From Genesis to Revelation, we find that a person's character and future are intimately connected with his or her name. In fact, throughout redemptive history, we find the Lord giving His servants new names that more fully reveal His purpose for their lives.
But when we survey the life of the most important servant of all time, the very Son of God, we see that His name did not need to be changed at any point. For God had determined His name from the beginning to inform the world of His ultimate purpose for the life of His Son.
Christ's name defines His mission to His people.
Read Matthew 1:18-25. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to tell him the name God had chosen for the child in Mary's womb. With a powerful statement of Christ's ultimate purpose, the angel said, ". . . you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (v. 21).
The definition of the name Jesus Christ is literally "God saves" or "He saves." Christ's name defines His mission to His people: to offer salvation from sin and peace with God. Jesus' name should mean everything to the Christian, for without it each one of us would be eternally lost.
Although it is clear what Christ was born to accomplish, the commercialization of Christmas continues every year. In the midst of this deluge of materialism and spiritual blindness, it's not uncommon to hear a non-believer complain about Christians making the season too much about religion. God knew that many would ignore the true message and mission of Jesus. This is why God the Father, over 2,000 years ago, made sure to declare Jesus' purpose and identity through His name, defining Christmas for all time.
This Christmas season, may we make it our goal to not let any good thing—food, family, or presents—distract us from the great redemptive reality that the Father has exalted Jesus, giving Him a name that is above every other name (see Philippians 2:9).
Prayer: Father, thank You for the mission of Jesus. When I reflect on His name, may I remember the joy of my salvation and the true meaning of Christmas. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"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).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon What's in a Name?: LISTEN NOW