‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us”.’ Matthew 1:23 (NKJV)
We know Jesus as our Savior, our King, our Lord, Our Hope. But He is so much more than that.
Imagine a king coming to live on your street. There would be lots of hoopla and fanfare, wouldn’t there? The house would be fixed up really special, and the entourage that accompanies him would be overflowing. There would be perfect chaos in your neighborhood from that point on.
You would never be invited to dinner. You would be barred from walking up his front walkway. His phone number would be kept secret. He would be your neighbor, living right there in the midst of you and your neighbors, yet none of you would ever come to really know him.
But Jesus is different. He is a King, and He already lives in your neighborhood. He dwells among His people. He mingles with you and your neighbors, and He welcomes you into His house. He is always easy to talk to, and He never creates a commotion, not that you would notice. He is companionable and friendly, and He always wants you to be in His presence. You will come to know Him, and know Him well.
God has always had the perfect plan. He knew the world needed salvation in the very worst way. And He knew He would sacrifice His own Son to provide that salvation. There was no question, no hesitation, no changing His mind. He knew what had to be done. So He sent Jesus from Heaven, where He was present with His Father, and He arrived in the form of a wee baby boy. He was not born into a king’s family, but into the family of a simple carpenter and his Godly wife, who was a virgin. God knew exactly where to put Him and with who, that He would have the greatest impact during the short time He would walk this earth.
The angel told Joseph to call His name Immanuel. That is exactly who He would be. He would be God living among us. And as such, He would be able to show to mankind the wonders of God, the miracles, the salvation, the blessings. No earthly man, no matter how Godly, could ever do the things Jesus did; He was God in the flesh, here to change the world, to change you and I.
If you do not know Him yet, open your front door, and bid Him enter. If you do know Him, make sure He knows He is always welcome. You can make a fanfare, a commotion, over Him, and He will be pleased. And you can spend time with Him, no appointment necessary, whenever you want to, wherever you are. He will welcome you.
Immanuel is Our Hope. He is Jesus, and He dwells among us. When we think of the wee babe whose first bed was a manger of straw, let us remember that He came from Splendor to this lost world, to be the hope of the nations, the hope of you and I. He is the One True King, and He lives in our neighborhood!
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ Matthew 2:6 (NKJV)