“Immanuel, God with us”
Matthew 1:21-23 12/24/2017
How do you spend your Christmas this year? Christmas is a fun and enjoyable time if you have a good company like your family, friends, sweethearts. But if you are alone, Christmas may be a boring and lonely time. The Bible tells us that we never have to feel alone, because “God is with us. Immanuel!” Let us look at today what Immanuel means to you. Immanuel literally means God is with us. That implies:
God became human Immanuel means God became human like one of us.
Christmas is the special day because God sent His only son Jesus to this world 2000+ years ago. On the day Jesus was born we celebrate as Christmas. Yes, Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ, our Lord. God almighty left the throne of heaven, and became human just like you and I. So, Jesus became one of us and lived with us. As shown in John 1:14
The Word(God) became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Jesus was born in the most unflattering way. Born as a baby of a poor carpenter, and born of unmarried peasant woman. He then was placed in an animal feeding trough (manger) in a stable. How much lowlier could God become? This is the lowest of lows. That’s what is implicit in the name: Immanuel! God came to us, to be with us in the lowly world.
In the Old Testament
Immanuel is shown in the Old Testament.
Many heroes in the Old Testament were always with God. Can you name some? Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Samuel, David and so on.
One example: God talked to Moses from burning bush. “Lead Israelites from Egypt.” Moses answered he could not. Then God told Moses, “I am God, and I will be always with you.” As He said God was always with Moses and at everywhere Moses went; through exodus, while crossing the Red Sea, and during 40 years in wilderness. God was faithfully with Moses.
Another example: David was a young shepherd boy, and never been to any battle fields. But when he faced a 9ft giant, Goliath, God was with David and gave him courage. God fought for David and led him to victory. David killed Goliath only with a sling shot and a small rock. Just like David was with God, all other biblical heroes were with God. “Immanuel, God with us!”
In the New Testament
Immanuel is shown in the New Testament. Jesus himself is Immanuel. He is always with us.
Jesus trained 12 disciples, spent 3 years, eating, sleeping, and teaching them. But they were still weak and coward. Jesus said to them at the very end when He departed.
“And surely, I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Disciples believed in this promise faithfully, and they became fearless warriors. They proclaimed the gospel to the end of the world. “I will be with you always.” Even today this is the true promise of Immanuel to you. A great encouragement from our Lord Jesus to you. “Immanuel, God with us”
Today’s New Testament Scripture also states: Hebrews 13:5-8
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit dwells within us. Yes, the Holy Spirit is Immanuel – God with us.
Since Jesus was lifted up into heaven, He is no longer with us in flesh. But He is ‘with us’ in the specific way; through His Spirit. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to us in John 14:16-18.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (the Holy Spirit) to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he (the Holy Spirit) lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Jesus now lives within us, in our heart through the Holy Spirit. In this way, He can be with us always, everywhere we go, whatever we do, He is with us. His name is called Immanuel, He is with us through the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also called the counselor, advocate, comforter, Paracletos, and the great helper. Apostle Paul also said in Hebrew13:6:
“So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”[
Application for today
Immanuel is God’s promise to you, so that you are to be with God always. We need our Lord Jesus, especially when we are in trouble. We need Jesus in the tough and trial times of our life. From job losses and financial difficulties to family turmoil and marriage problems. We need a helper, counselor, advisor. We call out the name of Jesus daily. We need Jesus to be working with us, helping us, and changing us to a better person.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
God is with you, especially when you are in pain, in trouble, in sickness, in sadness, or in loneliness. Immanuel is God’s promise that you are not alone! When you wake up, Jesus is with you. When you go to work, Jesus is with you. When you travel, Jesus walks beside you. Trust in Him for everything you’d do this week. He is with you and blesses you abundantly.
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”] (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23