Read Matthew 1:18-24
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 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. 21 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.’
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
Emmanuel (Or Immanu el in the Hebrew) means ‘God with us’. God present with His People. The whole account of Matthew’s gospel is framed by God being with His People. At the end Jesus comments how he will be with them until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). ‘God-with-us’ becomes ‘Jesus-with-us’.
Tom Wright comments that “…we are to look at Jesus and see in him, however strange it may seem, the personal presence of Israel’s God, coming to be with his people and rescue them from the plight their sins have brought upon them – which, in ancient Jewish terms, was focused not least on the ‘exile’ they were still suffering, the plight of being overrun and ruled by pagan nations.
QUESTION:So why wasn’t Jesus called Emmanuel?
Today, know that God is with you, His Presence, His Holy Spirit is near. Jesus told his followers that he would never leave them, therefore wherever you are, he is. And wherever you are, His Kingdom is near. How does that change the way you think about your day today?