A Beautiful Name
Category : General
St. Matthew 1: 21 (KJV)
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
The name Jesus is the same as Savior. It is derived from the verb signifying to save. In Hebrew it is the same as Joshua. In two places in the New Testament it is used where it means Joshua, the leader of the Jews into Canaan, and in our translation the name Joshua should have been retained, Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8. Moreover, we see that this was not an unusual name among the Jews, the name appearing both as Jesus and as Joshua. However, the word “Christ” means Messiah; hence, in the confession of faith, the believer affirms that he believes that “Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God,” as did Peter in Matthew 16:16. In all ordinary cases, parents do not name their children before they are born, seeing that the question of their sex is not determined until after birth; however, an angel of the Lord announced Jesus’ name along with the news of his conception!
So we see that Jesus is to be the child’s name, not indeed as a mere appellation to distinguish Him from other people, as in the case of the Hebrew synonym Joshua, Num.13:17; Zec.3:1, but as an expression of the very essence of the divine personality, through which the salvation of men would be gained. For the angel explains the name: He shall save His people from their sins That, in a sentence, is the end and object of His coming, that alone is His errand and mission: He, and no other. He alone, and He completely, saves. He brings full pardon, free salvation, complete deliverance, not only from the pollution and power, but also from the guilt of sin. To His people He brings this priceless boon, not merely to the members of His nation according to the flesh, to the Jewish people, but to all that are in need of a Savior, Matt.18:11. This is the Gospel-message, not that Jesus makes allowances for sin, but that He has made atonement for it; not that He tolerates sin, but that He destroys it.
We learn and understand from this that this shall be His great business in the world: the great errand on which He is come. He is to make an atonement for, and to destroy sin. Our complete deliverance from all the power, guilt, and pollution of sin, is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. Less than this is not spoken of in the Gospel; and less than this would be unbecoming the Gospel. The perfection of the Gospel system is not that it makes allowances for sin, but that it makes an atonement for it: not that it tolerates sin, but that it destroys it. In Matthew 1:1, He is called Jesus Christ, on which Dr. Lightfoot properly remarks, “That the name of Jesus, so often added to the name of Christ in the New Testament, is not only that Christ might be thereby pointed out as the Savior, but also that Jesus might be pointed out as the true Christ or Messiah, against the unbelief of the Jews.” This observation will be of great use in numberless places of the New Testament. Acts 2:36; 8:35; 1 Cor.16:22; 1 John 2:22; 4:15, etc.
Let us remember that God has given this Name, given it in writing to be read, given it by preaching to be heard, given it Himself that it may never be forgotten, and that it may be above every name, given it among men, that men may read and hear it. Let us learn and repeat it, incorporate it with our prayers and our songs, and that it may become as familiar in our mouths as any household word, as the words mother and father.
Have a Very Merry Christmas