What's in a name? Sometimes a great deal! Take, for instance, the name IMMANUEL.
Joseph had taken Mary as his betrothed fiancee. Upon learning that she was pregnant with a child not his own, Joseph determined to divorce her. At this point the angel of the Lord stepped in to explain that the child was of the Holy Spirit. This was in fact a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “A virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and his name shall be called IMMANUEL” (Isa 7:14).
As Matt 1:23 goes on to explain, the name means “God with Us.” Jesus came to earth to be “God with us.” He took on human flesh and lived out the role of a servant (Phil 2:7). Moreover, Jesus came to be “with us” so that we could be “with Him”! This is beautifully shown in the long list of “with” phrases used by Paul. Each of the following hyphenated phrases is a single word in Greek, beginning with a prefix meaning “with”:
- We are “crucified-with” Him (Rom 6:6).
- We are “buried-with” Him (Col 2:12).
- We are “made-alive-with Him” (Eph 2:5).
- We are “raised-up-with” Him (Col 2:12; 3:1).
- We “live-with” Him (Rom 6:8).
- We “sit-with” Him (Eph 2:6).
- We “suffer-with” Him (Rom 8:17).
- We shall be “glorified-with” Him (Rom 8:17).
- We shall “inherit-with” Him (Rom 8:17).
- We shall “reign-with” Him (2 Tim 2:12).
Jesus makes “God with us” also mean “us with God”!