Matthew 1


Matthew 1:19

And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

Send her away. A Jewish marriage is bookended by two ceremonies, a betrothal (erusin) and the wedding (nisuin) itself. These two ceremonies may be separated by as much as a year. At the betrothal ceremony, the groom signs a contract or tena’im binding him to his intended wife. This is a serious contract that can only be broken by death or divorce. This is why Joseph, who was betrothed but not married to Mary, considered sending her away or divorcing her learning that she was pregnant. Joseph could not simply break off the engagement. He had to follow the legal procedure for undoing the betrothal.


Matthew 1:21

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

(a) He will save His people from their sins. Salvation comes when we know the Savior who sets us free from captivity to sin. See entry for Luke 1:77.

(b) Save. The original word (sozo) is usually translated as save from our sins (e.g., Matt. 1:21), or save us from death (e.g., Matt. 8:25), but it can also imply healing. When Jesus healed the sick, he sozo ed them; he healed them (Mark 5:23), delivered them (Luke 8:36) and made them whole (Matt. 9:21). See entry for Salvation.


Matthew 1:23

“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

God with us. Jesus is “God is with us” in every sense of the word. He is the Word or divine expression of God who was made flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14). He is the mediator of the human race (1 Tim. 2:5), a high priest who has experienced the power of temptation and empathizes with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15). He is our righteous advocate who speaks for us when we sin (1 John 2:1). And he is the means by which the believer enters into union with the Godhead and partakes of divine life (Col. 3:4, 2 Pet. 1:2-4).

Our union with the Lord is captured in the word with. In Christ, God is with us and we are with him. The believer has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:8, Gal. 2:20, Col. 2:20, 3:3, 2 Tim. 2:11), raised and made alive with Christ (Rom. 6:8, Eph. 2:5, Col. 3:1), is a joint heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17), is clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27), and now reigns with Christ (Eph. 2:6, 2 Tim. 2:12). Truly the believer is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).

See entry for Union.


The Grace Commentary is a work in progress with new content added regularly. Sign up for occasional updates below. Got something to say? Please use the Feedback page. To report typos or broken links on this page, please use the comment form below.

Leave a Reply