The Names of Jesus and Their Meanings

Jesus, the central figure in Christianity, is known by many names. Each name has its unique meaning that reflects his character, mission, and role in salvation history. In this article, we will explore the different names of Jesus and their meanings.

Who is Jesus?

Before delving into the names of Jesus, let us first explore who Jesus is. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, who became human to save humanity from sin and death. He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, suffered, died on the cross, and rose from the dead on the third day. His resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith, and his teachings, miracles, and sacrificial death have transformed countless lives throughout history.

What are the Names of Jesus?

Jesus has many names in the Bible, each one revealing something about his nature, character, and mission. Here are some of the most significant names of Jesus and their meanings:

1. Jesus

The name “Jesus” comes from the Hebrew word Yeshua or Joshua, which means “Yahweh saves.” This name reflects Jesus’ mission to save people from their sins and reconcile them with God.

2. Christ

“Christ” is not Jesus’ last name but a title that means “the anointed one” or “Messiah” in Greek. This title points to Jesus’ role as the Savior promised by God in the Old Testament who would redeem humanity and establish God’s kingdom on earth.

3. Son of God

“Son of God” is another title given to Jesus in the Bible. It signifies Jesus’ divine nature and his unique relationship with God the Father. As the Son of God, Jesus shares the same essence and attributes as God, and he is the only way to the Father.

4. Son of Man

“Son of Man” is a title that Jesus often used to refer to himself. It emphasizes Jesus’ humanity and his identification with all people, particularly those who are suffering and marginalized. As the Son of Man, Jesus is both fully God and fully human, and he is the perfect mediator between God and humanity.

5. Emmanuel

“Emmanuel” means “God with us” in Hebrew. This name reflects Jesus’ incarnation, which is the central mystery of the Christian faith. Through his birth, Jesus became one of us, taking on our flesh and dwelling among us as a visible manifestation of God’s love and presence.

When were These Names Given to Jesus?

The names of Jesus were not given to him all at once, but they emerged gradually over time as people encountered him, witnessed his ministry, and reflected on his teachings and actions. Some names, such as Yeshua and Joshua, were common Jewish names at the time, while others, such as Christ and Messiah, had specific theological connotations. The names of Jesus continue to inspire and guide Christians today, reminding them of his power, love, and grace.

How to Understand the Meaning of Jesus’ Names?

To understand the meaning of Jesus’ names, we need to study the Bible carefully, paying attention to the context, language, and symbolism used in each passage. We can also consult commentaries, theologians, and other resources that help us unpack the theological significance of each name. In addition, we can pray and meditate on the names of Jesus, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal their deeper meanings and apply them to our lives.

Pros and Cons of Using Jesus’ Names


  • Using Jesus’ names helps us deepen our relationship with him and understand his nature, character, and mission.
  • Each name highlights different aspects of Jesus’ identity and ministry, providing a rich and varied portrait of who he is.
  • Using Jesus’ names can inspire us to worship, praise, and glorify him more fully.


  • Using Jesus’ names without understanding their meanings can lead to confusion or misunderstanding.
  • Focusing too much on one name of Jesus can obscure or neglect other aspects of his person and work.
  • Using Jesus’ names in a formulaic or superstitious way can reduce them to mere labels or slogans, rather than expressions of faith and reverence.

Alternatives to Using Jesus’ Names

While using Jesus’ names is an important aspect of Christian spirituality, there are other ways to express our relationship with him. Here are some alternatives:

  • Praying to Jesus directly, using personal and spontaneous language that reflects our own experience and needs.
  • Singing hymns and songs that focus on Jesus’ attributes, actions, or teachings.
  • Studying the Bible deeply and systematically, seeking to understand Jesus’ message and mission in its fullness.
  • Serving others in Jesus’ name, imitating his compassion, humility, and love for all people.

