Isaiah 7:10-14
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz,  “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:20-23
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  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 conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 28:20
…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In 1995, Joan Osborne asked three questions in a song: “If God had a name, what would it be?  If God had a face, what would it look like?  What if God was one of us?”  Well, Joan, incredible as it is, God did become one of us.  And his name is Jesus.

The promise that God makes to Ahaz in Isaiah 7, that a child called Immanuel (which means, “God with us”) would be born, was so incredible that many unbelieving scholars insisted the child being spoken about was Hezekiah.  They could not conceive of—or did not want to believe in—a human being who could also be called God.  But as John Calvin pointed out, the name “Immanuel” could not be applied to anyone who is not God.   Yes, to our astonishment, God is “pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.” (Charles Wesley)

The catechism tells us “The only redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.”  Matthew tells us clearly that the virgin Mary’s baby Jesus was the promised Immanuel.  And Jesus wasn’t just God-with-us in that manger, and along the dusty trails of Judea; as he promised his disciples, he is still with us today and will be with us until the end of the age.  Oh, brothers and sisters, that manger just isn’t big enough!

One writer said this about the miracle of Immanuel: “It is by far the most amazing miracle of the entire Bible—far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing even than the creation of the universe.  The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join himself to a human nature forever so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe.” (Wayne Grudem)

Amen!  God became man; God is with us.  Let us praise and worship Him!

Shepherds, in the field abiding, 
watching o’er your flocks by night, 
God with man is now residing; 
yonder shines the infant light:

Come and worship, come and worship, 
worship Christ, the newborn king.

(James Montgomery)

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