When Joseph was given the message that Mary was pregnant, the angel told him to name the child Jesus. Now Bible names were not uncommon, (Miriam and Joseph are two such examples) but the name Jesus came with an additional bit of information. That name was chosen because “he will save his people from their sins.”

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:7-9

Jesus is the English version of the Greek version of Joshua as it is written in the New Testament. This name was significant, not only because Joshua was a great leader but because he was the first leader to take the people from wandering into the Promised Land. Jesus, too was bringing the people from the wandering of sin to the salvation which his church enjoys, where peace with God was secured once for all.

Unlike the original Joshua who committed ordinary human mistakes and sins, Jesus was a leader without fault, whose wisdom in expounding the Scriptures astonished even his enemies. He fulfilled God’s charge to the original Joshua more fully, keeping all the words of the Law and meditating on it day and night.

Now that we have followed him from Wandering to the Promised Land, let us also follow His example and keep the Word in our hearts.

Ethan Kirl