Summary: Christmas message based on Matthew 1:21-23.
Emmanuel ¡V God with Us!
John 1:1-3, 10-14
December 14, 2003
This morning we continue our look at the Christmas story as related in Matthew. Last week we read from Matthew 1:18-25, which in those eight verses gives us a quick synopsis of the miracle of Jesus¡¦ birth.
The story is told in much more depth in the book of Luke, but this account is no less important, and I want to focus this morning on one portion of it.
A portion that centers on the lynchpin of God¡¦s plan to redeem us for Himself.
So turn with me once again, please, in your Bibles to Matthew 1. This is found on page 681 of the Bibles in the seats.
We will not read the whole passage, and I want us to pay attention to verses 21-23.
These three verses give us the frame of reference of what Christmas was to set into motion.
Please follow along as I read:
21 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."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us."
Verse 21 gives the parting words of the angel, and verses 22-23 give us the context of this wonderful pronouncement.
These three verses set the stage for what I want to talk to you about today: the fact that God Himself came to earth in the form of a man.
He was literally ¡§Emmanuel ¡V God with us.¡¨ I want us to look at that more closely, and in doing that I want to offer you two paradoxical facts, and then offer you the opportunity to respond to them.
My desire is that by the time we¡¦re done here this morning, you will be more awed, more in love, and more moved to serve Him than ever before.
In hoping to help you in that, I want us to actually move out of Matthew to the gospel of John, the first chapter, which you can find on page 750 of the Bibles in the seats.
John chapter 1 gives us a little more insight into the miracle of God becoming man, and I want us to look at a few verses to help us grasp it a little more firmly, okay?
The first fact about Jesus ¡V Emmanuel is this:
1. Jesus created all things.
JN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
JN 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Let me answer a question that you might have real quickly: how do we know this is Jesus being talked about here?
Verse 14, which we¡¦ll look at in more detail later gives us the answer by telling us that the Word of God mentioned here in verses 1-2 became flesh and lived among men.
But don¡¦t get ahead of me, okay?
Let¡¦s park on the fact that Jesus is the Creator.
We see it not only in this passage, but also from another passage in Colossians.
Colossians 1 says this:
COL 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Then we read in verse 19 ¡V
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.
This important because it says that Jesus is the Creator God. Jesus wasn¡¦t just a bystander, looking over everything and going, ¡§Way to go, God!¡¨
He was the Creator. He created the universe, including our planet, and this passage tells us that not only did He create them, He holds it all together.
Now is that awesome, or what? But that¡¦s just what makes this next fact so paradoxical, or opposite to what we would think is proper, and that is that¡K
2. Jesus entered His creation.
Huh? Well, look at our passage in John, picking it up in verse 10.
JN 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
JN 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.