In Bible times, names held significant meaning, and often even carried prophetic weight. Examples: Samuel, meaning “heard by God” (1 Samuel 1:20), Jabez, “He will cause pain” because of difficult childbirth (1 Chronicles 4:9-10), Benjamin, “Son of my sorrow” as mother died following delivery (Genesis 35:18), and Simon Peter, Cephas “A Stone” (John 1:42).
Why did Gabriel direct Mary and Joseph to name the Christ child Jesus? His name means salvation. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21 NKJ).” To know Jesus is to experience salvation. When we accept the gift of salvation, we personally know Jesus. Salvation and Jesus are inseparable.
At the time of Jesus birth, a godly man looked expectantly for the coming Messiah. The Holy Spirit impressed on him a message of hope; he would see that fulfilled before he died. (Luke 2:25-26) He stood close by as Joseph and Mary brought Jesus into the Temple. He rejoiced and gave great praise. God allowed him to see salvation and even hold salvation. “he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel (Luke 2:28-32 NKJ).” Jesus saves lost weary souls.