What’s in a name? Do names carry certain meaning? We had no choice over the names that were given to us. Some of you like your names and others may wish that you had never gotten that name especially if your name is Jabez which means “pain.” I like my name Francis which means “a free man” In the days when the Bible was being written, the Israelites often chose names for their babies based on the child’s character or appearance, i.e., Esau (hairy) and Korah (bald). Some babies were named because of an incident at their birth or their names were based on some hope or prayer of the parent, as in Zechariah’s name (God has remembered), as in Samuel (God has heard). Sometimes babies received the name of an everyday object, like Tamar (palm tree), and Tabitha (gazelle). Parents often named their children by the time of day they were born. For example: Shaharaim (dawn), Hodesh (new moon). The condition of the mother also frequently inspired a name: Leah (exhausted) and Mahli (sick).
I. WHAT DOES THE NAME JESUS MEAN?( Vs 21, 25)
The naming of the child is an important part of the scripture before us. In fact two important names were given to the same person and they both help us to know about him. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said that the child that Mary conceived was of the Holy Spirit and he was to name him Jesus. Why Jesus? What does the name Jesus mean?
What does Jesus mean? It is from a Greek word Joshua meaning, “The Lord Saves” The angel who appears to Joseph alludes to that meaning when he says, “... you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” True to his name Jesus died so that we might live. In Romans 5:6-8 "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7- For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." This child was given a name that would be a constant reminder of the saving grace of God. If Jesus means God will save his people, what does Emmanuel mean?
In Vs 22, we read, “ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which translated means, God with us.”
Emmanuel, God with us! What an assuring name of God. Let’s ponder on it for a while. As we talk millions of North Koreans are mourning the death of their dear leader Kim Jong il who was in their eyes like a god. They are devastated not to have their leader with them, but would they ever understand that there is truly a God whose name is Emmanuel; God with us? Who will tell them of this wonderful good news? We must pray that somehow God will make this truth dawn upon them during this Christmas season.
 allaboutjesuschrist.org/names-of-jesus.htm. Retrieved June 13, 2007.