Names in the Bible have always been of major importance. A parent, typically the father, would name the child, and the name would often have some major significance. Children were not only given names of major significance, but adults who went through a major change in their lives often took new names (such as when Abraham learned he would be the father of many).
We often conclude prayers in Jesus’ name, or talk about doing things “in the name of Christ”. What does this mean? There are groups that treat use of Jesus’ name (such as in baptism) almost as though it were a magical incantation. This does a major disservice to the Person of Jesus, IMO.
Jesus’ name in Hebrew, Yeshua, translates to “the Lord saves”. When Joseph accepted the angel’s instructions about what to name the child, he was accepting the fact that he was about to raise a Savior. The other name commonly associated with Jesus, Immanuel, means “God with us.”
God is with us indeed, as we celebrate the season in which God decided to live among us and be one of us in the mystery of the Incarnation. Merry Christmas!