Step-by-Step Guide to Meditating on Jesus’ Names

Meditating on Jesus’ names can be a powerful and transformative spiritual practice. Here is a step-by-step guide to get started:

  1. Choose a name of Jesus that resonates with you or that you want to explore more deeply.
  2. Set aside a quiet time and place where you can concentrate without distractions.
  3. Begin by taking a few deep breaths and relaxing your body and mind.
  4. Focus your attention on the name of Jesus you have chosen, repeating it silently or aloud.
  5. Reflect on the meaning of this name, using your imagination, memory, and intellect to explore its implications for your life.
  6. Allow any thoughts, feelings, or insights to arise naturally, without judging them or trying to control them.
  7. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving or supplication, expressing your gratitude, needs, or desires in light of Jesus’ name.
  8. Close your meditation with a few more deep breaths and a sense of peace and renewal.

Comparing the Names of Jesus in Different Traditions

The names of Jesus are not limited to the Christian tradition but appear in various forms and contexts in other religions and cultures. Here are some examples:

  • In Islam, Jesus is known as Isa al-Masih, which means “Jesus the Messiah.”
  • In Judaism, Jesus is sometimes referred to as Yeshu, a derogatory term that reflects rejection of his claims to be the Messiah.
  • In Hinduism, Jesus is often equated with various deities, such as Krishna or Vishnu, who represent divine incarnation and salvation.
  • In Buddhism, Jesus is seen as a wise teacher and moral example, but not as a savior or divine figure.

Tips for Using Jesus’ Names in Prayer and Worship

Here are some tips for using Jesus’ names in prayer and worship:

  • Use different names of Jesus depending on your mood, situation, or need. For example, you can call on Jesus as Savior when you are struggling with sin, or as Prince of Peace when you are anxious or stressed.
  • Combine Jesus’ names with other prayers, such as the Lord’s Prayer or Hail Mary, to enrich your devotional practice.
  • Incorporate Jesus’ names into your daily routine, such as by putting up posters or stickers with his names in your home or workplace.
  • Share Jesus’ names with others, using them as a way to evangelize and witness to his love and power.

The Best Way to Honor Jesus’ Names

The best way to honor Jesus’ names is not just to use them, but to live out their meanings in our daily lives. We can strive to embody Jesus’ compassion, forgiveness, humility, and love, following his example and teachings. We can also share Jesus’ names with others, explaining their significance and inviting them to discover the beauty and truth of the Christian faith. Ultimately, honoring Jesus’ names means surrendering our whole selves to him, trusting in his grace and salvation, and giving him the glory and praise he deserves.


The names of Jesus are rich and profound expressions of his identity, mission, and role in salvation history. By exploring these names and their meanings, we can deepen our relationship with Jesus, understand his message and mission more fully, and draw inspiration and guidance for our own lives. Whether we call him Jesus, Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, or Emmanuel, let us honor him with our faith, hope, and love, and proclaim his name to all the world.


  1. What is the significance of Jesus’ names?

Jesus’ names reflect his nature, character, and mission, and reveal different aspects of his identity and work. They help us understand who he is, what he came to do, and how we can relate to him.

  1. How can I use Jesus’ names in my prayer life?

You can use Jesus’ names in your prayer life by calling on him using different names depending on your mood, situation, or need. You can also combine his names with other prayers, incorporate them into your daily routine, and share them with others.

  1. Are there any dangers in using Jesus’ names too much or too little?

Using Jesus’ names too much or too little can lead to either formulaic or shallow expressions of faith or neglect of important aspects of his person and work. It is essential to balance reverence for his names with genuine understanding and application of their meanings.

  1. How can I learn more about Jesus’ names?

You can learn more about Jesus’ names by studying the Bible, consulting commentaries and theological resources, meditating on his names, and participating in Christian worship and community.

  1. Why are Jesus’ names important?

Jesus’ names are important because they reveal who he is, what he came to do, and how we can relate to him. They inspire us to worship, praise, and obey him, and remind us of hispower, love, and grace. They also provide a rich and varied language for expressing our faith and sharing the gospel with others.

Emma Carole Paradis

We’re Emma Carole Paradis and Kimberly Carole, the owners and designers of Impeccable Nest, based in Bedford, New Hampshire. A mother-daughter team with a love of design. Originally from Manhattan Beach, California, now based in Bedford, New Hampshire, we bring a Southern California cool and New England tradition to our design. Not only do we work together…we also live together in a multi-generational home…and a home that they are known to design for others.

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