Matthew 1:21 – December 20, 2018

She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 NABRE     

The section of the gospel of Matthew that includes the quoted verse is from the point of view of Joseph, who discovered Mary is pregnant and plans to divorce her quietly, so as not to disgrace her. But in a dream an angel appears to Joseph telling him not to be afraid to take Mary his wife into his home. For it is through the holy Spirit that the child has been conceived. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save people from their sins. Joseph did as the angel commanded and took his wife into his home. As Mary was betrothed to Joseph, the first step in a two-step marriage process, they were considered legally married. For the first year she remained living with her parents, then Mary would move in with Joseph, the second step, the marriage would be consummated. It was during this first step that Mary became pregnant. Joseph by naming the child is declaring that it is his son and He has all Joseph’s hereditary rights, including Joseph’s royal Davidic descent. The name Jesus is derived from Joshua, meaning “Yahweh is salvation.” But the angel declares Jesus Himself is the one to bring salvation. The expectation is salvation will be from political oppression but God is sending one to save from something more, sin.

These early stories of Jesus birth do much to make a tie to the old covenant predictions of the Messiah. The people expected a Messiah, although Jesus was something of a surprise. They expected a powerful militaristic leader and Jesus is a humble unassuming healer. Many missed the first coming of their Messiah, we know Jesus is coming, are we ready for Him?

God dwelling among us, asks for our help, will you? What is Christmas to you?

Many missed the first coming of their Messiah, we know Jesus is coming, are we ready for Him? Click To Tweet

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