And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
What’s in a name? Most couples preparing for a birth spend a lot of time reviewing and deciding on a name. Naming a child is a special privilege and responsibility.
When God the Father sent His Son into the world, He chose His name. Mary and Joseph did not have the freedom to give the child any name they desired. As the angel of the Lord described to Joseph the miraculous nature of Mary’s pregnancy, he gave Joseph this divine mandate, “… and you are to name Him Jesus …”
Why did God give this name to His Son? The name “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means, “The Lord saves.” Following Moses’ death, it was Joshua who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. He guided them from a life of wilderness wandering into the occupation of God’s promised possession. Through Joshua, the Lord saved His people from wasting their lives and missing their potential.
While the primary ministry of Jesus is to save us from our sins, He saves us from ourselves as well. Left to ourselves we end up wasting our potential on things that have little or no eternal value. When Jesus comes into our lives He prepares and empowers us to enter into the Promised Land He has planned for us.
As you celebrate this Christmas, pause and give thanks to the Lord for saving you—from your sins and yourself. Thank Him for preparing you to possess your Promised Land.
Lord, how grateful we are for your name. Thank you for caring for us so tenderly and completely. Thank you for saving us from our sins and ourselves. Thank you for preventing us from wasting our potential. Thank you for empowering us to invest in things that really matter. Thank you for leading us into our Promised Land. In Jesus’ name, Amen.