God With Us

Matthew records the birth in his gospel letter. Joseph, when he found out Mary was pregnant, was going to divorce her quietly because he was “unwilling to put her to shame.” Then an angel appeared to Joseph and told him not to fear to take Mary as his wife, “for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20 ESV). The angel went on to say that all this took place to fulfil what God spoke through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)” (vs. 23).

This was especially important for Jewish people, because there was a consistent message of God being with people to lead them and provide shelter for them. Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteousness.” Likewise, Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Over and over again the Lord tells the Israelites not to fear because he is with them and will be their helper. Jesus was named Immanuel, which means God with us. God sent his son to become flesh and dwell with man. Jesus lifted those who were weak and weary. He freed the oppressed and bound up the injured. It should not be surprising that the last sentence recorded in Matthew’s gospel is this: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

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