Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus. God had a message for Joseph before Jesus was born. God delivered that message to Joseph in a dream by an angel. This part of the Christmas story is recorded in Matthew chapter one, verses 18-25. Please note specifically verses 20 and 21:
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 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.”
God’s message to Joseph can be divided into five main points:
1. Do not be afraid…
2. Take Mary home as your wife; or simply, marry the girl!
3. Mary will give birth to a son…
4. You are going to be this boy’s earthly father…
5. Name your son “Jesus”...
Let’s focus on this last point: Joseph, you are to give your son the name Jesus. Why? Because he will save his people from their sins!
Yes, the person Jesus, and his given name “Jesus” are the most important parts of the God’s message to Joseph. The word “Jesus” is the Greek form of the word Joshua, which means “the Lord saves.” Thus we clearly see the connection of name, and the meaning of the name that Matthew writes about in verse 21: “Joseph, give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
For practical reasons let’s pose this question: Why do we pray in the name of Jesus? Why do we conclude our prayers with these familiar words: “we ask all of these things in the name of Jesus, Amen?” We pray in the name of Jesus because of specific guidelines that are set forth in scripture. Consider these scripture passages that reference the name of Jesus:
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
We pray in the name of Jesus because salvation comes from the person of Jesus, no one else.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
We pray in the name of Jesus because there is healing power and promised faith in the person of Jesus.
Therefore God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and under the earth,
and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
We pray in the name of Jesus because one day every human being is going to bow before him in total submission. How are your knees? Are you ready to get on your knees as you bow before Jesus?
… Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one.
While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost…
We pray in the name of Jesus because there is protection in the powerful name of Jesus.
…you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
We pray in the name of Jesus; we ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus because only One Person has paid the penalty for our sins. Human beings continue to have a sin problem. This sin problem is only solved and eliminated through belief and faith in the person and work of Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the one true God. This is why we pray in the name of Jesus.
So what did Joseph do when he woke up from his dream? As recorded by the gospel writer Matthew we clearly see what happened.
As you pray in the name of Jesus this Christmas season please remember to let the full impact of this name invade every part of your soul and being. Jesus is the only reason for this season.