How We Become Known to God

Circumcision and Name of Jesus Saturday

Luke 2:21

“And after eight days, when the child was circumcised, his name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Good God, what an abundantly rich and mighty thing faith is! It turns man into a god for whom nothing is impossible, as Christ says in Mark 9:23: “Can you believe? All things are possible for the one who believes.” This is also why Psalm 82:6 says: “You are all gods and children of the Most High.” His name is justly called Jesus today which in English is “Savior.” For we call a savior someone who helps, redeems and saves; someone who is completely beneficial for everyone. Such a person the Hebrew language calls “Jesus” or “Joshua.” This is also what the angel Gabriel said to Joseph while he was asleep, Matthew 1:21: “She will give birth to a son; you are to call him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” There the angel himself interprets why he is called Savior, Jesus, namely, because he is salvation and blessedness for his people. We have now heard how this takes place by faith: Christ gives to faith all his rightful claims and titles that he has over sin, death, and the law, making faith righteous, free, and saved. Now, just as circumcision signifies our faith, so the naming of the children signifies that we receive a name and become known to God by faith. For all those who do not know God are not known to him, as Psalm 1:6 say: “God knows the paths of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” And in  Matthew 25:12, he says: “Truly, I say to you: I do not know you.” For what is our name? Without a
doubt, just as Christ gives us all that he has, he also gives us his name. This is why we are all called Christians from him; we are all called God’s children from him; we are all called Jesus from him; we are all called saviors from him. And as he is called, so we too are called, as St.Paul writes in Romans 8:24: “You were saved in hope;” for you are Jesus or saviors.
See, this is why there is no limit for the Christian estate and honor. The overflowing riches of his goodness he pours out over us cause our heart to become free, joyous, peaceful, and unafraid, so that it may keep the law willingly and merrily. Amen.

St. Louis ed., 11:293-295.

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