What’s in a name?

“You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21

Mission Statements are vital for companies. Unless a company has a clear objective, a reason for being, then how will they know whether they are being successful? (Unless their goal is merely to make profit, but then, that’s still a Mission Statement, even if not very attractive to the outside world.) For example, The Walt Disney Company seeks to ‘be one the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.’ How are they doing?

Jesus had a Mission Statement. He couldn’t go one day without hearing it. Embedded in his name was the reason he had come to this earth, having left the glories of heaven. ‘He will save his people from their sins.’

This is nothing new to most of us. We know his mission well. We enjoy the benefits of it each day, singing about it regularly, mentioning it in our prayers, telling others of the opportunity they have to be one of his people and be saved. But how often do words like these spark in us wonder and joy, as they filled the heart of Joseph when he heard these words from the angel?

This announcement, made to a nobody, betrothed to a nobody, was what humanity had been longing to hear since God first gave that promise all those ages ago, in a garden we can no longer enter. ‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel’ (Gen 3:15).

Heroes had come and gone, but always failed. No one had lived up to the hope that Genesis 3:15 gave. Where was our champion? Praise God, he’s finally come.