Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
My name tag said, ‘Danielle’. But, the people in the fish ’n’ chip shop next door, knew me as ‘the girl at the bakery’. What need did they have to learn my name? None, really. My point being, my name is ‘Danielle’, but my title was, ’the girl at the bakery’.
Eagerly gleaning through the gospels, years ago, I came across something perplexing. Why did it say in both the gospels of Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31, ‘they shall name him Jesus’? Directly after this, Matthew 1:23 quotes today’s verse, telling them to call him ‘Immanuel’. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I thought was a discrepancy.
I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer until someone explained it to me one day. His name is ‘Jesus’. His title is ‘God with us’, which is the meaning of ‘Immanuel’ or ‘Emmanuel’. It’s one of Jesus’ titles — like ‘Mighty God’, ‘Wonderful Councilor’, ‘Everlasting Father’, ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6). His name tag (if they had them back then) would say; Jesus. Jesus is ‘God with us’, that’s how we know Him. Yeah, it took me a while.
So did Jesus say He was God? Yes, Jesus claimed to be God, as he referred to Himself as ‘I AM’ (John 8:58). We see this personal name of God back when God spoke to Moses. Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
It wasn’t until later I realized why Jesus being fully God and fully man was such a big deal. If Jesus wasn’t fully God, then he couldn’t be without sin. He would’ve been born with the inherent sin nature, through Adam (Romans 5:12). Yet, Jesus dressed ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ as He was also fully man. (Romans 8:3) Thereby He was able to become our substitute to pay the penalty, our sin deserved.
He’s here! Emmanuel — God with Us. That’s huge! Both fully God and fully man, our Savior was born some 2,000 years ago. God’s plan of salvation was to send The Lamb to be a perfect sacrifice for all.
So let’s celebrate this Christmas season, God Himself is the best gift to mankind.
Our Dear Savior, we praise You for taking our penalty upon Yourself. Thank-you for reminding us once again, You are with us, never to leave nor forsake us. ~Amen.
See also, The Perfect Gift