Isaiah 7:13-14(New Living Translation)
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
Matthew 1:19-24(New Living Translation)
19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[meaning "The Lord Saves"] for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
That He should chose to walk among us is amazing to me. That is probably why it is so hard for Non-Christians to believe this. Why would the Creator of the Universe chose to become one of us? Why would He chose to live the same life we do, but without sin? This is a difficult concept for many to grasp. There is no doubt that Jesus was a real man who lived, and His crucifixion has been well documented from sources outside of the Bible. So why would God chose to be "with us"; to walk among us?
The true demonstration of how much you love someone has to be very personal. You can't really show it over the phone or in writing for too long before it will start to fade. Eventually it has to be shown in person. That is true of God's love for us. No matter how much He showed people His love in the Old Testament, it still was difficult for the common man to understand an up-close and personal God. He had to be with us and demonstrate His love to the point of sacrificing Jesus Christ on the cross.
So the next time you are thinking of "Immanuel, God with us", why not take it a step further and think of "God Really Loves Us". We can only understand just how much because Jesus did walk among us and show us.
Photo: 'Joseph's Dream', painting by Gaetano Gandolfi, c. 1790
The past couple of years I have taken you with me on my Advent journey as I travel the path of "the coming", the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. I hope you enjoy reading these highlights about our Savior as much as I do.