Q. Why is the Son of God called “Jesus,”
meaning “savior”? a
A. Because he saves us from our sins, and because salvation should not be sought and cannot be found in anyone else.
We sometimes can overlook the particular meaning of these titles for our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. But they are all intentional in the Scripture. They describe a particular function in the messianic work of Jesus. This expectation we undergo during this Advent Season provides us with reasons for meditating on the nature of our Lord. And in this catechism question, we see that the very definition of the name that is above every name, Jesus, means “savior.”
This Savior accomplishes two activities: First, he saves us from our sins. Part of the Advent expectation is an expectation of salvation from sin. Our natures are marred by the fall, and the Savior transforms our natures by uniting us to Himself. Jesus means deliverance from past sins, current sins, and future sins. But secondly, to expect Jesus, the Savior, means that we long for no other messiah, but Christ alone. We dare not seek other gods. We dare not doubt the salvation of Jesus. He is our only hope.
On this morning, we pray as the songwriter taught us:
Savior of the nations come, Virgin’s Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heav’n and earth, That the Lord chose such a birth.
- Heidelberg Catechism, #29 (back)