Have you ever thought about nicknames and how people get them?  Some are obvious:  William may be called Bill; Anthony may be called Tony; Robert may be called Bob; Jennifer may be called Jenny; Melissa may be called Missy.

Some are not so obvious:  a girl from my high school whose name was Karen had a nickname “Pete”.  And who started “Bubby” for a brother’s name?  or “Haas” for a big guy?  or Larry for everyone I can’t remember their name? (inside joke).

When we have children, we spend a lot of time on choosing the perfect name – both first name and middle name.  We study books and meanings of names and think about naming them after someone in the family or someone famous for whom we admire.  We think about what their initials will spell and if that should have meaning.  We may choose names that can be shortened for a nickname or we may choose names with the intention that they should never have a nickname.

There’s a lot that goes into a name.  Do you ever wonder if Mary and Joseph had considered what to name their child before the angel of the Lord told them what to name Him?

In Matthew 1 it says in verse 20-23:  “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

So his name was to be JESUS.  They would call him Immanuel.  And He would have so many other “nicknames”:

Wonderful Counselor
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
Prince of Peace
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Great I AM
Good Shepherd
Lamb of God

The difference between the names for Jesus and our nicknames are that every one of Jesus’s names had a true meaning describing Him as the Son of God.   Our nicknames are usually just shortened versions of our given names and sometimes made up names for something silly we have done.

There’s nothing made up or shortened or silly about the names of Jesus.  As you go throughout the day and the rest of the week, think about these names of Jesus.  When you pray, reference Him as one of His special names.  There is just something about that name………….Jesus………….Messiah…………Emmanual.