Angels told both Mary and Joseph that Mary’s baby would be named Jesus. To Joseph, the angel added, He will save His people from their sins. (Mt. 1:21 NKJV)
Jesus means Savior. Today the name is immediately recognizable as the personal name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah or the Christ. It is the name of God’s son when He lived in a human body. But it wasn’t always so. When Jesus lived on earth, the name was common, a variation of the older Hebrew name Joshua.
Nevertheless, the name was important even then, because it identified Jesus’ primary ministry. For although Jesus did many wonderful things—He taught people, He performed miracles, and He demonstrated God’s love as He lived His daily life—His primary purpose was to redeem or to save people from sin. Other men of God had taught and performed miracles. Only Jesus had and has the power to save.
Originally published December 20, 1991.
8 years ago