Did you know that one of the most common names for Jewish boys in Jesus’ time was Jesus? I’m not making that up. Check out this passage: “Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’” (Matthew 27:17). Or this one: “Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings” (Colossians 4:11). No wonder they called our Savior—Jesus of Nazareth. There were a lot of Jesuses running around!
But that man with the ordinary name would do extraordinary things. Jesus of Nazareth lived for us, died for us, bled for us, and substituted himself for us so that anyone who believes in him, any ordinary sinner, could have eternal life—a place in the presence of God, a life where spiritual happiness wouldn’t be interrupted by tragedy or loss. Through faith, we spend every moment of our entire lives with the God of all creation at our side! Extraordinary, isn’t it?
We are relatively ordinary people. We have names that dozens of others in our towns share. We do work that could be duplicated by millions of other people. We live in homes that, perhaps, others lived in before and still others will live in after we are gone. Yet there is something extraordinary about us. We have God. God with us, for us, and working through us.
All because that guy with the ordinary name offered us extraordinary grace.