Recently a movie made an appearance with the title “God is not dead!”  The young man, Josh, feeling abandoned by many in his pursuit of defending God against an atheistic philosopher, gave the reason he felt for defending Jesus the Son of the living God.   Josh said:  Jesus is my friend and I do not want to let Him down.”

For Christian believers JESUS is the very foundation, the very meaning, the “raison d’etre”  for their faith.  To really love Jesus and to defend Him this presupposes knowing Him.   St. Ignatius of Loyola, in the Spiritual Exercises, insists that we beg for this grace: Intimate knowledge of Jesus, that we love Him more ardently and follow Him more closely.”

Millions of books have been written on Jesus. However, the very center or core of our knowledge of Jesus comes from the Heart of the Bible itself, the four Gospels; the word “Gospel” actually means “Good news!”

The purpose of this essay is to present various titles of names for the Lord Jesus, which hopefully will be utilized in prayer and will terminate in a deeper knowledge and love relationship with Jesus. These titles are taken from the Bible, the Word of God--- no better source to rely on!

1.    JESUS.  (Lk. 1:31)   This is the name given to Him by the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation, while in conversation with Mary.  This title signifies the meaning of His mission—Savior!  He came to save the world of the slavery to sin.   His name should be held in the greatest reverence.  St. Paul writes to the Philippians: “At the name of Jesus every knee in heaven, on earth and under earth should bow.”(Phil. 2)


2.    JESUS CHRIST (Mt. 16:20, Rom 1:3).  This is a double-title, double Name with double importance. Its meaning is “The Savior and Anointed one.” A king was anointed for his mission as we see in the case of Samuel and then King David.  Jesus is the “King of Kings and the Lord of Lords”.


3.    ALPHA AND OMEGA ((Apoc. 1:8) These are two Greek letters, the first and last in the Greek alphabet. The meaning: Jesus must be the beginning and the end of our existence! Baptism is the start of our spiritual life. Hopefully the end of our life will be receiving three Sacraments with faith and devotion: Confession, the Anointing of the Sick and finally the Most Holy Eucharist. This being the case, Jesus will be our delight for all eternity.


4.    EMMANUEL (Mt. 1:23) This title for Jesus is used in the Season of Advent as we joyfully await the birth of Jesus in the stable of Bethlehem.  The meaning is “God is with us!”  What a consolation it is to know that we are never alone; God is with us and will be with us even until the very end of the world.   St. Paul reassures us with these words: “If God is with us who can be against us…”  In one of his discourses Paul quotes the Greek poet, referring to God’s omnipresence: “In Him we live and move and have our being.”   The Psalmist constantly reminds us of God’s permanent, pervasive presence:  Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth…”  The most well- known of all: “The Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall want.” (Psalm 23)


5.     LAMB OF GOD ((Jn. 1:29-36).  St. John the Baptist, surrounded by his disciples, saw Jesus walking and he pointed to Jesus naming Him: “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  Every year the Jews would celebrate their Passover with the slaughtering of the Lamb, commemorating their liberation from the slavery of Egypt.  On Calvary Jesus would become the Lamb of God slaughtered and shedding every drop of His Precious Blood to free the human race from the slavery to sin, purify from sin and break open the gates of Heaven for all who believe Him, love Him, and follow Him!


6.    SON OF GOD (Lk. 1:35).   Our God is one and three at the same time. This is called the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. We believe in One God and three separate Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, true God and true man. One of His most sublime titles is “The Son of God.”


7.     SON OF MAN (Jn. 1: 51) Jesus is both Son of God and Son of man. This means that in Jesus there are two natures: the Divine nature meaning that He is God and the human nature meaning that He is man. The union of the two natures is called the Incarnation--- “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” The theologians call the union of the two separate natures the “Hypostatic union.”   Jesus was truly a man and like us in all things except sin; never in His life did Jesus sin—in thought, word, deed, or intention. He was the perfect man and our model.  He is the WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.


8.     TEACHER/MASTER (Mt. 23:8)   There have been many teachers in the world, there are teachers and there will be teachers. However, the greatest Teacher that ever existed is Jesus!  He taught first by what He did and then what He said. All of us should be eager to sit at the feet of Jesus our Teacher and be ever ready to absorb His Words of Wisdom and put them into practice! By prayerfully meditating upon the inspired words of the Holy Gospel we are students sitting at the feet of the great Teacher. “Speak O Lord for your servant is listening.”


9.     GOOD SHEPHERD (Jn. 10: 14) Without a doubt one of the most common images in the Bible for the Lord is that of the Shepherd, the Good Shepherd.  The most famous Psalm in the Bible is Psalm 23, the Psalm of the Good Shepherd.  Jesus takes this well-known Psalm and applies it to Himself.  “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and they know me.” All of us are called to be a “Good Shepherd” in one way or another. The key to becoming a Good Shepherd is that first we must be a good sheep of the Good Shepherd so that we can be a Good Shepherd to the sheep entrusted to us!  May we get to know the Good Shepherd, listen attentively to His voice and obey His command! In this is our true freedom and joy!


10. FRIEND (Jn. 13—Last Supper discourse). Shortly before Jesus offered Himself as sacrifice on Calvary for the salvation of the world, He left us two Sacraments--- The Most Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders (The Priesthood). In the context of His Last Discourse at the Last Supper Jesus called the Apostles “FRIENDS!”   The Apostles were called His “Friends”, but Jesus opens the door to all, to anybody on earth, who wants to enter into Friendship with Him.  Indeed He is the Faithful Friend who will never fail us. He said, “I will be with you always even until the end of the world.”


Pray over these titles of Jesus with love, devotion, and frequently. As a result of this exercise, you will grow in knowledge of Jesus, attain greater love, have a firm desire to follow the Lord, to imitate His lifestyle and draw others to His gentle and loving yoke! He said: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”