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Matthew 1:20-21 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Matthew 1:20
  • Matthew 1:21

An angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream and reveals four unusual things: his betrothed has been faithful to him despite her pregnancy; the child within her was conceived by God’s Spirit; the Son she will bear is to be named ‘Jesus’; He is the Messiah, for He will save His people from their sins.

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and revealed the marvelous truth of Mary’s pregnancy, affirming her purity and innocence and explaining the Divine nature of the Son she was to bear.

The angel told Joseph that His name was to be Jesus. In Hebrew, this is “Yeshua” (in English, “Joshua”). “Jesus” is the Greek form of the name. It means “Yahweh Saves,” because as the Messiah, Jesus would save His people from their sins. This is why the angel says you shall call His name Yeshua for He will save His people from their sins. Jesus’s name indicated the divine act of redemption He would perform for His people.

The angel of the Lord addressed Joseph as the son of David, which reiterates Matthew’s emphasis that Jesus is the legal heir to the throne of David through Joseph, and the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies regarding a ruler that would sit on the throne of David forever (2 Samuel 7:13). The angel of the Lord told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because the Child who had been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Joseph had planned to send Mary away secretly so she could avoid disgrace. In light of this angelic visit, Joseph is now encouraged to stand with Mary and endure the shame they would likely face.

1:20-21 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”




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