Thursday, December 13, 2007

Matthew 1:18-25


18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph [Engagement/betrothal was considered as good as being married in Jewish culture, any children conceived during this time were considered legitimate. The penalty for fornication with a betrothed woman was more serious than with a fully married women.], before they came together she was found to be with child, by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ``Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 ``She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.'' 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 ``BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,'' which translated means, ``GOD WITH US.'' 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

NOTE the names and titles given to this baby. JESUS--This is more than "name him Robert or Frank". Jesus is from the Hebrew name "Yeshua" and means "God will save"

LORD--This is from the Hebrew term "Adonai" which is used in the Hebrew in place of Jehovah (YHVH--Yahweh). They believe that Jehovah (YHVH), the name for their God was too holy to even be written down, so they used "adonai" (Lord). In fact, you will see today many Jewish writers use the term "G-d" for "God" out of respect for not writing down God's name.

CHRIST--This is not Jesus' last name, but a significant title for God's Messiah, meaning anointed One or Messiah. There have been over 50 people claiming to be Messiah (or claimed by their followers) since Jesus' time (Yeshua). Two of the more famous were Simon Bar Kokba in the 2nd century who led a failed revolt against the Romans. The other was more recent-Rabbi Menachem Scheerson of Brooklyn, who passed away a few years ago. In the case of Schneerson it is interesting that his followers believed he would be resurrected 3 days after his death. They quoted Hosea 6:2: "After two days he will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up."

IMMANUEL--This is literally "with" (IM) "us" (ANU) "God" (EL for Elohim meaning God). He will be known as the "with us God" or "God with us". Other Messianic names were Shiloh, Branch, Sprout, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Immanuel means "God with us." He can't be Immanuel-God with us, unless he is virgin born. That's the only way! And notice, unless He is Emmanuel, He cannot be Jesus, the Savior. The reason they call Him Jesus, Savior, is because He is God with us. This is the first Old Testament prophecy noted in the New Testament.

Can you see that this is not just another religious story or even the beginning of the religion known as Christianity? This is the fulfillment of God's promise to send to mankind His Messiah.