This Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at my church. My text was Matthew 1.18-2.23. One of the struggles I had was not putting in all the great treasures I found in the text (with the help of several commentary friends). I had to limit myself to a few points so that my listeners woud not have to sit for an inexhorbitant amount of time. Of particular interest that I could not include was the relationship between 1.21 and 23. Joseph is told to call his son “Jesus” because ‘he will save his people from their sins.’ The name ‘Joshua’ literally means ‘the LORD saves.’ But the angel tells Joseph that Jesus will save his people from their sins. Extraordinary. This is the LORD who is coming to save his people from their sins.

In other words, when Joshua led Israel out fo the wilderness, it was clear that the LORD had redeemed his people. The redemption was not attributed to Joshua. But here we see that hs name will be called ‘YHWH saves’ because he (this child) will save.