February 04, 2015

JESUS: “The Lord Saves”

Matthew 1:18-25

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

—  Matthew 1:21

Do you know the meaning of your name? My name Kurt derives from the German name Konrad, which means "brave counsel; bold advice." I'm not sure, though, if my parents were thinking that name would describe me later in life!

Jesus, however, was named for what he would do for God's people. The Greek name Jesus is a translation of the Hebrew name Joshua, which can mean "the Lord is salvation," "the Lord saves," or "the Lord is my help." (The Lord also refers to God's special covenant name Yahweh, meaning "I am Who I am," signifying that God keeps his promises.)

Joseph and Mary named their son Jesus not because they had some inkling of who he would become, but because they were instructed to give him this name. Speaking on behalf of Yahweh himself, the angel of the Lord told Joseph that the child conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit and was to be named Jesus, because he would "save his people from their sins."

This name Jesus was not only a fine sounding name but also a revelation of who he was and is. Let the name Jesus resonate in your heart today, and remember God's faithfulness. How would you describe the ways God has worked in your life?

O Jesus, your name and your life proclaim that “the Lord saves”! Thank you for your redeeming, transforming love, and help us to bring that love into the world today. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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