Terry R. Baughman
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20–21).
Through miraculous events Mary, a young virgin, was informed that she would have a child. Not just any child, but the Savior of the World, the long-awaited Messiah prophesied to come from antiquity. This was the sign declared by the Prophet Isaiah more than 600 years before, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Though it was difficult for Mary to understand, she agreed to be the chosen one, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Perhaps it was even more difficult for Joseph to understand and necessitated the visit by the angel to explain God’s plan. The angel confirmed that, “All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:22–23).
God came near, visiting a humble stable, the backdoor of Bethlehem. He came with purpose, fulfilling the prophecies and providing hope. The name He was given also identified His mission, “Yahweh saves!” The Apostle Peter stated, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Gabriel declared they should name Him, Jesus, “The Lord Saves,” because that is why He has come. Moses, the Psalmist, and Isaiah, all chorused, “The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation” (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 118:14; Isaiah 12:2). The Book of Isaiah expanded the prophecy, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:2–3).
God is with us to save us from our sins, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). John further revealed the purpose of God to bring salvation, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16–17). Because He loved us He gave of himself to save us from our sins.
The eternal purpose of God and the reason for the incarnation was to bring redemption for all of humanity. His plan made it possible that we might look to Him and believe. The message of the Gospel is life changing and life giving. Mark said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
The Savior is born and He is here to save, both now and for eternity. Be born again of the water and of the Spirit and receive His never-ending promise of everlasting life.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).