Read the Scripture: Matthew 1:18-24
"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet, 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him, Immanuel', which means 'God with us'.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife."
Devotional: Preparing by Obedience
Upon hearing the news of Mary's pregnancy, this righteous man was set to divorce her privately so she would not suffer shame and disgrace. Joseph's kindness and tenderness toward Mary is evident in his response to the news. He could have 1) exposed her publicly for being unfaithful ~ breaking the Mosiac law thereby ending in a public divorce which would bring shame & humiliation to Mary, 2) granted her a private divorce which was a written certificate in the presence of two witnesses, or 3) not divorced her, staying engaged which appeared to Joseph that he was breaking the Mosiac law. So Joseph's decision to privately divorce Mary was admirable. But then he had a dream....
The angel of the Lord confirmed what Mary had told Joseph. Joseph awakes from the dream with the confidence of taking Mary as his wife and God Himself had given Joseph the name of the baby, Jesus (Yahweh Saves). In the culture at this time, the father was the one who gave the name of the baby. We see God the Father speaking forth the name of the child through the angel of the Lord. And in the natural, Joseph speaks the name, Jesus as the child's name. What a privilege Joseph receives because of his obedience to the Lord! He gets to be the natural "father" to the Savior of the WORLD!!!!
Just as Yahweh is God's personal name revealed in the Old Testament, Jesus is the personal name of the One we call Redeemer, Lord, Savior, etc. His name is intimately linked to the God of the Old Testament. Jesus means "Yahweh is Salvation". Indeed Jesus is Yahweh come to earth. If you have ever pictured God as distant or angry, you will have to reconsider that picture in the light of Jesus Christ, who is God moving toward us, God becoming one of us, God reaching out in mercy, God humbling himself, God nailed to a cross, God rising up from the grave to show us the way home. Jesus, the name above all names!
This Scripture reference shares more about the name that Jesus was given as Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14, "The Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel."
Immanuel, God with us.....this is one of the greatest promises in the Bible! "I AM WITH YOU" This NAME of Jesus shows us the desire of the Godhead~ to be with us. This is His identity~ He longs to be with mankind. At the end of Matthew's gospel, Jesus says, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age," Matthew 28:20. If the Lord is with us, what do we have to fear? What do we lack? How can we lose? The same Lord from the book of Genesis and before Genesis...before the foundations of the world were formed~ the everlasting One, who always existed~ HE LONGS TO BE WITH MAN.
The name Immanuel appears twice in the Hebrew Scriptures and once in the New Testament. One of the most comforting of all the names and titles of Jesus, literally translated "with us is God". When our sins made it impossible for us to come to him, God took the outrageous step of coming to us, of making himself susceptible to sorrow, familiar with temptation, and vulnerable to sin's disruptive power, in order to cancel its claim! In Jesus we see how extreme God's love is. Remember this the next time you feel discouraged, abandoned, or timid. Jesus is still Immanuel, God with us!
Activity: What does your name mean?
Take a look at a baby name book or do some research on line. What does the name of everyone in your family mean? Does the name seem to "fit" each person?
Design a poster with your name in the middle and words around describing who you are.
Parents, you may want to do this as a gift for your children. Write out prophetic descriptions of who he/she is around his/her name. Put the poster in the child's room so they see those descriptive words of how you see him/her and that will make a change in their attitude/thought-life/behavior because they look at it daily! This is a way to call out the gold in your child!
*Here is a picture of Jesus and the descriptions of who He is~ His glorious Names!
*I also included a picture that a parent had created for their daughter Hannah~ describing who she is. It is hanging in her room.