Week Five – Day 1.
Matthew 1:18 – 23. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).”
O – While this passage is about Jesus as Emmanuel, “God with Us,” I also see Joseph as the human father figure for Jesus here. He knew that the child was not his, and was willing to treat Mary with honor, despite his “dishonor” and shame. His sense of justice and also love for her overcame his shame in being known as the father of a baby born outside of marriage. As he was thinking of what to do in this situation, the angel appeared to him. Being told that the baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit, AND that this baby was the fulfillment of prophecy must have been startling – and overwhelming. How would one father the Son of God? The ONE that all Hebrew girls wondered “will I be the one to bear the Messiah?” SO – Joseph took Mary as his wife, despite the public shame that it would involve, and became part of the fulfillment of that prophecy – A virgin will conceive and bear a son – called Immanuel.
Immanuel – God with us. “Matthew clearly understands God with us in Isaiah 7:14 to mean that Jesus is truly God (Mt 1:23). But as God “with us,” Jesus is also the fully human one who save[s] his people by the cross. Matthew thus invites us to consider and worship the God who accepted the ultimate vulnerability, born as an infant to poor and humiliated parents into a world hostile to his presence. “ ((VP NT Commentary – Biblegateway.com)
A – Emmanuel. God with us. A fulfillment of the promise. The promise that a Messiah would come – and would be “God with us.” Jesus, born of Mary, was fully human AND fully God. He took on the form of a servant (Philippians 2) and willingly came to this world to be “one of us.” God with us. One of us. This is so hard to comprehend – His willingness to give up ALL that He had as the Son of God – to be with us, one of us. The fulfillment of a promise.
Do I live as if God is with me? That He understands, as He lived a life as human as mine. The temptations, the sadness, the joys, the decisions? Do I willingly give up my “rights” to give to others what God has given to me?
P – Father God, thank You for Your willingness to give of Yourself to me, and to all others. Thank You for Your Son’s birth, and living as a human to show us love in action. Thank You for Your fulfillment of all Your promises. Help me to live with the knowledge and expectation that You are part of my daily life as Emmanuel, “God with us.” You are with me. You have promised. Help me to live in harmony with Your presence.
Emmanuel – God With Us – Amy Granthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zB8vRyv0uM
Immanuel – Songs of Praises –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE_tuMpIOho&list=RDkrU8l2spj2w&index=2