His Only Son - Our Lord

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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The Name Jesus (430-431)

Jesus (in Hebrew) means "God saves." The angel Gabriel told Mary "You shall name him Jesus" (Lk 1:31). The angel told Joseph to name the child "Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21). Besides delivering Israel from Egypt, God made them aware of their sins so they would invoke him as their Redeemer.

Invoking the Name (432-433)

Jesus means "God saves" and all can invoke his name. "There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Once a year, the high priest sprinkled sacrificial blood and invoked the name of the Savior God in atonement for Israel's sins. Paul writes that God put forward Jesus "as an expiation by his blood" (Rom 3:25) and "reconciled the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19).

The Power of the Name (434-435)

After the Resurrection, Jesus is the "name which is above every other name" (Phil 2:10). Devils feared this name. Disciples performed miracles in this name, and the Father granted all petitions in Jesus' name.

Liturgical prayers end with the words "through our Lord, Jesus Christ." The high point of the Hail Mary is Jesus' name. Many Christians, such as St. Joan of Arc, died with Jesus' name on their lips.

The Name "Christ" (436-437)

"Christ" is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah" or "Anointed," consecrated for God's mission. Jesus the Messiah, who would inaugurate God's Kingdom, had to be anointed by the Spirit.

The angels announced to the shepherds a "Savior who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11). Jesus is "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent to the whole world" (Jn 10:36). God told Joseph to take Mary as his wife so that Jesus would be of the messianic lineage of David (Mt 1:20).

The Anointed Messiah (438-440)

Because the Father anointed him with the Holy Spirit (who is the anointing) Jesus is the Christ (the anointed one). This eternal messianic consecration was revealed years later when Jesus was baptized by John and later explained by Peter: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit that he might be revealed to Israel" (Acts 10:38).

Many people called Jesus the Messiah. Because of political connotations, Jesus accepted this only with reserve. However, when Peter professed him as Messiah (Mt 16:16-23) Jesus revealed his messianic kingship. Jesus is the "Son of Man who came down from heaven" (Jn 3:13) who is called "to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt 20-28). After Jesus' Resurrection, Peter said "God has made him both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

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