And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.
Name of Jesus a watch word for New Year. An excellent and precious treasure; a treasure-house, full of all help, guidance, and comfort.
1. To prodigals, unconverted, ungodly (Acts 4:12; Acts 3:16).
2. To disciples — partakers of the righteousness of God in Him — full of fightings without and fears within, "the name of the Lord," &c. (Proverbs 18:10).
3. To Christian Church-workers (Colossians 3:17).
4. To the bereaved and afflicted, missing this year from the family and Church well-beloved names (Hebrews 13:8). Take this watchword in four different applications.
I. IN CHURCH LIFE. Perilous times, owing to sinful lives and divided interests of those belonging to the Church. Ship toiling through heaving waves, storm-tossed, timbers strained, sails rent; but look at her name, " Jesus," and know that she must crest every wave, and weather every storm, till the haven be reached. The name of Jesus teaches of holiness and unity; truly borne, it will rebuke sin and division; known in its saving power, it will make Christians holy in Him, and one in Him.
II. IN THE WORLD. We have to live in the world, unsympathizing, scoffing, persecuting. We must not tolerate or countenance sin. Go into the world with the name of Jesus in your heart, and let it not be tainted with evil; hallow the world's work by it, and let the world's habits and customs testify of it. As Columbus leaped to plant the banner of Spain upon the new-found world, plant on the unknown land of the New Year the Cross — seize the year for Jesus; carry His name everywhere; let everything bear its impress. The name of Jesus teaches of purity and resolution; truly known it will make the Christian in the world pure in heart, and resolved to stand his ground.
III. IN TIMES OF TROUBLE. That were a strange year which should bring us no trouble. As well might we look for a year of undimmed sunshine, without clouds or rain. There will be dark, dreary days, biting frosts, heavy storms and tempests and it is for our good in reaping the fruits of the earth that it is so. In like manner afflictions, trials, sicknesses, losses, disappointments, will come, and for our good, to the bringing forth of the peaceable fruits of righteousness. What does the Christian say to such prospects? He trusts in the name of Jesus and fears no evil, He knows in whom he has believed. The name of Jesus is his comfort and stay and peace. It teaches him resignation and unshaken trust.
IV. IN THE HOUR OF DEATH. This may come during the present year. The name of Jesus is the password to heaven. It teaches, in the moment when this world passes away, simple faith in His merits and mediation, by whom alone we can be saved. Other experiences may or may not be ours: death must be. How shall we meet it? Leaning on what rod or staff? The name of Jesus, and faith in His name, is the only sure refuge, and the only secure hope,
(Thos. H. Barnett.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.