The True Meaning and “Extra” Joy of Christmas: Matthew 1:21

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She will bear a son,
and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

“for He will save His people from their sins.”

Note the specificity as it relates to Matthew’s Gospel as a whole. The angel gives 3 words to Joseph in v21: (1) She will bear a son, (2) you will call Him Jesus, and (3) He will save His people from their sins. V25 only gives the fulfillment of the first 2 – she did in fact give birth to a son and they did in fact call him Jesus. There is where ch1 stops, but thanks be to God that’s not where the Gospel stops – that’s not where Matthew stops. The final component, the final word from the angel is what we desperately need. So the rest of Matthew’s Gospel is essentially the unveiling of the historical events of Jesus saving His people from their sins.

Matthew tells us about the rest of His Incarnation, His perfect life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection – all part of the total work of redemption, salvation. That is, how Christ accomplished our salvation. But there’s more. There’s not only what Christ did to accomplish that work, but how that work is working itself out today.

Matthew doesn’t stop at the resurrection does he? Matthew concludes his Gospel with the Great Commission – Jesus telling His disciples, “Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them all things and I promise I am with you until the end of the age.” The Great Commission tells us that God continues even today saving His people through Christ by sending His people in the name of Christ. That’s why in Matthew 24 Jesus says, “The Gospel of this kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world and then the end will come.” Now we see how Christology (Matt 1:21), missiology (Matt 28) and eschatology (Matt 24) all come together to fulfill one grand purpose – for He will save His people from their sins.
This is overflowing joy – all of this points to absolute certainty. Jesus will not fail in His mission. Jesus will not lose, not one single soul the Father has given Him. His purpose will be accomplished. For He WILL save His people from their sins! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor

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