“She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
I know it isn’t Christmas. Even in the North Country of New York the snow isn’t flying, yet. Mornings smell like fall and have a bite to their breezes, but the days are warm and delightful. It is not the Christmas season, but, when I read this verse this morning, I had to share it with you. This verse should amaze us all year long. This was God’s announcement about who Jesus is, and this truth spans all seasons, centuries, and eternity.
“… you are to give Him the name Jesus…” Jesus. That name brings up so many emotions in this world. Some only know His name as profanity. Some superficially admire Him as a good teacher or a prophet. Some could care less about Him. Others despise the thought of Him.
But, what does God say about Jesus? The name “Jesus” says it all. You may have a footnote in your Bible that gives the meaning of His name. “Jesus” means “The LORD saves” or “The LORD is salvation.” Jesus’ name in Hebrew was Yeshua (Joshua).
So what? How many boys in Jesus’ day bore the name of Israel’s military hero? Possibly hundreds. How many boys are named Joshua in our time? Many. What makes this “Joshua” different from the others?
The next statement in Matthew 1:21 makes all the difference. “…because He will save His people from their sins.” All the other Joshuas of history could only carry this name as a reminder that the Lord saves. This One, Jesus of Nazareth, carries the name as it’s fulfillment. He can be named “the LORD saves,” because He is the LORD who saves! He is the LORD who is Salvation.
He is not only human; He is the LORD, Yahweh. He is God come as a man. Truly God and truly man. He is not only a prophet, but the Prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15 (cf Acts 3:22). He is the good teacher, because everything He says is true, including His declaration that He is God (John 10:30). His name is not profane; He is high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1-3; John 12:41). He is the One who was lifted up on the cross to die for our sins to save us from our sins (John 3:14-15).
No matter man’s opinion of Jesus, Heaven’s declaration is never changing. Jesus is the LORD who saves. We must ask if we agree with God’s statement about Jesus or not. God’s announcement about His Son is the only opinion that matters, and what you do with Jesus will make all the difference of your forever.
I pray every time you hear or think of the name “Jesus” that you will remember: He is the LORD who saves!
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