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. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:21-23
In the account of the birth of our Lord, Matthew tells us of two wonderful names by which he will be called. For each name, Matthew tells us:
How the name is given
What the name is
What the name means
The first name is given by an angel, who is sent by God, to Joseph.
The second name was revealed to Isaiah in a prophecy about 700 years before our Lord was born. That’s two wonderful ways for a baby to get named!
The first name is Jesus. The second is Immanuel.
Consider with me the meaning of each of these wonderful names and how they relate to our B4T assignment.
Matthew tells us that Immanuel means God with us. Think about this… the literal, flesh and blood, fulfillment of that prophesied name. Wow! God taking on flesh, being born and growing up and walking and eating and talking with real people in real places. Wonderful! While the name, Immanuel, certainly points to the physical presence of God with people during Christ’s time on earth, it also points more broadly to God being with us in all we do. As we well know, He is not merely with us, but for us. He is on our side.
The second name, which he is most often called, is Jesus. The angel tells Mary that He will be called Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.
As we consider the holidays ahead, let’s remember for ourselves and those we are working with; HE IS WITH US, because HE WILL SAVE US FROM OUR SINS.