Seven-hundred years before Jesus was born, Isaiah, directed by God’s living Spirit, predicted the arrival of the Messiah, “The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, ESV).
Isaiah says, “Here’s your sign! You will know that He is the promised Messiah when you hear of His virgin birth.”
It must have been hard to believe. Virgin birth? That’s not how it works ... it’s not the way God designed it. A child is conceived only ... you know! A virgin momma? It couldn’t happen!
But it did happen.
(“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” I really do believe that Noah built a boat, that God opened the Red Sea, that Jonah was swallowed by a fish, that Jesus fed the 5000, that He healed the leper, the blind man, and the quadriplegic, that He can transform a sinful man’s soul, and that He is coming to rapture His church! And I believe that Mary, a young virgin, gave birth to my King!)
Now, look again at Isaiah’s prophecy. He promised that the One conceived by God’s miraculous power would be given the name “Immanuel!”
When the New Testament’s Gospel writer, Matthew, recorded the birth of Jesus, he quoted Isaiah’s prediction. “ ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:23, ESV).
Matthew, helpfully, interpreted the name. Immanuel means “God with us!”
The virgin birth was big news! Good news! But think about it! “Immanuel. God with us!” That’s incredibly great news!
Yes, the incarnation of God fulfilled this promise! Almighty God became a man. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us!
But, thankfully, He’s still with us today. Jesus’ final words were, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, ESV). He promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV).
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He comforted His followers with an iron-clad promise! “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth ... for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18, ESV). Just as Jesus walked with Peter and John, Immanuel is with us!
Just as God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, Immanuel is with us!
You are not alone! That’s good news!