Pastor Vince gave us our money’s worth this week, with a sermon containing two great core messages. I will focus on what I believe was meant to be his secondary theme, but one well worth our attention.
Matthew 1 reads, “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 conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (verses 20b-23).”
The musing Joseph facing the possibility of an unfaithful Mary, is given an angelic dream in which he is assured of Mary’s fidelity, but also of her divine role. Within it Joseph is given two inspired names for the child. Jesus (a proper noun which the child would bear), and Immanuel (a name which He fulfill as an adjective). The first, His mission to be a saviour to the world. The second, His essence as He was indeed “God with us,” as John records, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).”
Yeshua-Jesus came to restore the relationship which humanity had destroyed in Eden. He was born to lay His life down that our self-full actions of sin, might be erased in His blood. He truly was a saviour – a Jesus, for we had no way to redeem ourselves, for not one of us was righteous (Romans 3:10).
But He first need to show us the way. His presence with us was illustrative as well as saving. He dwelt among us, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2: 6-7).” But despite being in all ways like us, Hebrews 4:15 proclaims: “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.”
Jesus/Immanuel dwelt among us, taught us, showed us the way, and set the example for us. Jesus/Immanuel gave His life, that the many might live – A true saviour. He was the fulfillment of prophecy and the embodiment of His two names.