December 18, 2018 – The Names of our Savior: Immanuel
Faithful Father, a long time ago you made a promise to send a Savior. But he would not be an ordinary person, he would be God in the flesh! Open our eyes to believe this great miracle that brings us peace now and forever. Amen.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us.”).
If I say the name, Christian Yelich, there are likely a number of things that come to mind especially if you’re a Brewers fan. You think of MVP. You think of his talent on the field and his personality off the field. Immediately, you think of everything you know about Yelich when you hear his name.
If I say the name (I’m not sure I can say it!), Giannis Antetokounmpo, there are again a number of things that come to mind, especially if you’re a Bucks fan. You think of his nickname, his talent, and his team. Immediately, you think of everything you know about Giannis when you hear his name.
That’s what names do. Names are not just titles that identify who one person is next to another, but names also carry our reputation and our identity, that is, who we are.
Jesus’ names do that, especially this one. Here, Matthew takes us way back to the prophet Isaiah and reminds us of the name that Isaiah has for our Savior, Jesus: Immanuel. This name means “God with us.”
This name of Jesus tells so much about who he is and what he will be like. He is God. This one whom Mary carried in her belly, whom she laid in the manger, whom the shepherds worshipped, and the angels sang about is God. He may look small, a weak and lowly. But this one is the true, only and almighty God. He was there with God when he created the world and will be around long after the world ceases to exist. He is God.
With us. Do you see what God has done in the person of Jesus? God has come to be with us. He has come to be with us in the flesh. He took on our flesh and bones. Yes, he shared with us in our humanity.
He came to be with us in our sin. No, this doesn’t mean that Jesus sinned, but it does mean that Jesus came to take on our sin as his very own. He came to be with us in our sin and to save us from it.
He is God-with-us! See, if you really want to get to know who God is and what he’s like spend some time reading about the life of Jesus. Jesus says in one place, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9). Read his life’s story and see God in action on every page.
He is God-with-us still today. Jesus promises that since he shared our humanity, he also understands our struggle with temptation. He is with us to help us against temptation. He stays by our side and will do so until the very end of all things.
He is God. He is God. With us.
Additional Reading: John 1:1-51.
1. What is God like? Make a list of all the things you know about God.
2. What is Jesus like? Make a list of all the things you know about Jesus.
3. Are the two lists the same? Should they be? Why or why not?
1. Read John 1 and make a list of what you learn about God from the life of Jesus revealed in there.
Immanuel, you are God who came to dwell among us. We thank you for taking on flesh on living for us, dying for us, and rising for us, so that we might be able to dwell with you forever in heaven. In your name we pray. Amen.