Message of the Day: Jesus Came to Save Us from Our Sins
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, NKJV)
Matthew tells the nativity story from the standpoint of Joseph. Mary conceives Jesus by the Holy Spirit during her engagement to Joseph. In Jewish culture of the time, engagement was so binding that people called the engaged couple husband and wife, only divorce or death could break, and in case of death the survivor became a widow or widower. So on learning of Mary’s pregnancy upon her return from the home of Elizabeth, Joseph resolves to divorce her privately. It must have filled him with perplexity as to what he should do. But he was a good man, and because of a message from an angel of the Lord he married her instead. He wanted to protect Mary from what he supposed would be public disgrace. And to avoid scandal, he still had to keep the family secret, for nobody would have believed Mary’s story.
As a result and because of Joseph’s descent from David, Jesus is born into Davidic family and considered legally qualified to inherit David’s throne. Joseph’s naming Jesus indicates an acceptance of Jesus as his legal son. The name Jesus (Aramaic Ye-shua, Greek Iesous) means “God is salvation” or “The Lord saves” in Hebrew.
Parents often intended the names they gave children to have some meaning, but if God gave the name, it had special significance. The Old Testament taught that God’s people would be saved in the time of the Messiah (Jer. 23:5-6), and Jewish readers in the first century would have understood this salvation to mean more than just personal forgiveness. They prayed for the day when God would deliver his people from the consequences of their sins – from subjugation beneath their enemies; many believed that this deliverance would occur when their people as a whole reformed and turned wholeheartedly to God.
Jesus came to deliver his people from personal sin and thus to deliver them from its judgment as well.
Gundry, Robert H. A Survey of the New Testament. Third Edition. Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature, 2002.
Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.
Olive Tree Bible Software, 1998-2020.
Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.
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