The Four Men Named Jesus in the New Testament

It may come as a surprise there are four men in the New Testament named Jesus!

To better understand what these men represent let’s take a quick history lesson on the name “Jesus”.

The Hebrew name for Jesus is Yehoshua, which has been shortened over time to Yeshua which also means “the Lord is salvation”.

In the Greek New Covenant, the word used for Jesus is Iesous (ee-ay-SOOS). Iesous is not a translation of Jesus’ name in Hebrew, but rather it is a “transliteration”.

A translation takes the meaning of a word in one language and assigns it the equivalent word with the same meaning in a different language.

transliteration takes the letters of a word from one language and finds like-sounding letters of the second language to create a new word in that language.

In the late 4th century, Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, a manuscript known as the Vulgate. In it, the Greek Iesous became the Latin Iesus. The English Bible eventually changed the “Y” sound of the Latin “I” to the letter “J”, which we now have in Jesus.

The letter “J” is only about 500 years old, so we can be certain the name of our Messiah was not pronounced as we say it today. Paul the Apostle got to hear Jesus pronounce his own name.

Acts 26:14 – “And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ (15) So, I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am “Yehoshua”, whom you are persecuting.

Let’s look at the four men named Jesus (Yehoshua / Yeshua) in the New Testament.

1) Luke 1:31 – And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name JESUS.

2) Col 4:11 – and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.

Note: The name Jesus was probably that which he bore among the Jews. Justus is a Roman name and was probably that by which he was known among the Romans. It was not uncommon thus to assume another name when one went among a foreign people… Barnes Notes

3) Heb 4:8 (KJV) – For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Note: Joshua and Jesus have the same Hebrew and Greek name.

4) Acts 13:6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus (son of Jesus), (7) who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. (But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

Note: Elymas the sorcerer had a father named Jesus, “bar means son”

The theme behind the Four Men named Jesus.

Jesus the leader in the Old Testament conquering the enemies of Canaan, Jesus the Son of God our Messiah, Jesus a Jewish convert to Christianity and Jesus the Father of an Evil son.

Phonetic Name of Jesus

We are at a point in this message of realizing it is not the phonetic name of Jesus alone that has value, Josephus the historian lived during the time of Jesus, he cites many people named Jesus in his works, the name Jesus was a common boys name in Jesus’ day.

Name above every Name!

Philippians 2:9 sheds a different light on the phonetic name of “Jesus”-

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Philippians passage suggests it is the life the name carries behind it that is of importance. God changed or gave people Phonetic names because of what the name represents, however the life of what the name would become is what was important.

If you pay close attention to the Philippians passage it says, “God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name”.

Notice he was given the Name above every name AFTER he was exalted. There is now a life behind the name of Jesus, a life God could not do on his own. Jesus had a will separate from the Fathers of which he had to submit, Jesus grew in Wisdom and Stature and in Favor with God, Jesus was Tempted in all ways as we are yet without sin, Jesus Conquered and overcame the world, Jesus died for mankind!

Jesus can now live in us by God’s Spirit, we can submit to God’s will, we can grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God, we can overcome temptation, we can be conquerors and overcome the world, and finally we can die to our “Carnal Man” with Jesus, and bury our “Carnal Man” with Jesus, and be raised to rule and reign with Christ in heaven!

God could not give Jesus the name above every name before he finished the work God had for him! The name of Jesus had to have a life behind it or it would just be a name.

There is a union between the life of God the Father along with the life of Jesus Christ that lives in saints which can be seen in the following passages.

John 14:23
“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (24) He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. (25) “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. (26) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 16:12
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (13) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (14) He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (15) All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

The Name above every name!

John 16:23
“And in that day, you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you”