(This is a four-article series, Jesus at Christmas, in short 2-3 min. reads, about the person of Jesus and why we need Him at Christmas more than ever. We will use the Bible as the main source of truth, but call upon classic publications and authors to assist in providing answers.)
As Joseph and Mary prepared for their child to be born, they had several concerns which are documented at the end of Matthew, chapter one…
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet 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 will give him the name Jesus, because he will save the people from their sins.”
-Matthew 1: 18-21
So much for new parents to deal with given the societal mores of the times. But what we discover is not only how the baby was named, but also the level of trust that Joseph and Mary placed in God, given that each had their reputations on the line. The passage continues…
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”).”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Whoa! That’s a lot to digest. Joseph had some very difficult decisions to make. But he followed the command from God. And in doing so, everything worked out for both parents and child. But we also discover a new name, a different name for the baby Jesus – Immanuel, meaning “God with Us”.
What we have discovered so far is that Jesus’ birth was talked about centuries before, down to the last detail! That the baby was not conceived by man, but the Holy Spirit; which means he would be the first since the beginning of mankind to be born without sin (see Day 2 article). And that the parents were to give him the name Jesus because he “will save the people from their sins”. But he would also be called Immanuel, which is God with us.
When you think of the gravity of all that we know so far, there is much to process. But, what we do know is this baby was like no other. He was given the task of saving the people from their sins. But he qualified in that he was without sin. He was sent from heaven to join us and truly walk amongst us. Such an incredible act. A loving king that would be born to live among us so that he could save his own people. Such love. Such grace. Such humility. And, apparently many names, too. Not only “Jesus” and “Immanuel” (though those names said a lot about Him), their were many, many others applied to him before, during, and after His miracle birth.
Come back tomorrow to discover the many other names of Jesus, and why they all point to one thing: honor and service to the king.