Text: Matthew 1.18-23
As our attention is drawn to the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Thursday, we’ll focus this week on who Jesus is and what he has done. Matthew’s account of the miraculous birth tells us the child to be born will be known by two names: “Jesus,” which means “Jehovah will save,” and “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” Immanuel, used more as a title or description, meant that Jesus was, in the most literal sense, God with us.
This was especially significant to a nation intimately familiar with a God who was present and actively involved in fulfilling his promises. The Tabernacle and the Temple, around which Jewish life was focused, were both symbols of God’s presence with his people. Drawing on the prophecy of Isaiah 7.14, Matthew states that this child, this “Jesus,” will dwell among men as visible flesh and blood, more intimate and personal than a Tabernacle or Temple could ever be.
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is a classic Christmas carol that reminds us of Jesus as “God with us”:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
As you welcome God into this new week, listen to this classic carol as sung by Chris Tomlin. Meditate on the lyrics as you celebrate the truth of “God with us”: when we couldn’t get to God, he came to us as one of us!