But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Shakespeare may have asked “What’s in a name?” and quipped, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” However, nearly 1600 years before God had sent the angel of the LORD to answer that very question in a much different manner. God sent the angel to Joseph to ensure his son would be born with the name that he had decided. The name Jesus carries the meaning savior or deliverer, which is the very thing the angel reveals as the reasoning for God’s choice of that precious name. Jesus was going to save his people from their sins.
Do you hear the confidence and sureness in those words? “For he SHALL save his people.” There was no doubt or room for discussion. It had been determined that he would save his people and it would come to pass.
Notice not only the sureness, but notice the completeness of it. “He shall SAVE his people.” Wouldn’t it have been a sad thing if Christ death did not accomplish our salvation? If he had only made us saveable, but not actually saved. If our salvation was based not fully on the gracious work he completed, but also on our good works or attempts to hold on to it.
As frail humans, we would have never been able to save ourselves. But thanks be to God, his death didn’t make salvation just a possibility dependent on us, but he obtained our salvation for us. Like Jonah we can cry, “Salvation is of the Lord!”
O, What joy we should have that we have such a God and such a savior. God named Jesus after the purpose that he had for his son. Next time you hear his name, remember his purpose.