Therefore 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 NKJV).
Everything in the universe has a name. Every person in this world also has a name. As well, all man-made objects have names. This underscores the importance of a name in our society. Here is why?: 1. Our names reveal who we are. And 2. Our names help us to be identified.
Our personal names tacitly speaks volumes about ourselves. For example, without any prior meeting with people whose names are on a list, we would be able to know something about them. We could conjecture where they come from, their sexes, their culture, the language they speak, the foods they eat, their economic standing and so forth and so on. Our names also help us to be identified. They give us our individuality; and serve as place holders in our communities, countries and the world.
It is for these reasons that, the Jewish people pay particular attention to names. They strongly believe that, a person’s name could be traced down the family tree to the fore father of that family. They also believe that, names are markers of people’s character. They reveal what they are capable of doing and vice versa.
It’s for this reason that, when God was sending Moses to the Pharaoh in Egypt to deliver his people, he asked him (God) the following question: 13 … “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:13-14 NKJV).
Long before Jesus was born, there were many prophecies about his coming; i.e. the coming of the Messiah. Among them was Isaiah’s prophecy which reads; Therefore 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 NKJV). There are two important things to note in this passage. a. A virgin giving birth to a Son, and b. The name to be given to that Son. Here’s why?
A VIRGIN GIVING BIRTH TO A SON
For Isaiah to prophesy that, a virgin will give birth defies the course of nature. Naturally, conception takes place through the union of a man and a woman. It’s therefore impossible for a virgin to conceive and give birth to a Son. However, such a prophecy speaks of the sovereignty of God – a God who’s capable of doing whatever pleases him. The virgin birth of a Son underscores the miraculous nature surrounding the birth of the coming Messiah.
WHY THE NAME IMMANUEL?
According to Isaiah’s prophecy, the name of the Son who’ll be born by the virgin shall be called Immanuel. This prophecy is fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-23; which reads:
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being [a]a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is [b]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [c]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
This phrase, God is with us therefore throws light on two important aspects of God’s dealing with man, Firstly, it describes the nature of the Son to be born; that, he is God coming down in human form. Secondly, it speaks to God’s gracious act and faithfulness in fulfilment of his prophecy by sending the Messiah to his people – the Jews.
Today is the beginning of December. To some, this is a month of Christmas; and that means shopping. To others, it’s a time of reunion of family and friends. To the Christian community, it’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus; even though, he wasn’t born in December. No matter what the reason for our celebration of Christmas, we all know that, COVID-19 has put a damp into this year’s celebration.
Nevertheless, no matter what our struggles are, whether we might have lost a loved one, a co-worker, or a neighbor to this pandemic, let’s remember we have someone closer to us; who bears the gracious Name Immanuel; who’ll always be with us.
On behalf of my family, staff and the entire members of Disciples Revival Church, I wish all of you a wonderful MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Rev. Dr. & Rev. (Mrs.) Charles & Faustina Mantey
Disciples Revival Church
30 Gordon Mackay Road
Toronto, Ontario M9N 2V6. Canada
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My two new books titled: 1) Christianity As A Way of Life: Reflections on the Epistle of James. And
2) Jesus And The Seven Churches of Revelation.
were launched on Sunday November 24th 2019; and it was a huge success. Thank you for your prayers. These books will help you as study materials for your personal spiritual growth, small group, Sunday School or the whole congregation.
My other books titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives, and African Spirituality: Did Africans Know God Before the Arrival of the Missionaries could be purchased from Amazon.com.
THE DIGITAL COPIES (EBOOKS) ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.COM.
You may also contact me through www.charlesmantey.com, email me at: cbmantey.com or www.shidaanikei.com.
We will be grateful if you are able to support us financially to continue spreading the gospel in Africa and other parts of the world. You may send your donations by E-Transfer or through our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurhch.org and click on the donation page.
Do check us out on social media for more study materials. Like us on Facebook at disciplesrevivalchurchtoronto or Twitter: @disciplesrevive find us on YouTube as well.
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