“. . . an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.'” Matthew 1:20-21
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.'” Matthew 1:22-23
The angel tells Joseph to call the newborn “Jesus.”
Matthew looks back to Old Testament prophecy and says His name should be “Immanuel.”
The angel says “Jesus.” Matthew (and Isaiah!) say “Immanuel.”
Which is it, “Jesus” or “Immanuel”? “The LORD saves” or “God with us”? Do Matthew and the angel disagree? Do they need to go out in the parking lot and settle it? What’s up with this? What do we call the baby?
You already know, don’t you?
You can’t have one without the other. The baby is named “Jesus” because of what He came to do: “save His people from their sins.” The baby is also called “Immanuel” because of what His work accomplished: “God with us.” Again, you can’t have one without the other. Or, at least, the very purpose of the one is so the other can happen.
Why do we need forgiveness? To be with God!
Why can’t we be with God in close relationship? Our sin!
The angel and Matthew and Isaiah agree completely. We need Jesus so we can have Immanuel. What was lost in Genesis 3 because of sin has been restored in this baby.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
You see? Even Peter got it!
Sing choirs of angels! Sing in exaltation!