Who are Jesus’ people?

Second in a series of short answers to questions about the New Testament

Consider Matt. 1:21: She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.

Who are Jesus’ people? These words from an angel, announcing Mary’s conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit, must have brought to Joseph’s mind the promises of God to provide salvation through the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-37). “His people” in this context must mean Jews, of course, but it certainly can’t mean all Jews since not all Jews have trusted in Jesus as Messiah. Nor does it deny salvation to Gentiles, who receive eternal life just as the Jews — by God’s grace through faith (Gal. 3:6-9; see also John 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; Eph. 2:8-9).