As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we can quickly forget why He came. His life’s purpose is found in His name, Jesus. His name means “Yah saves” of “Yah’s salvation.” Yah is the shortened form of Yahweh, God’s name. Jesus literally means, God’s salvation. This is His purpose for coming. In verse 21 we have the first promise in the New Testament, a promise that declares the purpose for which Jesus was born.
In Greek the definite article “He” is used as opposed to implied by the verb. God is here indicating that the salvation that will be brought about by Jesus will be entirely His own doing. Salvation will not be accomplished by human effort or merit. It will be accomplished by Jesus alone.
The verb is in the future dense, but the tense here denotes a certainty as opposed to wishful thinking. The salvation Jesus will accomplish is a certainty. It will be brought about.
The Greek verb here comes from a phrase literally meaning “keep safe.” It is translated as “save” or “deliver.” It can mean “make whole” or “protect.” God is here telling us that there is a great danger that breaks and destroys; Jesus will deliver His people from this danger.
The Greek here can be translated as “His own.” It shows us that of all the people in the world there is a select group of people who Jesus will save. The world is divided between those who are the people of God and those who are not. Those Jesus saves are His special possession.
The Greek word translated as “people” here differs from the other Greek word for people. This is a far more general term whereas the other tends to refer to one’s own people or those bound together by a social construct. This means that the people that God will save come indiscriminately from the world’s population, literally people from every ethnic group, language, and nation.
The Greek preposition here comes from a word meaning “off.” It means a reversal, departure, separation, cessation, or completion. This shows us that the salvation Jesus brings is going to a complete reversal that separates us from that which was causing us danger. The danger will come to a complete cessation because of what Jesus will do.
The term “their” can accurately be translated as “their own.” This is indicating that Christ is not going to save us from the sin and actions of others. He is going to save us from that which is our own.
The term “sins” comes from a word meaning “to miss the mark.” It means everything from willful rebellion to simple mistakes. Jesus is going to deliver His people from the sins that are their own. Our problem is not hell; our problem is our sin. Jesus will deliver His people from their sins.
This is the purpose for which Jesus was born, to save His people from their sins. From this we must ask several questions:
Do you acknowledge your sin?
Do you see it as your own and not because of someone else?
Has their been a departure, a reversal, a cessation from sin in your life?
Based upon this are you one of Jesus’ people?
Are you resting in Jesus alone for your salvation?
Will you trust in Jesus today?