Joseph had a lot to deal with. What to name the Son of God wasn’t one of them. God’s angel made that clear to him. His name is Jesus (Yeshua), “God Saves”.
His bigger problem was what to do about his fiancé who was pregnant but claimed the Holy Spirit got her pregnant. He trusted Mary but only up to a point. He was going to call the whole thing off. The angel solved that for him as well.
It is clear to Joseph that this child will be like no other. First, her pregnancy is not from a man. Second, it is God, through His Spirit, that has caused the pregnancy. Third, the child will be a boy. Finally, His name will show God’s purpose, to deliver and rescue mankind.
So … the Son of God is named Jesus (Yeshua). And, most importantly, He rescues and delivers us from sin, that is, missing God’s goal for our lives.
But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Master [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. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel
English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 1:20–23). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Matthew makes it clear that Jesus the Messiah’s birth was different from that of any other Jewish boy named in the genealogy. Matthew pointed out that Joseph did not “beget” Jesus. Rather, Joseph was the “husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Messiah.” Jesus was born of an earthly mother without the need of an earthly father. This is known as the doctrine of the Virgin Birth.
Every child born into the world is a totally new creature. But Jesus, being eternal God, existed before Mary and Joseph or any of His earthly ancestors. If Jesus were conceived and born just as any other baby, then He could not be God. It was necessary for Him to enter this world through an earthly mother, but not to be begotten by an earthly father. By a miracle of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary, a virgin.
Some have raised the question that perhaps Mary was not a virgin. They say that Matthew 1:23 should be translated “young woman.” But the word translated virgin in this verse always means virgin and cannot be translated “young woman.”
Both Mary and Joseph belonged to the house of David. The Old Testament prophecies indicated that the Messiah would be born of a woman, of the seed of Abraham, through the tribe of Judah, and of the family of David. Matthew’s genealogy traced the line through Solomon, while Luke’s traced it through Nathan, another one of David’s sons. It is worth noting that Jesus is the only Jew alive who can actually prove His claims to the throne of David! All of the other records were destroyed when the Romans took Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
To the Jewish people in that day, betrothal (engagement) was equivalent to marriage—except that the man and woman did not live together. They were called “husband and wife,” and, at the end of the engagement period, the marriage was consummated. If a betrothed woman became pregnant, it was considered adultery. But Joseph did not punish or divorce Mary when he discovered she was with child, for the Lord had revealed the truth to him. All of this fulfilled Isaiah 7:14.
Consider the three names assigned to God’s Son. The name Jesus means “Savior” and comes from the Hebrew name, Yeshua [Joshua] (“Jehovah is salvation”). There were many Jewish boys with the name Joshua (or, in the Greek, Yeshua); but Mary’s Boy was called “Jesus the Messiah.” The word Christ means “anointed”; it is the Greek equivalent of Messiah. He is “Jesus the Messiah.” Jesus is His human name; the Messiah is His official title; and Immanuel describes who He is—“God with us.” Jesus the Messiah is God! We find this name “Immanuel” in Isaiah 7:14 and 8:8.
The King, then, was a Jewish male who is also the divine Son of God. But, did anybody acknowledge His kingship? Yes, the magi from the East came and worshiped Him.
Frank Hubeny said:
Good distinction: “Jesus is His human name; the Messiah is His official title; and Immanuel describes who He is—“God with us.””
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Good discussion about the virgin conception
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