January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’”—Matthew 1:22–23 (HCSB)
What’s the first thing you learn about someone when you’re first introduced to them? Their name! Why? Because names help us to remember people, to identify them, and to know them. Names in the Bible carry special significance because they often tell us something about the person, and no name in history tells us more about a person than the name mentioned in Matthew 1:23!
A little context: Joseph and Mary were engaged, but Mary became pregnant before the wedding—not by Joseph. He could have publicly shamed her or had her stoned to death. Why? Because as his betrothed, it was essentially like being caught in adultery. But Matthew 1:19 (NLT) tells us he decided to break off the engagement quietly because he “was a righteous man.”
Before he could go through with it, an angel came to him, saying, “‘Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:20–23 HCSB).
Similarly, Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:31–32 NIV).
I love this name!
Jesus . . .
There’s so much comfort, peace, and beauty in this name. But it’s not the only name He’d be called.
The Word (logos): “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14 NIV), which we discussed in day one!
Wonderful Counselor: All wisdom comes from Him! He’s our source for all wisdom and understanding. He leads us into right paths and teaches us how to live a life of meaning and fulfillment. Having lived fully human, He knows what it’s like to walk in our shoes. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) reminds us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
Mighty God: Strength, power, courage, and perseverance all come from Him. And the Word constantly reminds us that His power is available to all who look to Him! Philippians 4:13 (CEV) says, “Christ gives me the strength to face anything.”
Everlasting Father: Our Savior is the way to the Father. In John 14:9 (NIV), He declared, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) tells us, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
Prince of Peace: Ephesians 2:14 (NIV) says, “For he himself is our peace.” Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father by bridging the gap and paying the price for our sins. His peace, which surpasses understanding, has the power to guard us and give us hope and security. He invites us to come to Him to find peace, to “cast all [our] anxiety on him because he cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).
As you get ready to celebrate Christmas, remember that Immanuel came to make a way for all to know God deeply and intimately, to save us from our sins, to transform our hearts, to renew our minds, to speak peace into our very souls, and to bring our spirits to life (John 1:4–5). He made His dwelling among us, died for us, and now makes His dwelling within us!
Pause: What do the names of Jesus tell us about who He is and how He changes our lives?
Practice: Today, do a quick search online for the different names and titles given to Jesus in Scripture. Read what they mean and reflect on these things.
Pray: Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for all that Jesus is in my life and in this world. What a wonderful Savior, Lord, King, Master, and Friend He is. May my life today and every day be used to point people to the Immanuel! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.