And You Shall Call His Name Jesus
Posted under The Rectory Bulletin
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
There is a divine insistence that Jesus is to be called ‘Jesus’. Not for him some beloved name from the family of Joesph or Mary, but rather the instruction is given from on high. His name is to be be Jesus, because “he will save his people from their sins”. In some way his name is connected with his purpose, his task.
This of course begs a question from the curious of mind: “why”? What is so special about that name.
In once sense, it is not special at all. Jesus is simply the Greek form of Joshua. It is a common name, and it can be traced all the way back to Joshua the right hand man of Moses. Joshua the conqueror of Canaan.
So the name has links to someone who led his people to freedom. But what about this business of saving from sins?
Well, Hebrew names are often little phrases and ‘Joshua’ is the same - it means “God Saves”. But here is the curious thing: have a look at that verse again with the meaning of “Jesus” in mind. It reads “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name ‘God Saves’, for he will save his people from their sins”.
Did you see it?! Jesus will save his people from their sins, because ‘God saves’. Even before he is born, Jesus is equated with God.