Jesus’ Identity and Mission

I love Jesus' two names in Matthew 1:21 and 1:23. Matthew tells us that Mary's son would be named “Jesus” and then almost immediately predicts that the baby would be named “Immanuel.”

So what's the baby's name? From our 21st-century perspective, this may seem like a simple answer, but a first reading of this passage can be a little bit confusing. Why call the child two names? A short answer is that God thought it was important to clearly articulate who the child was (His identity) and what the child came to do (His mission).

Identity – Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. (Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” [which means, God with us].)

Mission – Jesus Christ came to rescue His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”)

So, if you're looking for a way to articulate who Jesus is and what He came to do, there may be no better place to go.


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