The Name Of Jesus Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

1. At the beginning of history, names must be invented; in the course of ages, they become hereditary. The Baptist was about to be called Zacharias, for that was his father's name. But in early times the Hebrews made names for their children. The name was often a memorial of some circumstance connected with the birth, or descriptive of the child's appearance, or expressive of the hopes entertained of him. In this last case, the name might turn out to be most inappropriate, and become a sad record of blighted expectations. The first child born into the world was called by a name which betokened the fond hope of his mother that he would prove a treasure to her; but the infamy of his evil life bitterly put to flight that bright dream. Our eyes are dim; we cannot see through the mist of the future, and foretell what our children shall be in after years. We may bestow on them beautiful names, but, to use the striking comparison of Solomon, this fine name may be as a “jewel of gold in a swine's snout,” the symbol of qualities of which they are wholly destitute.

2. Had it been left to human wisdom to invent a name for the Child of the Virgin, we can hardly form a guess of what the result would have been. Not a little friendly discussion is sometimes excited by the difficulty of fixing on a name. But this case was peculiar. Here was a Child unlike any that had ever been born of woman. How perplexing it would have been to find a name sufficiently expressive and obviously appropriate. But the point was settled by God Himself. The right to determine the name of the child belongs to the parent; and how infinitely competent in this case was the Father to give His Son the most suitable name. None knew the Son but the Father, and His decision must be accepted, not only as final, but as the best that could have been come to. The name selected was beautifully simple. A child may be taught to lisp it, and the dullest memory can retain it. Divine greatness is unostentatious. The simplest word in our language is “God,” and the next to it is “Jesus.”
If thou wilt be well with God, and have grace to rule thy life aright; and come to the joy of love: this name Jesus fasten it so fast in thy heart that it never come out of thy thought. And when thou speakest to Him, and sayest “Jesus” through custom, it shall be in thine ears joy, in thy mouth honey, in thy heart melody.

to be continued

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James Hastings' Great Texts Of The Bible -  This commentary (or collection?) contains unique, expository articles on "The Great" texts of the Bible. Filled with analogies, history, sermons, anecdotes, interpretations, and perspectives, this resource focuses on epic Bible texts that leap from your Bible's pages. While not a devotional work, devotional undertones do run throughout this resource.

One modern pastor reflects, "I’ll sometimes be stuck on some passage and wander over to this Hastings guy to see if it was a text that he thought was “great”. If it was, I read him, and I never leave his feet disappointed."