the Jews, He was born King of the Jews.  Born to rule in the hearts and over the affairs of men. 

Governor

This (Matt. 2:6) is an O.T. prophecy (Isa. 9:6; Mic. 5:2) fulfilled in Christ.  Governor means “to go before, lead the way, be a leader.”  Jesus was a Governor who was to rule His people.  His birth brought a Leader who could direct us to God.  A Leader to lead and a Ruler to rule His own.

God

This truth about Jesus is the beginning and end of His person.  He is God, so called by Zacharias (Lk. 1:16), and so revealed throughout the Bible.  The term God designates all three members of the Trinity.  Jesus is the second Person in the Trinity to whom men must turn to be reconciled with God God, who always was, came in the flesh, lived and died as a man, that He might justly save men by repentance and faith.  Jesus birth shows us God.

Each of these titles, names, or designations of the Lord Jesus Christ have application to us today.  Jesus Christ, as God, can meet every need of our lives, yet each circumstance of life requires a little bit different aspect of Christ to meet.  The more we know of Him, the easier it is to appropriate and apply Him to our never-ending needs.  Spend your Bible time in seeking Christ.  Spend your life in living Christ.

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