Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Throughout ancient human history, heaven was God’s dwelling place, and except for a few personal encounters (as with Abraham, Hagar, and Jacob), He seemed far away to most people.

Then He came to be in the Israelites’ midst, first in a pillar of cloud and fire, then in the tabernacle and temple. But now, He was about to do something totally new. His presence would be with them in the form of God’s Son, a man who’d literally live among them.

Even before Jesus was born on earth, He was given two names, which both indicated His identity and ministry. Immanuel tells us who He is—”God with us.” Christ took on human flesh while retaining undiminished deity and became the perfect God-Man.

He lived on earth, walked among men, and suffered the weaknesses of humanity.

Yet He also displayed the power of Almighty God as He healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed the sea, and raised the dead.

Jesus means “The Lord is salvation,” which describes what He came to do—to save us from the bondage of sin through His death on our behalf. This explains why He had to become Immanuel. Since the Father is immortal and cannot die, His Son had to take on a human body in order to offer Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

But what do these two names of Christ mean for you today? Through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Jesus still lives with you and has the power to deliver you from the grip of any bondage.

No sinful habit, painful past, orpresent struggle is too difficult for the God-Man to overcome.

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