“God With Us”

At Christmas time, we often hear the word, Immanuel. We hear people use it when they sing, and we read about it a variety of books and literature. But what does it mean? What does it have to do with Christmas? In our culture today, most people think of Christmas in terms of Santa, presents, and parties. So how does understanding what Immanuel means help us better understand the meaning of Christmas? Immanuel is a name (or title) that means “God with us”. For a word referred to so much, it is only found once in the New Testament. In Matthew 1:23, we read that a virgin will have a son and call his name Immanuel. Matthew is quoting a prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 made approximately 700 years beforehand. Isaiah speaks of a time in the future when a virgin will give birth to a son and his name will be called God with us (Immanuel). Matthew’s use of Immanuel as a title for Jesus shows two key things. First, it shows Jesus’ divinity as the Son of God. Second, that God came to us through the birth of Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus reveals God to us (ex. John 1:18). These truths and many others are developed throughout the gospels. Lastly, Immanuel should remind us that God is faithful in fulfilling His promises. He might not always fulfill them the way or when we want, but the Lord is always faithful in keeping His promises. Merry Christmas, Pastor Steven