By Bishop Rolston S.M. Jeffrey
“O How I love Jesus” (Matt. 1:18-25).
Names do not mean much to people today. They pick out names for their children for many reasons and some of these can be really weird.
In Bible times, things were different. Names were given for a reason. They meant something and people often lived up to their names. Example, Jacob – trickster; David – beloved; Abraham – father of a multitude; Moses – drawn out.
In vr. 21, the angel commanded Joseph to name the baby “Jesus.” Why? That name would describe in detail the entirety of what Jesus was coming to do.
The name Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation.” It was a very common name in that society. He may have had a common name, but He was no ordinary baby. His birth was normal, but His conception was anything but normal (Luke 1:26-38). Jesus was a real human baby, but He was also God in the flesh (John 1:1-14).
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God came to earth to live amongst men (Phil. 2:5-8). The implication of this is that the Creator became the dependent creature! When we speak of the Jesus of the Bible, we are referring to God in the flesh.
His name means ‘Jehovah is salvation.” The word salvation tells us what Jesus came into the world to accomplish. He came to save His people from their sin (vr. 21). The word save means “to keep safe and sound and to rescue from danger and destruction.” How would Jesus accomplish this? He tells us in His own words; Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:8; John 8:37; Isa. 53:4-6; Psalm 22:1; 12-18). Even our Lord’s mission statement in Luke 19:10 reveals in His intentions.
In spite of all that He did when He was here, his primary purpose in coming in this world was that He could die for His people.
The name Jesus is our Lord’s human name. He is given many names in the Bible, but the name Jesus identifies Him with the very people He came to save (Phil. 2:5-8). He was still God, yet He was a man too. Imagine this, the Lord of glory came into this world. He came not as a king, but as humble servant. He was not born into a palace, but into a manger. Jesus understood poverty (Matt. 8:20); weariness (John 4:6; Matt.8:24); rejection (John 1:11; 19:10); loneliness (John 6:15; Matt. 26:29); hunger (Matt. 4:2); temptation (Matt. 4:11); and the rest of the trials of human conditions.
He endured all that He did so that He might identify himself with us, understand us and be able to comfort us in our trials (Heb. 4:15-16).
Of all the babies who were born the same year as Jesus, He stands alone. He grew up to be the Savior of the world and He alone can save a lost soul (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Mankind has fallen into a deep pit of sin and as he lies there perishing, only Jesus can get him out (Psalms 40:1-3). He, Jesus, is the only One who can save a sin –sick soul.
In that Name of Jesus, you can see and hear His Incarnation, Humiliation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Glorification and Salvation. There is still something about His Name.
During this time as we celebrate, it should be a period of reflection and sobriety as to whether or not we know and have experienced the man called Jesus and what He came into this world to do. He alone still has the answer for this sin cursed and corrupt world.
I wish all a Blessed Christmas and the peace of Jehovah which surpasses all understanding.