In a dream the angel spoke to Joseph about both Mary and her son. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
It’s hard to know which devotional slot to give Jesus since the whole story is about him. This seems like a good moment, since this is the first time his name is mentioned.
The name Jesus means “Savior.” It is the same as the Old Testament name Joshua which is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “to deliver or rescue.” It is a name which describes exactly what he will do: “save his people from their sins.”
Many names originated with occupations. “Smith” was the blacksmith who worked iron. “Cooper” made the barrels. “Carpenter” worked with wood. You call the people in your community with a word that described their work: Baker, Brewer, Potter, Fisher, Weaver, and Judge would be just a few good examples.
But how in the world can you save someone from their sins? How can you make it so that a person doesn’t have to suffer the consequences for their actions? I suppose you could suffer those consequences for them, sparing them from that experience. Which is exactly what Jesus does for each and every sin of every person.
For much of his life, I’m sure no one had a clue how Jesus would save his people from their sins. It wasn’t until much later, after the resurrection, that Jesus could give them that understanding. Until then, they would just have to take his name and his occupation by faith.
Thank you, Lord, for saving me from my sins. Amen.