Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Verse 21

Matthew 1:21. She shall bring forth a son Hers, not thine, for he does not say to thee, Christ being απατωρ , without father, as man. And thou shalt call his name Jesus It belonged to Joseph, as being reputed his father, and the person under whose protection Christ was placed during his infancy, to give him his name. “Six men,” says Rabbi Eliezer, “have been named before they were born; viz., Isaac, Ishmael, Moses our lawgiver, Solomon, Josiah, and King Messiah.” To these we may add, Cyrus and John the Baptist: and observe, that those persons to whom a name has been given by God before their birth, have always been remarkable persons. The name Jesus, in Greek, answers to Joshua, or rather, Jehoshuah, in Hebrew, which signifies Jehovah shall save; for Jah, or Jehovah, enters into the composition of the name, as Bishop Pearson has largely and clearly shown in his most learned and instructive Exposition of the Creed, pp. 69-71. So that Christ’s being called Jesus, was in effect an accomplishment of the prophecy that he should be called Emmanuel. It was not without reason that the successor of Moses was called by this name; for, by subduing the Canaanites, and putting the tribes of Israel in possession of the promised land, he showed himself to be, under God, the Saviour of his people. But this name agrees much better to our Jesus, who both delivers his followers from much more dangerous enemies, and divides unto them a much more glorious inheritance. Thus, in the next clause, he shall save his people from their sins Joseph, by his people, could not understand any other than the Jewish nation, which is generally signified by that name in the Scriptures; and to them he was peculiarly sent, and them he will at length fully gather, save, and restore. We know, however, that all the true Israel of God, including even the Gentiles that should believe in him, are included. All these, it is here said, he should save from their sins, i.e, from the guilt, power, and pollution of them, by procuring, through his death, and receiving, in consequence of his ascension into heaven, an ample pardon for them, and the Holy Spirit to write that pardon on their hearts, and renew them after the divine image, that, in consequence of a life of holiness on earth, they might be raised to a state of complete perfection and felicity in heaven. How plain it is from hence that, although the gospel offers us salvation by faith, and not by works, yet it effectually secures the practice of holiness, since holiness is a part of that salvation wherewith Christ came to save sinners; for he came to save them from their sins. It is worth observing, on this occasion, what an excellent example of gentleness and prudence is here set us by Joseph! In an affair which appeared dubious, he chose, as we should always do, rather to err on the favourable than on the severe extreme. He is careful to avoid any precipitate steps; and, in the moment of deliberation, God interposes to guide and determine his resolves. Let us reflect, with what wonder and pleasure he would receive the important message from the angel, which not only assured him of the unstained virtue and eminent piety of her he loved, and confirmed his choice of her, as the partner of his future life, but brought him tidings of a divine Saviour, a Jesus, an Emmanuel, who should be God with men, and should save his people from their sins; and assured him, moreover, that the object of his affections, his beloved, espoused Mary, should, by a miraculous conception, be the happy mother of this heavenly offspring, and should therefore through all generations be entitled blessed. Let us also receive these glad tidings of great joy, designed for the consolation of all people, with suitable humility and gratitude, and seek unto this Jesus that he may answer his divine name in us, and save us, his people, from our sins. Let our souls bow to this Emmanuel, our incarnate God, and, while with holy wonder we survey the various scenes of his humiliation, let us remember, too, his native dignity and divine glory, and pay him the worship and service which are his undoubted due.

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands