Was Jesus “Jesus” before he was born in Bethlehem?
The second person of the Trinity, God’s holy Son, first received the name Jesus at his Bethlehem birth. But Jesus is eternal and always existed as God even before the creation of the world. Jesus was Jesus before Bethlehem; he just went by a different name.
Jesus appeared to believers in the Old Testament as the “angel of the Lord.” When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, it was the “angel of the Lord” speaking. It was Jesus talking. When the Israelites were unfaithful, Jesus confronted them: “The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors’” (Judges 2:1). The “angel of the Lord” is recorded 51 times in the Bible referring to Jesus before he took on human flesh; Jesus has always been here among us.
Before the world was created, Jesus was and is God. Before Bethlehem, Jesus was and is the promised Savior. After Bethlehem, Jesus was and is the Savior who delivered on God’s promise to rescue the world. Jesus has many names. Which is your favorite? Jesus. Savior. Angel of the Lord. Good Shepherd. Messiah. You don’t have to pick! They’re all him; they all reveal who Jesus is. He’s the One who confronted the devil, rescued you from his clutches, and holds your hand through this life into paradise!