The actual name; Jesus was originally written as Lesous. When the Bible was translated into Greek, no Greek word for Jesus existed. In each subsequent translation of the Greek text, Lesous became Jesus.
Jesus is His Greek name. His Hebrew name is Yeshua which means salvation, deliverance, victory, help or welfare.
The literal meaning of the name Jesus is The LORD is my Salvation. This is interesting because the angel who came to Joseph told him to call his Son by this name because, He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:20 But while Joseph thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Many people do not realize that the name Jesus is mentioned many times in the Old Testament. Yeshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus, is spelled J-e-s-h-u-a and not J-e-s-u-s, as in most of the common English translations of the Old Testament. The name Yeshua appears 29 times in the Old Testament scriptures, as the name for five different persons, all from the tribe of Judah. Yeshua in the Old Testament is the same as Jesus in the New Testament.
During the period time in which Jesus was born, the name Yeshua was one of the most popular choices for a new Jewish baby boy. The nation of Israel was expecting the Messiah to come at that time. Many people had the hope that their newborn son would be the one chosen by God to be the promised Deliverer. For this reason, one out of ten boys born during that time were called Yeshua, or as we know Him today, Jesus. The reason that so many families in Israel chose this name for their child, was because it was commonly understood that this would be the name of the Messiah when He came: The Lord is My Salvation.
Jesus’ name means Salvation. His name implies that God Himself will be the One who will provide salvation for all people by the sacrifice of His Son. This idea is well established in the Old Testament and specifically illustrated in the example of Abraham and his son Isaac. See the Chapter: The Messiah Will Bring Salvation.
Beginning with Abraham’s offering of his son Isaac on the altar at Mount Moriah, the Bible establishes the fact that God will give His Son to become the Lamb for a sacrifice to remove all of our sins. See Prophecy 13.
Genesis 22:7-28 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
The reason why most Jews at the time of Jesus’ arrival failed to recognize Him as their promised Messiah was due to His claim to be the Son of God. The religious leadership in Israel did not believe that the Messiah would be the Son of God. This was despite the fact that there are at least seven Old Testament prophecies that speak of the Messiah being the Son of God or God Himself. See the chapters: The Messiah will be the Son of God and The Messiah will be God.
The Prophecies which speak of the Messiah being the Son of God:
50 57 63 128 156 171 195
When the Jews questioned Jesus about His true identity, He did not deny but confirmed that He and His Father were One and the same.
John 10:30 “I and My Father are one.”
It was because of this claim to be God that the Jews took up stones to kill Him.
John 10:33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
The leaders of Israel refused to accept the fact that God could dwell in the body of a man. Even today, the Jews have their eyes blinded to the fact that Jesus is their promised Messiah because of His claim to be God. The fact is, many of the Old Testament prophecies point to the truth that God would send His Son to dwell in the body of a man, as the Son of God.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The leaders of Israel most likely stumbled over Jesus claim to be the Son of God, because of a misunderstanding of Moses’ statement, in Deuteronomy 18:15, that the coming Savior would be a prophet Like him. Because Moses was not God, but only His servant, it was believed that the Messiah would be the same.
Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear…
When we arrive at the fulfillment of the 26th Old Testament Prophecy in the New Testament, we see Jesus being described by Stephen as Standing at the right hand of God. This is language from the Old Testament that was used in describing the promised Messiah’s power and right to rule.
Acts 7:55-56 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
Exodus 15:6 Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
The term right hand, as it is used here in Exodus 15:6, is a Hebrew idiom similar to our English phrase: He is my right hand man. In the technical sense, the term right hand is used 39 times in the Old Testament and 21 times in the New Testament. Spoken of as an Anthropomorphism by definition, this phrase is an attribution of human characteristics to non-human beings or things. God is Spirit and therefore He does not have a right hand, except when He manifested Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
It is clearly the intent of the Holy Spirit in using this term in the song that Moses sang after the deliverance of the children of Israel through the Red Sea, that God was giving a foreshadow of the time when the Son of God would come as the right hand of God’s power to the earth, in redeeming all people sold into the slavery of sin.
 Liddell and Scott. A Greek–English Lexicon, p. 824
Categories: The Claims of Jesus