Why call the Incarnate Logos Jesus?

In this homily, given on the Sunday before the Nativity in 2017, Fr. Anthony explains why Jesus (i.e. Joshua) is the name the Angel of Great Counsel gives for the Incarnate Christ.  Enjoy the show!

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Sunday before Nativity
Homily on the name of Jesus

“They named Him Jesus because He would deliver his people from their sins.”

Jesus = Joshua

Who was Joshua? Why did the Angel of the Lord tell them to use THAT name?

  • Leader of God’s chosen people with and then after Moses
  • Look at the situation of God’s people back at the time of Joshua (the original Jesus)
  • In the long distant past, there had been a covenant with God and He had made them a promise
  • Obscured by centuries of slavery in Egypt (!) under pagan gods with power
  • God sent Moses to them; he reminded them who they were (God’s!)
    • Overpowered the Egyptians and their gods with supernatural power
    • They were finally free, God was both powerful and active, they were His chosen people, and they were heading towards a home where everything would be awesome
    • Because of their disobedience towards God, neither Moses nor that generation that he was leading were worthy to enter into the Holy Land. Since Moses could not lead them, God ordained his assistant Joshua to do it.
    • Joshua was the one that defeated the enemies of God – with God’s supernatural power – and led the new generation into the promised land.
    • All these details about Joshua are important because they help us understand both why his name was chosen (!) and what Jesus’ mission was.
    • “They named Him Jesus because He would deliver his people from their sins.”
  • What was the situation at Jesus’ time? It was very similar to what it was like under Pharaoh.
    • But old prophecies gave them hope and led them to expect a Messiah to deliver them.
    • Jesus was to become the New Joshua – a deliverer. NOT TO CONQUER the holy land
    • To conquer the real enemy: sin and to give all the land over to all of God’s children
    • AND WE KNOW HOW HE DID IT!
  • What is our situation? It is tempting to compare it to the situation at the time of Pharaoh; or at the time of the pagan occupation of the Holy Land.
    • BUT WE NEED NOT WAIT FOR THE MESSIAH: HE IS HERE!
    • IF WE CHOSE TO LIVE AS SLAVES; IT IS OUR CHOICE – IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE REJECTED HIM
  • LET US NOW GIVE THANKS FOR THE DELIVERER JESUS
    • WHO LIVES WITHIN THE HEART OF EVERY BELIEVER
    • WHO COMES IN THE MIDST OF ALL WHO GATHER IN HIS NAME
    • WHO DELIVERS US FROM THE DEATH OF SIN INTO THE PROMISED LAND OF OUR INHERITENCE. LET US PRAISE AND ACCEPT HIS SUPERNATURAL GRACE AND POWER NOW IN THE HOLY LITURGY.

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