Summary: The LORD was called by many names. Three important names are YHWH, EL and Elohim. Jesus was called Emmanuel after he was born on earth. This sermon takes you to the greater level of spiritual upliftment by knowing the greatness of the Name Emmanuel
Immanuel or Emmanuel
The Hebrew word means “With us (is) God”. The word first found in Is.7:14 and 8:8. The word "behold!" used by Isaiah was a call to raise the eyebrows and fix attention to see something wonderful and extraordinary called a "sign", wonder, or miracle (John Gill).
Emmanuel: It is a compound word of (el) "God" and (Emmanu) "with us". Jesus, who is God in our nature, the word that was made flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14), and is one and only Mediator between God and us (1 Tim.2:5) (John Gill). The names of Christ are of two kinds: firstly, proper and distinguishing, pointing out his person; secondly, descriptive, either of his person or offices (Benson).
1. Emmanuel means God’s intimacy with men
Emmanuel reminds us two OT themes:
First theme is classical form: “I will be your God and you will be my people” (the shorter form is God with us- 18:20, 28:20). The second theme is glory or presence of God (Shekinah). Here Mathew identifies the Shekinah with a person called Jesus (1 Ki.8:27). The first one is covenantal relationship and the second one connivance relationship or participatory relationship.
Emmanuel was not a new name but was an experience by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and Israelite. Gen. 28:15 ‘I am with you’. Ex.33:14 ‘my presence will go with you’. Dt.20:1 ‘while you go for a war, I will be with you’. Isaiah 43:2 ‘when you pass through waters and fire, I will be with you’.
God was with Enoch; God was with Noah. God was with Joseph in the pit, in the prison and in the palace (Gen 37:24, 39:2, 21).
God was with David while he was with cattle and while he was hiding in the caves and when he was in the royal cabins.
God was with three friends of Daniel in the royal courts, training schools and in the brutal furnace.
Jesus was with the persecuted Christians, he was with Paul and Silas when they were in the prisons, when Paul had shipwreck, he was with him.
Today God is with us in our loneliness, lowliness and when people treat us with lawlessness. His grace is all sufficient for us. He is EMMANUEL.
2. Emmanuel means God’s intervention in men’s life
Secondly, Emmanuel is not only a relationship with God also it makes us to recognize his characters and its utility in our day to day life God with us through every action of our life; we begin, continue and end in his name. He intervenes.
He is God with us to comfort, enlighten, protect and defend us in every time of temptation and trial in the hour of death in the day of judgment and God with us and in us and we with and in Him to all eternity (Clarke).
Dayanand Carr: God intervention is found in three kinds of acts: Healing and exorcism, supplying food and drink, authority and power over nature.
Mathew aimed at proving Jesus Christ as Messiah. So, he recalls the names of God used in the Old Testament when he mentioned the name Emmanuel.
Names of God in the OT are El and Yahweh. It was further used as Elohim, Shaddai, Elyon (most high). El means ‘The Power or The Strong one’. Used as El-Shaddai=God almighty (Gen.17:1). El-roi = God of seeing (Gen16:13). El-ohim is the plural word of El-oah(angel) found in Ps. 8:5 and Heb. 2:7. So they named their children as Eliahim (May el raise up), Ezekiel (may el strengthen).
Yahweh means ‘The LORD’. They were using the word Adonai (my Lord) to substitute the word. In Greek they used the word as Kurios (the Lord). Yahweh. They used this name in their personal names as Yah., Azariah (Yahweh has helped), Jehoiakim (Yahweh raise up). “God was with His people,” protecting, guiding and ruling them. Now His Presence is more direct, personal, and immediate than any that had been known before (Ellicott).
3. Emmanuel means inclusiveness of all men
Though Mathew began his gospel for exclusive community of Jews but he latter opened the gates of the eternal life to all the nations. He took the Gospel to everyone, inclusive. Mathew introduces this word to Jesus as the royal son of God.
Mathew focuses as God with us in the beginning through the birth narrative and also, he closed the Gospel with the same note as God with us till the end of the world after with the resurrection narrative.
So, Emmanuel means evangelism, reaching, outreaches. Emmanuel means grace to all; Emmanuel means the salvation to all. God is with us to do evangelism. No fear, no threat, no worry.
Emmanuel-It shows how low God bent down to save man. He added the human nature into His divine nature, accepting the weaknesses, frailties, and dependency that the creature experiences. It also shows that God became closer to man yet remained God without corrupting his nature. It shows the compatibility between the fallen human nature and the divine nature. Now we are made in the image of God (David Guzik).