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Matthew 1:21 meaning...

This verse is part of the angel's message to Joseph in a dream, reassuring him about Mary's pregnancy and explaining the divine nature of the child she is carrying. It occurs in the context of the genealogy of Jesus and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah.

  • The Name "Jesus":

"You shall call his name Jesus." The name "Jesus" is derived from the Hebrew name "Yeshua" or "Yehoshua," meaning "Yahweh saves" or "Yahweh is salvation." The very name of the Messiah carries the promise of salvation.

  • The Mission of Jesus: Salvation from Sin:

"...for it is he who shall save his people from their sins." This statement encapsulates the central message of the Gospel—the mission of Jesus is to bring salvation, specifically from the bondage and consequences of sin.

  • Redemption and Restoration:

The concept of salvation here goes beyond physical deliverance; it involves redemption and restoration. Jesus is portrayed as the Savior who addresses the fundamental human predicament of sin, offering reconciliation with God.

Biblical and Theological Significance:

  • Fulfillment of Prophecy:

This declaration aligns with numerous Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah. In Isaiah 7:14, the prophecy states, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." The angel's message to Joseph affirms the fulfillment of this prophecy in Jesus.

  • Theology of Salvation:

The theological richness of this verse is foundational to the Christian understanding of salvation. It introduces Jesus not merely as a historical figure but as the Savior with the power to liberate humanity from the spiritual consequences of sin.

Application to Our Lives: Embracing Salvation:

  • Personalizing Salvation:

The promise of salvation is not a distant theological concept but a personal invitation. Each individual is included in the declaration that Jesus will save "his people." Embracing salvation involves a personal response to the Savior.

  • Freedom from Sin:

Understanding Jesus as the one who saves from sins highlights the transformative power of His work. It invites us to experience freedom from the guilt, power, and consequences of sin through faith in Him.

  • Identity and Purpose:

The name "Jesus" and the mission of salvation provide a profound understanding of our identity and purpose. As individuals who are part of "his people," our lives find meaning and significance in the context of God's redemptive plan.


Isaiah 53:5: "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed." This prophecy from Isaiah foreshadows the atoning work of Jesus, linking salvation with His sacrificial death.

John 1:29: "The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" John the Baptist's proclamation reinforces the mission of Jesus as the Lamb of God, whose sacrificial death brings salvation.

Conclusion - The Name and Mission of Jesus: Matthew 1:21 serves as a theological anchor within the opening chapters of the New Testament. In a few concise words, it unveils the profound significance of the child born to Mary—Jesus, the Savior, whose very name reflects the promise of salvation. This verse is not just a historical announcement but an ongoing invitation to individuals across time and cultures to experience the transformative power of Jesus' mission.

Matthew 1:21. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.


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