"In The Beginning ......Was A Name"

Before the beginning of Christianity as we know it today, there was a Name, and that name was Yeshua. Some people who give an explanation of that Name will tell you that it is Jesus’ name in the Hebrew language. But actually that is inaccurate. What is accurate is that it is the Messiah’s name, not a translation or transliteration into Hebrew of the name Jesus.

In the bible, we have many examples of names having meaning. We remember that Yitz’chak (Isaac in English) was given his name which means laughter because Sarah laughed when she heard that G-d said she was going to have a baby. Yeshua means “Yahweh saves” in Hebrew. When the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream he said, “You are to name him Yeshua BECAUSE he will save his people from their sins.” He was named Yeshua because he was going to save.

“Jesus” is not a translation of the name “Yeshua,” but a transliteration. Therefore, the name Jesus, although it has a marvelous connotation to numerous people, has no factual definition.

One interesting point about a name is identity. If you know someone, you call them by their name. If you have ever spent time in a foreign speaking country, you no doubt have experienced an alteration in your name. Those closest to you have most likely called you by your correct name, if they know it. If you are reading this, chances are that you are close to Jesus. Why not call him Yeshua? His mother even called him Yeshua!

In Acts 26:14-15, Sha’ul (Saul in English) was telling King Agrippa about his Dammesek (Damascus) road encounter. He heard a voice speaking to him in Hebrew. It was the Messiah, who, speaking in Hebrew, identified himself by his name, Yeshua.

Why is this all so important? Well, first of all, it is truth. Occasionally we have a hard time with truth that contradicts what we are comfortable with in our emotions and our minds. For us, as Jewish believers, this name issue is significant because history has taken Yeshua’s Jewish identity so far away from truth that most Jewish people see him as the “Gentile God” and therefore miss the fact that he is their promised Messiah. Another tragic piece of history is the killing of the Jewish people by Christians in the name of Jesus—a name given to him by Gentile believers long after his resurrection and ascension. If his name had remained Yeshua (as the angel commanded Joseph to name him) his Jewish identity would have remained and the killing of Jewish people in the name of Yeshua, would have been very unlikely. But as history has twisted history, even some Gentiles today still see Yeshua as the Gentile-only God. Isn’t it time YOU called on Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel by his God-given name?