“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
— Matthew 1:21
Many people are given exalted names but never live up to them. Charles Spurgeon tells about wandering in a cemetery and seeing a headstone inscribed with these words: “Sacred to the memory of Methuselah Coney. Age, six months.” (Recall that the Biblical Methuselah lived more than nine hundred years.)
The most important name the world has ever heard is the name of Jesus, and Jesus lived up to everything that name foretold. To make sure Mary and Joseph named Jesus properly, God sent angelic messengers to proclaim what His name should be and why. “Jesus” means “Jehovah saves,” and Jesus saved all of us from sin. The Bible has many other names for Jesus, but “Jesus” was His personal name, the name we call Him as our friend, the name that celebrates Him as our Savior.
Of course, we’ve Anglicized Jesus’ name. In His Hebrew home, people would have called Jesus “Joshua.” That name, common in that time and in ours, celebrates the memory of Joshua, one of the great heroes of Israel. Joshua led God’s people into the Promised Land of Canaan and fought to drive out all the Israelites’ enemies. During his lifetime, Joshua kept God’s people in line so that they walked with the Lord.
Joshua lived up to his name. He saved God’s people from earthly enemies and led them to the Promised Land. Jesus lived up to His name by doing something even greater—saving His people from eternal foes and delivering them into an eternal promised land.
As you go about your business today, honor the name of Jesus. Each time His name comes to mind, dwell on the fact that He has lived up to the promise of His name by saving you from sin and death for eternity.