21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
1901 ASV Translation:
21 And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him, his name was called JESUS, which was so called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
In this text, the Textus Receptus has the words translated "the child" while the Nestle/Aland 26 only has the word translated "Him". The support for the reading of the Textus Receptus is extremely weak.
I. In the flow of Luke's presentation, the announcement of the conception and birth of the son of Zacharias was followed by the conception. Then followed the announcement of the conception and birth of the son of Mary. That was followed by Mary's trip to the home of Elizabeth and Elizabeth's outburst regarding Mary as the mother of the Lord. That, in turn, was followed by an extended statement of Yahweh's mercy upon the lowly. Then the birth of "John" is recorded along with the circumcision and difficulty over his "name". Zacharias then prophesies about Yahweh's salvation and John's place in the process. Then a summary of "then the child grew...". Then follows the birth of Jesus. That is followed by the "shepherd" account. Then the "circumcision", the assignment of the "name", and then the "purification ritual". This is attended by two "prophecies" in the temple; one by an old man and the other by an old woman. Then a summary of "then the child grew...". That Luke is deliberately creating a parallelism is hardly disputable.
II. The issue in our current text is that Jesus is named without any of the "conflict" present when "John" was named. He is so named because the angel demanded it.
I. The Odd Text.
A. Luke wrote, "And when..." and then followed it with an "...and His name was called...". [Literally, "And when were fulfilled days eight for His circumcision, and was called the name of Him 'Jesus', which was called by the angel before the conception of Him in the womb."]
B. The translators ignore the second "and" because it is awkward. However, it is there without debate. The Point? It is emphatic: "And when He was circumcised, His name was INDEED called Jesus...".
II. The Issues...
A. Clearly, the circumcision issue is involved. Jesus was, according to Galatians 4:4, "born under the Law" so that (4:5) He might "redeem those under the Law" so that "we might receive the adoption of sons".
B. Just as clearly, there is no "conflict" over His "name" and that He was called "Jesus" is emphatic.
1. The name is deliberately "in tandem" with that "other" name (Name him "John").
a. There is no "Jesus" when "grace" is abandoned. We live in days when the word "Jesus" is bandied about by a great host of apostate reprobates. There are two major problems:
1) the words of God carry no weight (people feel no compulsion to believe and act on what He says); and
2) the traditions of men have become the "criteria of judgment" rather than the biblical text.
b. There is no "grace" when "Jesus" is abandoned. We live in days when the work is no longer "God's"; it is man's effort to exalt himself as a "godly" man. It is clear that the abandonment of "Jesus" (the glory goes to God) is also the abandonment of "grace".
C. This "name" was tied to three related issues...
1. It was tied to the rite of circumcision.
a. Twice now we have been told that the "naming" was done in conjunction with the circumcision on the eighth day. It's almost as if a person has no "identity" unless he has been circumcised.
b. The issues involved in circumcision are established in Genesis 17 as two...
1) A "summons" by Yahweh to a "walk" (17:1).
2) A "promise" by Yahweh attended by a "name" change (17:5). Interestingly, this "promise" was "laughed at" by both Abram and Sarai and their attitude was confronted by the question of Genesis 18:14, which is precisely the issue of Luke 1:37.
2. The angel had demanded it. It is significantly "content-filled" as it "weighs in" on a primary issue: salvation (Matthew 1:21) defined in terms of the condemnation of Justice that rests upon those who have rejected both the summons and the promise.
3. It was demanded before the conception in the womb.
a. Even here there is emphasis.
b. The "in the womb" phrase is obviously redundant (where else would a baby be conceived before the test tube era?).
1) That conception was miraculous to this point: No "word" from "the God" is "powerless" (1:37).
2) That conception was deliberate to this point: "There is born to you this day a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord...".