20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matt 1:20-25
Immanuel is a compound word, “immanu” means with us. “el” means God. So “Immanuel” means God with us.
Immanuel is probably THE most extraordinary promise in the Bible. The most high God, who lives in unapproachable light, no one has seen or can see (1 Tim 6:16), decides that He wants to be with us. Not only that, He finds ways to do it.
1.700 years prior to Jesus, This was a sign given to Ahaz to ensure him that the invasion faced him would fail (Isaiah 7). “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son”. It was more impossible than Ahaz surviving the invasion. Yet, to God, all things are possible.
2. 2000 years ago, The ultimate fulfillment of this sign and prophecy was accomplished by a child that was born in Bethlehem. The invisible and untouchable God was wrapped in white cloth embraced by his mother Mary. Virgin birth and God became a man: Which seems more unlikely? I’ll you decide. God made both happened.
3. Jesus’ name is Immanuel. He dwelled among people. He made Himself a guest of other people’s home. Remember the chief tax collector Zacchaeus? Jesus found him and said “I must stay at your house today.” This was Immanuel in real action! What an unlikely event but it actually happened to all of us, too! When you heard the gospel, Jesus was saying the same thing to you heart. Today, Jesus is still saying it.
How blessed are we that we have the peace-giver, soul-lover, almighty God with us! He knows us by our names and never leaves us!
Dear God, thank you for being with us! Your presence gives us peace and comfort. We welcome you. We welcome you in every corner of our life. Amen