What Does Matthew 1:21 Mean?

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Matthew 1:21(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Christ is born in Bethlehem, is the line of a much-loved carol, but those words are pregnant with meaning, for the birth of this baby was for a divine purpose and to fulfil prophecy. Christ was born as part of God's eternal plan for man. The birth of Jesus shows Him to be both true deity and fully man. It was this point in time when God the eternal Son, became Jesus the perfect Man, Who took upon Himself a human nature. From eternity past, He was fully God but at His incarnation, He also became fully human.

When the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ was united with the divine nature of God the Son, He became Jesus, the God-Man. This is the hypostatic union of the human personage of Jesus Christ with the divine Person of God the Son. The mystery of all mysteries took place at the virgin conception of Christ and His birth at Bethlehem, when divinity and humanity united into the Person of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus was born to save His people from their sins and Joseph, the carpenter from Nazareth, was given the divine office and responsibility of becoming the earthly, adoptive father to God's only begotten, heavenly Son. And he was further instructed to give this anointed Son of God the name of Jesus, which is the name above all names. A name which means God is my Salvation, Jehovah is Salvation. And He is my Saviour and yours.

It must have been such an amazing and joyful revelation to Joseph, who up to this time had been grieving that the girl he loved so dearly and had desired to become His wife, had been unfaithful to him. NO! She was still the chaste virgin he loved, but instead, it was revealed to him that the child she was carrying would be the divinely conceived, Son of the highest. He would be a little boy, Whose name was to be Jesus, and He was to save His people Israel, from their sins. Indeed, He was to be a light for the Gentiles and Saviour to the whole human race.

What an incredible privilege was given to this righteous young man, who became the adoptive father to the Son of God. He was chosen by God to take responsibility for the upbringing and training of the Messiah of Israel. He was to bestow legitimacy, legality and lineage upon the Son that had been conceived in the womb of Mary, by the Holy Ghost, for like his betrothed wife, Joseph also was of the house and lineage of King David. And the Son who was to be born into his family was to be great David's greater Son.

Joseph was told by the angel that the virgin, who was betrothed as his wife, "will bear a Son. And you, Joseph, YOU shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." For centuries Jewish people had been looking for their promised Messiah. Everyone knew that a virgin would conceive and bear a son and to his astonishment, Joseph discovered that Mary was the one through whom the Messiah would be born.

Joseph was instructed to call His name JESUS, which means THE SALVATION of GOD. He came to bring salvation from sin as promised in Old Testament Scriptures. He came to save us from the PENALTY of sin (at salvation) the POWER of sin (through the process of sanctification), and the PRESENCE of sin (when we are with Him in glory).

The Lord suddenly appeared to this man in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit." Joseph, as the head of his family, was instructed to call this Child JESUS, God's Salvation, the name that is above every other name, for there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.

The hope of the world was born into the family of Joseph, the humble carpenter. It was through the Child, that Joseph would care for, that our Salvation was accomplished, through the death of Jesus, Who redeemed us from our sins and transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His glorious light.

But our salvation means so much, for it embraces the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies us and conforms us into the image of Jesus. It covers the Spirit's enabling power to overcome the world, the flesh and spiritual wickedness in high places, which are the wiles of the enemy against the Lord most High.

It guides us in the darkness and is a defence in danger. It sustains the fainting heart and overcomes the power of death. It bestows eternal life and exalts us to sit in heavenly places. It lifts us up out of the miry clay and sets our feet forever on Jesus, Who is the Rock of our Salvation. And 2000 years ago, a young man called Joseph the carpenter, was entrusted with the earthly parentage of Jesus, sent by God to save His people from their sins.

My Prayer

Thank You, Father, for the gift of Your Son and the unfolding of Your eternal plan of salvation. Your perfect plan started as a tiny seed in the woman, travelling through time until He was born as a little baby in Bethlehem, and given the wonderful name of Jesus by His earthy guardian. He truly is my salvation. Thank You for His life, His example and His redeeming work on Calvary’s cross. May the name of Jesus be lifted high today. In His name I pray, AMEN.

Choose a Verse from Matthew 1