Christmas Day sermon – nominative determinism and Jesus as Saviour

Ask kids to bring up toys.
What are their names?

When Mary was told by the angel Gabriel to name her son Jesus, the name carries with it the purpose for which he was born.

Jesus comes from the Latin name Yay-su.
Yay-su comes from the Greek name ee-ay-SUS
and ee-ay-SUS comes from the Hebrew name Ye-shu-a

And Yeshua is a Hebrew name which means Saviour.

Jesus was born as Saviour.
He came to save his people from their sins

Do you know how it feels when someone does something wrong against you?
You want things to be put right.
You want them to say sorry.
You want to make the relationship right again.
God feels the same way about you and me.
God wants things to be put right.
God wants us to say sorry.
God wants to make our relationship right again.
What about the cost of the damage?
Who will pay?
God pays for the damage, by sending a Saviour.

Jesus saves people from God by taking away our sin
and making us right with God again.
So, this Christmas, as you remember the birth of baby Jesus and all the preparations which had to be made,
remember his name and what it means. SAVIOUR.

Grown up talk.

Prgramme on Radio 4 last week about Nominative determinism – how your name determines or shapes what you do in life.

Nominative determinism
Mark Aviary – RSPB
Bob Flowerdue – Gardener’s questiontime
Mr Muddle – Head of strategic planning at British Airways

Connection between names and jobs
Howard League of penal reform
Rev Michael Vicars

New Scientist Magazine
Splat and Weedon – article in urology magazine on incontinence
Book on the arctic by Daniel Snowman

People’s names do determine what people do in life.
Mrs Francis Crook works with prisoners
Francis means freedom – freedom for crooks

I would like to stick with the theme of naming Jesus.
Not only was Mary given the name “Jesus” by an angel.
But God gives Jesus many names throughout the bible.

This year, the Robbies have had an advent candle with 25 names of Jesus.
Each evening we think about what it means for Jesus to be these names.

Most of us will be familiar with some of the names given to Jesus.
In the whole of the bible there are about 150 names for Jesus.

And so, to expand our knowledge, understanding and love of him, I’ve chosen 5 names which help us put together the reason why Jesus came into the world. And these names are all linked to the greatest romance in the history of the world.

God the Father, from all eternity, had a purpose of marriage between his own beloved Son, and a select company of he fallen race and posterity of Adam (Matt 22:2)

The heart of the Bridegroom was so set upon his bride, that he decided to remove all the obstacles that were in the way: the obstacles were so great and, that nothing but almighty power, inspired with infinite and amazing love, could remove them: and yet they are all rolled away by the wisdom and power of the Bridegroom.

The first obstacle was the inequality of parties because of their nature…. Like the richest prince and the poorest homeless woman, how could God the creator and mankind, who he created, ever be brought unto a relationship of love? The distance between their nature is infinite, and so there can be no marriage. Yet the Son says…I will be born as a baby and take on human nature, I will be one of Abraham’s offspring, a descendent of David, Emmanuel, God with them and so that the obstacle of our nature will be removed.

Second, the bride is awaiting trial under the law of God. She disobeyed the law of God, and lived like a prostitute with other gods and so she is under the curse of the law and therefore there can be no marriage.

And so the Son says “I will remove this obstacle also, I will be made a curse for her under the law, and so redeem her from the curse of the law: I will cancel the written code against her.”

Third, says Justice, complete satisfaction demands death, for without the shedding of blood there can be no remission for sin. “Well”, says the Bridegroom, “I will die for the bride, and in her room and stead: the sword of justice shall be soaked in my blood instead of hers: My life shall be a ransom for hers.


Fourth, there is another obstacle that must be removed; the bride hates the bridegroom; she does not want to marry him. “Well”, says the bridegroom, “I will work to gain her affection. I will draw her with the cords of a man, and with the bands of love; and then her affections shall be gained and she shall call me beloved.”

Heir of all things

The bridegroom is the ultimate catch. The poor homeless bride, under the curse of the law and death is rescued by her Saviour groom. And she will inherit all things. Every grain of sand, every blade of grass, every leaf. Every drop of water in the ocean. Every ounce of gold. Every mountain, every planet and every moon. Every galaxy in every part of the universe. It will all be her’s because she will inherit it with the Son of the most High God, the heir of all things.

This is the world’s greatest romance. All we need to do is go weak at the knees and fall in love with Christ for who he is and what he has done for us.

Heir of all things

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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1 Response to Christmas Day sermon – nominative determinism and Jesus as Saviour

  1. Karin says:

    Love these thoughts on the names of our Savior! Thanks!

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