By James Smith
"You are to name Him Jesus--because He will save His people from their sins!" Matthew 1:21
There is a savor and sweetness in all the names of Immanuel, but there is something peculiarly sweet, harmonious and precious in this of 'Jesus'. It conveys to our minds an idea of all we need--a Savior. Holy Spirit! lead me into its import, sweetness and glory. When Immanuel was coming to make his abode with us in our nature, the heavenly messenger informed his reputed father, that his name was to be called Jesus, importing that he came into the world having a definite people in his mind, a definite work in his hands, and a definite principle in his heart.
When He took the name of 'Jesus'--He had a definite PEOPLE in His mind! They are called "His people." He had a peculiar interest in them, right to them, and concern for them. They were given him as a pledge of his Father's love, to be his associates, joy, and delight, his crown and special glory. They were sunk in sin and wretchedness, under the condemnation of the law, and were the captives of the prince of darkness! They were sheep--but lost sheep! They were jewels--but jewels in a heap of rubbish! They were his bride--but in a state of adultery! He had the eye of his omniscience watching them, the love of His heart pursuing them, and the arm of his omnipotence protecting them. His eye was upon them when in heaven in his Father's bosom, and his eye was upon them when enclosed in Mary's womb; his eye ever was and ever will be on them from the beginning to the end of time. He is called Jesus, for his eye was upon his people, to save and to bring them safely to glory!
When He took the name of 'Jesus'--He had a WORK in His hand! It was a work for his Father, and a work for them. He had the law to fulfill, justice to satisfy, sin to remove, heaven to open, Satan to spoil, death to destroy, the grave to perfume, a gospel to make, a people to father, ambassadors to appoint, and to bring down the Spirit into the Church, to fit and prepare it for glory. "Behold, the Lord God will come: behold his reward is with him, and his work before him."
This work he undertook to accomplish, nor did he fail, nor was he discouraged until it was completed. He brought all the powers of his divinity, with all the adaptation of his humanity to the work, and proceeded to perform it until in triumph he exclaimed, "It is finished!"
How glorious did Jesus appear then, to angels and the spirits of the just made perfect! How glorious does Jesus appear now, when by faith we view him as having conquered all, fulfilled all, and procured all! Precious Redeemer, my soul would bless you, and I would summon all my powers to praise you, for the work, the glorious work, you have accomplished in my nature, for your church, for my soul!
But when Immanuel assumed the name "Jesus," it is evident that there was some powerful principle in his heart. And what was that working principle, which brought him from heaven--to earth, from glory--into contempt, from unutterable bliss--into inconceivable sorrow?
It was LOVE! Love, the ruling attribute of his nature, the prominent feature of his character, the rule of his conduct towards his people. It was love which eternally existed in his bosom, fanned his heart, and directed his ways. Love which sat regent on the throne when he accepted our persons, undertook our cause, and engaged to bring us to glory; love which is not only as ancient as eternity--but as changeless as the nature of Jehovah; love which is omnipotent in its working, wise in its operations, and determined to fulfill its designs; love which passes knowledge.
It is a foundation of happiness, a river of pleasure, an ocean of delight. It was this sacred principle that led Jesus to our world, conducted him through all the stages of his work, and triumphed in his death over all its opposers.
Never think that it was merely human misery, or the doleful cries of suffering mortals--which brought Jesus to our world; for if these would move him, assuredly He would empty Hell itself!
It was not human misery--but divine love!
It was not man's cries--but his own glory, which brought Jehovah Jesus into suffering circumstances and a miserable condition. O the love! the depth of the love of Jesus!
His name then is Jesus--because He loves and saves all of His people! He is the Savior, the Only one. There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved; neither is there salvation in any other. He is exclusively, "the Savior." He is an all-sufficient Savior, able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
Reader! do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you felt the constraining power of his love, the cleansing efficacy of his blood, the peaceable effects of his righteousness, applied? Have you ventured on him? If so, you have renounced all beside; all your own works, feelings and endeavors. You have left the land, trusting to this life-boat alone. You have said by your conduct, if not with your lips, "Sink or swim with Jesus." But if you have not renounced all for him, if you have not ventured on him, if you are not found relying simply and alone on him, Christ shall profit you nothing. It must be man's work entirely, or Jesus Christ's alone, the two never will unite. As well have nothing to do with Christ, if not building alone on Christ, as well have all to do with works, if you have anything to do with works in the matter of salvation. He shall save. And now, my soul, turn in upon yourself, and ask, Am I looking to Jesus, venturing on Jesus, and trusting in Jesus alone? Is it Christ, and Christ alone? Am I seeking to be pardoned through him, justified in him, and kept by him? If so, then am I blessed, blessed of the Lord who made heaven and earth; and in life I may rest assured, that my God will supply all my need, according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ; and in death I may say, by way of soliloquy, for my comfort