“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
“There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” from the song “Break Every Chain” By: Will Regan, United Pursuit
- Feeling fatigued? Open up your Bible and notebook. Before you sit down, do 10 jumping jacks. You’ve pumped your heart, now pump your soul!
- Read Matthew 1:18-25. Write verse 21 in your journal. Highlight the word “save.” Make it stand out with asterisks, stars, or fireworks. It’s an important word!
The Name of Jesus
Christmas season has officially ended. Reflections on “The Best of the Year” have begun. The radio has replaced around-the-clock Christmas music with the annual countdown of the year’s most popular songs. Which song will be #1 on the chart? Christmas trees litter our curbsides; holiday decorations now cost less than half of their original price. You may be trying to decide whether to go out for New Year’s Eve or to just stay home. How can we keep the message of Christmas in our hearts as we prepare for the new year? Let’s go back to the beginning of the Christmas story to find inspiration for the new year. Today, we will reflect on Jesus’ father, Joseph.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18-20)
As I read this historical account from Joseph’s perspective, I am curious as to what he was thinking. He was put in a very difficult situation, not of his own making. In fact, he was an upright, godly man being asked to husband a pregnant woman carrying a child he knew wasn’t his. By faith, he trusted the Lord’s messenger and married his betrothed. I wonder if, at some point, Joseph said to himself, “This is not how I expected my life to turn out.” Why did God turn Joseph’s life upside down?
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)
The name of Jesus means “He saves.” I love the name of Jesus. It brings freedom! Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” His name brings ultimate, eternal deliverance from the wrath of God. I am certain that Joseph was grateful to be used of God in this way.
Many years ago, I was at a corporate worship night. It was one of those memories I’ll never forget. Everyone was in awe of God, our hearts stirred to worship as we sang praise. The presence of the Lord was so strong. I remember being so full of joy, so full of passion, so full of love for the Lord, that I freely shouted at the top of my lungs, “Jesus!” Nothing more needed to be said. His name alone proclaimed the core of my worship.
There have been other times when I just didn’t know what to say when my heart was overwhelmed with sorrow or I couldn’t put words to my emotions. The only word that could come out was “Jesus.” Just saying His name out loud brought great comfort.
Have you experienced or heard of Christians being spiritually oppressed? My friends described it as a great heaviness that weighed them down. They tried to pray, but the burden was too strong. Finally, with all they had within them, they cried out, “Jesus!” With this one word prayer, the burden lifted! The name of the Lord is so powerful that the enemy must leave.
Unfortunately for Israel, they rejected their Messiah, blind to the power of this beautiful name:
In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.” (Matthew 27:41-42 NASB)
Do you see the heartbreaking irony? They mocked Jesus, insulting His claims to save them. They rejected salvation from the very one whose name and human incarnation means, “He Saves.”
From what situation, false belief, or unexpected life change do you want Jesus to save you? Let God’s angel say to you, just as he said to Joseph, “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 1:20)!
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Do you feel lost in any way? In what area do you long to be saved? You can use the term “lost” and “saved” loosely. It could be that you feel lost in your daily to-do list, or you feel you don’t belong at church, thus feeling lost. Perhaps you want to be saved from a medical condition. Whatever the context, ask Jesus to save you.
Do you like to make New Year’s resolutions? This year, resolve to see how Jesus will save you in one area. Remember, you cannot save yourself. Only Jesus can save. So pray, wait, listen, watch, and then marvel. Pray to the Lord, asking Him to take care of this area. Wait for His timing. Listen to God. Read His Word. Watch to see how His answer is greater than your plan. Finally, marvel at how He saved you. Spend exactly one minute praising Jesus out loud, declaring the “I Am” names of Jesus listed below. For every name, say “Jesus, You are ______________ .” Speak slowly and methodically, as if chewing on every word.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
The 7 “I Am’s” in John:
- The Way
- The Truth
- The Life
- The Light of the World
- The Bread of Life
- The Vine
- The Gate
- The Resurrection and Life
- The Good Shepherd
Bible Resources provides a comprehensive list: www.bibleresources.org/names-of-jesus.
After you have practiced this form of worship on your own, try this with others. If your children can read, have them join you.