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Daily Reading: 24th December 2015

Isaiah 7.13-15 cont.

[13] Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! You aren’t satisfied to exhaust My patience. You exhaust the patience of God as well!

[14] All right then, the Lord Himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel—‘God is with us.’

 [15] By the time this child is old enough to eat curds and honey, He will know enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong.

The sign that God gave to King Ahaz was a kind of time scale in which he would see the deliverance of himself and Jerusalem (possible four to six years). The virgin conceiving and the name attributed to the new born were a sign that God was with Ahaz, hence the name Immanuel.

We are perhaps aware that Matthew quotes from Isaiah chapter seven:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son, and He will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us)” – Matthew 1.23 (NLT).

In quoting this prophecy Matthew is firmly rooting the conception and birth of Jesus in the prophecies of the Old Testament. He was also pointing all future readers to the fact that God was coming amongst us in the person of His Son Jesus.

It may seem strange to us that the prophecy tells us that the name of the one to be conceived is to be Immanuel, yet the angel tells Joseph that He is to be called Jesus.

The name Jesus means: the Lord Saves, whereas the name Immanuel means God is with us. There does not seem to be any record of Jesus ever being called ‘Immanuel’.

We all know that Joseph obeyed the angel and gave Him the name Jesus.

It is suggested that the word ‘Immanuel’ is given as a description of what God is doing, rather than an actual name.

In reality Jesus is both our Saviour and He is also God with us.

He saves us from our sins and brings us into relationship with the Father. In this He is also our Immanuel in being God with us.

The last words of Jesus in Matthew remind us of His being our Immanuel:

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Matthew 28.20 (NLT).

Christmas time is primarily a time of celebrating the presence of Jesus being with us and of bringing to us the salvation of the Father.

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