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The angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife because Mary is about to have a son through the power of the Holy Spirit. Then the angel also tells Joseph something about this son. Who does the angel say this child is?
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:18-21
You’re probably familiar with the basics of the Christmas story. Joseph and Mary are engaged when Joseph learns Mary is pregnant. Assuming she’s been unfaithful to him, Joseph resolves to break the betrothal quietly, but then an angel appears to Joseph in a dream. The angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife because Mary is about to have a son through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then the angel also tells Joseph something about this son.
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21
- In Hebrew, the child’s name is “Yeshua,” which we think of as Joshua. When this name is translated into Greek, it because “Iesous,” which is then transliterated into English as Jesus.
- The name means “God saves.”
- The angel tells Joseph to call the child “God saves” because this child will save his people from sin.
- Today we’d much rather talk about how God loves us. Sin is not a message we want to hear.
- But if sin is not a problem, then Christmas is not a big deal.
- The Bible is very clear that the biggest, deepest, most urgent problem everyone in the world has is sin. For example:
- Jeremiah 31:31-34
- Luke 1:76-77
- Matthew 9:3
- Matthew 26:27-28
- Luke 24:46-47
- Acts 2:38
- Acts 5:30-31
- Acts 10:43
- Acts 13:38
- Acts 26:16-18
- Romans 3:23-24
- 1Corinthians 15:3-4
- Galatians 1:3-5
- 1Peter 2:24
- Revelation 1:5
On Christmas we celebrate the birth of the one who brings redemption and rescue to an evil world.
If we’re honest with ourselves, our biggest problem is our hard-hearted lack of love for God and our neighbors. That has two very terrible consequences.
- We are slaves to sin. Sin, loss, futility and corruption characterize our lives and we can’t escape it.
- We are guilty before God and deserve condemnation.
The biggest problem we have in this life is solving our problem with sin.
Celebrating Christmas without understanding what we are saved from is not much of a celebration. On Christmas we celebrate the birth of the savior who came to save us from sin.
Please listen to the podcast for more detail and explanation.
Where to next?
New Testament Studies
Old Testament Studies
Learn to study: Bible Study 101
Photo by Leon Oblak on Unsplash
Season 20, bonus episode 25, track #66