Dr. Dan Hayden • 

What is in a name? Well, names often have meaning. For instance, my name is Daniel; and Daniel means “God is judge.” But names can have more significance than just their meaning, and that is certainly true of the name, Jesus.

In Matthew 1:21, we are told that the name Jesus means “Savior.” The angel said, “And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,” Why? “…for he will save his people from their sins.” Jesus is the Savior – that is what His name means. Well, in John’s Gospel, he appeals to another aspect of our Lord’s name when he says, “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in his name” (John 1:12). What, then, does “believe in his name” actually mean? Do you simply need to believe that His name means “Savior,” or is there more to it than that?

Well, the word “name” (Greek word onoma) can also carry the idea of reputation and character, as when we say, “he has a good name.” But, depending on the scope of a person’s character and reputation, the word “name” can also be used in the sense of authority. And that’s what John is saying in this verse. “to those who believe in his name” means to believe in the authority and sufficiency of all that Jesus is. His name is the authoritative name above all other names. He is the Savior, because He defeated sin on the cross and overcame death through His resurrection from the dead. That means that He has the authority to give eternal life to anyone who receives Him.


When you believe in His name, it is more than a mental assent to the fact that His name means “Savior.” It is a full recognition of all that He is, and a sincere willingness to receive Him as the One who has all authority in heaven an earth. You are acknowledging His authority to give you the right to become a child of God. “…to those who believe in his name.”

Now you know the real meaning of the word. This is Dan Hayden.

Say – The only way you can come to God is in Jesus’ name. Have you done that?