18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: 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[e] 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,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill 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”[g] (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
So something struck me today, and maybe this is some basic bible knowledge that I somehow missed, but I wondered about the seemingly contradictory statements in vs. 23 and 24. God said in vs 23 that the Messiah would be called “Immanuel”. and in the very next verse, Joseph names the baby Jesus. So I always had assumed the name Jesus was just the translation of the Immanuel name in a different language, but it seems it was not. Here is what I learned today:
Let’s look at the name “Immanuel” – the meaning of the name is “God with us”. Clearly we can understand that this described Jesus perfectly, as He was God with us, He was physically among us for 33 years. But Immanuel was merely a description, just like the many different names we’ve looked at over the past 3 weeks. It was never intended to be his actual name. Just like when Isaiah said ““He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”, again, obviously, not intended to be His real name. The angel that spoke to Mary in Luke chapter 1 gave them the specific name, Jesus. Interesting. I thought so at least.
But let’s focus on what really matters here, and that God was among us. What an incredible gift we were given! And forevermore, the lives of all humanity would be changed.
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
13 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? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Thank you God for the gift of Immanuel. Your love is clearly shown by dwelling among us putting your plan of salvation into motion. Thank you for your forgiveness and grace. in Jesus name, amen.