Immanuel, God With Us

December 3, 2022

Matthew 1:23 NIV

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"(which means “God with us”).

Today's Reading: Matthew 1:22-25

Devo Author: Ryan Burton

Date: December 3, 2022

My name, Ryan, means “Descendant of The King.” Now that’s pretty cool. I don’t know of any kings in my lineage, but I’ll take it. My full name is actually Phillip Ryan Burton - I have just never gone by Phillip - but Phillip means, “Lover of Horses.” A little less cool.

In this passage, which takes us right into the birth of Christ, we see two names given for Him, “Immanuel” and “Jesus.” These are just a couple of the many names Jesus will be called throughout the New Testament, but they carry such major insight into who He is. Immanuel, “God with us.” Jesus, “Yahweh saves.” The implication being that Yahweh Himself put on flesh and dwelt among us in order to provide a means of salvation for us and to bring glory to His Name. The idea that an all powerful, all knowing, eternal God would leave His heavenly realm to step into the brokenness of our world is mind-blowing, yet the names are His and His alone.

And let’s remember neither of these names were devised by Jesus’ parents. Verse 23 is rooted in the prophecy given by Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14 (NIV), “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel.” 700 years after Isaiah gives the prophecy, it happens. Of the hundreds of prophecies coming from the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled, being born of a virgin stands out as one of the most miraculous. How could it not? Never before and never again will it happen. It stands as a prophecy that could not have been executed by mere humans, only an almighty God.

Just two verses prior to verse 23, we see an angel giving a command to Joseph that he give his son the name “Jesus.” Both “Immanuel” and “Jesus,” given directly from Yahweh through a prophet and an angel, describe the splendor of this child born of a virgin.

We know how this story unfolds: Jesus fulfills all the other prophecies attributed to His Name. He lived a perfect, sinless life—one we could not live—and gave His life for us on a cross. But the grave was no match. He rose three days later, defeating death—only something God Himself could do—to become our Savior and live up to His names, “God with us” and “Yahweh saves.”

I guess I am somewhat of a fan of horses. I mean, I don’t have anything against them and have ridden a handful. But I’m fairly confident my names were given to me because my mom liked the way they rolled off the tongue. That’s what she told me anyway. But the King of the Universe was much more intentional. Born that day and laid in a manger, the King of the Universe Himself, Immanuel, God with us.