His Name is Jesus

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His Name is Jesus
Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Occasion: Christmas
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Salvation, Trials
Author: Jeff Mammen


Jesus means God saves and in the hardest times that's just what God does.

How to Get There

  • Most of us have stopped believing in Santa Claus
  • But sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that God is like Santa Claus, just waiting to give us our requests, watching over us and keeping a tally of what we do right and wrong.
  • We need to realize that God is not Santa. At some point we reach some trial and realize that our Santa God can't deal with what we're experiencing. It's then we choose whether we want to dismiss God because God is not Santa, or whether we want to step forward and learn how much bigger God is than Santa.
  • Joseph had everything going for him. He had done everything right in life and was about to get married to a great woman. Then everything seemed to collapse, thanks to God.
  • But Joseph did not think about himself, he instead tried to protect her and quietly was ready to put her aside even though she apparently betrayed him.
  • And when Joseph had a dream he immediately yielded to God's plan.
  • What is it in Joseph that lets him go from shattered dreams to following God so easily?
  • It's all in the name of Jesus. Jesus means “God saves.” It sums up what Jesus is all about.
  • We need a savior. From the first fall God has come looking for his missing children.
  • When Joseph heard Jesus' name in the dream, he knew that what God was doing was bigger than he ever dreamed of.
  • Joseph can move on from shattered dreams because he recognized that he needed a savior and forgiver as well. Jesus was his Lord as well.
  • Joseph was in a really bad spot, but God said that his son could save, and Joseph let God work, let Jesus save.
  • In our lives we might be experiencing trouble too, but Jesus still says that God saves. We don't need Santa, we need a new dream and new life from our savior.

Things to Watch For

This goes a bit beyond the text in implying Joseph's state of mind before the angel came, but stays well within the scope of plausibility and does not draw any unique theology from those conjectures. It simply attempts to make Joseph more personable and believable for people today.

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