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A child who would “save his people from their sins”

December 9, 2021

Daily Scripture

Matthew 1:20-21

20 As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In a dream, an angel told Joseph to believe Mary and to proceed with the marriage plans. Joseph found himself, unexpectedly, in a story much bigger than just one couple’s marriage. The angel said to name the child “Jesus” (the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua,” which meant “Yahweh is salvation”). Many Hebrews wanted salvation from the occupying Roman army. But the angel didn’t mention the Romans. This child, he said, would save people from humanity’s greatest enemy: sin.

  • Scholar N. T. Wright wrote that “Matthew sees Jesus as the one who will now complete what the law of Moses pointed to but could not of itself produce. He will rescue his people, not from slavery in Egypt, but from the slavery of sin, the ‘exile’ they have suffered not just in Babylon but in their own hearts and lives.”* How confident are you that Jesus can, in fact, save you from any life missteps, and that he is the savior from sin that we all need?
  • Joseph was “a devout Jewish man willing to give up what was often perceived to be a Jewish father’s greatest privilege—siring his first-born son—in order to obey God’s will.”** Skip Ewing’s song “It Wasn’t his Child” said that “like a father [Joseph] was strong and kind and good…. But it wasn’t his child; it was God’s child.”*** Have you had to give up some cherished dream to obey God? Might you ever have to? How can you and God bend any such loss to a positive end?

The Journey: A Season of Reflections

Today’s Insights was chapter 11, “He Will Save His People From Their Sins,” from The Journey: A Season of Reflections, by Adam Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press, and available on our website for 24 hours by permission of Abingdon Press. If you’d like to buy the entire book of reflections, you can click here for a direct link to the Cokesbury sale page, as well as other Journey resources.

*** There are variations on this list.


Lord Jesus, though I sometimes forget it, I need a savior. Thank you for coming to be that savior. Redeem my inner and outer way of life from sin, that I may walk daily in your light. Amen.

GPS Insights

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* N. T. Wright, Matthew for Everyone: Part 1. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, p. 8.

** Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight, The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992, p. 63.

*** “It Wasn’t His Child” – songwriter: Skip Ewing, Lyrics © SUSSMAN & ASSOCIATES. You can watch Mr. Ewing sing the song by clicking here.