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) (Matthew 1:21-23).
After the long genealogy with which Matthew opens his gospel in verses 1 through 17, proving that Jesus was indeed the promised son of Abraham and of David, we finally come to the fruition of hundreds of years of prophecy: “The virgin shall conceive … Immanuel … God with us.”
The birth of this baby was an eternal, breathtaking statement: Yahweh saves!
We cannot help but notice the implications of this child’s birth — the person at the end of this lengthy genealogy is older than the person at the beginning! Because this is no mere man: this is the God-man, the foretold Messiah who would come to save his people from their sins. So, although Abraham’s name begins the list of Jesus’ ancestors in this chapter, Jesus himself would later say, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
As Immanuel, God with us, Jesus is both the promise maker and the promise itself. The birth of this baby was an eternal, breathtaking statement: Yahweh saves!
It no longer is merely a promise, nor is it a prayer, but a wonderful, miraculous, gracious reality.
All the claims of Christianity are here summed up in one verse, Matthew 1:21, and then in one word, “Immanuel.” God himself has come to save his people from their sins, in the person and work of Jesus the Christ.
In this season of celebration, rejoice in this announcement: God is with us. And it no longer is merely a promise, nor is it a prayer, but a wonderful, miraculous, gracious reality.