The Gospel of Mathew: God with Us.

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:22-23 ESV)

The phrase, “All this took place to fulfill,” is a recurring literary style of Matthew. “Matthew points out fulfillments of OT prophecies no less than a dozen times (cf. 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14, 35; 21:4; 26:54–56; 27:9, 35). He quotes from the OT more than 60 times, more frequently than any other NT writer except Paul in Romans, explains Dr. John MacArthur.

Nothing concerning the incarnation of Jesus Christ was left to chance, fate or luck. Every detail was with the providence of God the Father.

The prophet of whom Matthew refers is Isaiah. The texts are Isaiah 7:14 and 8:8-10. Not only did the prophet reveal the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Messiah (a virgin incarnation), but also His name (Immanuel); God with us. Even Isaiah noted that gender of the coming Messiah indicating the supernatural, revelatory nature of His birth.

There are those interpreters who state that Isaiah 7:14 applies solely to the Jewish King Hezekiah. This is wrong.

“We expound this (Isaiah 7:14) as relating to Christ in the following manner: You, the whole posterity of David, as far as lies in your power, endeavor to nullify the grace which is promised to you;” (for the prophet expressly call them, by way of disgrace, the house of David, Isaiah 7:13); but your base infidelity will never prevent the truth of God from proving to be victorious. God promises that the city will be preserved safe and unhurt from its enemies. If His word is not enough, He is ready to give you the confirmation of such as sign as you demand. You reject both favors, and spurn them from you; but God will remain steady to His engagement. For the promised Redeemer will come, in whom God will show Himself to be fully present with His people,” comments John Calvin.

But in Christ, the actual presence of God is with His people. He came to His own people, but tragically they did not receive Him (John 1:10-11). He was despised and rejected (Isiah 52:13-53:12).

“His name Immanuel. The phrase, God is with us, is not doubt frequently employed in Scripture to denote, that He is present with us by His assistance and grace, and displays the power of His hand in our defense. But here we are instructed as to the manner in which God communicates with men. For out of Christ we are alienated from Him; but through Christ we are not only received into His favor, but are made one with Him,” concludes Calvin.

The presence of God in the incarnation of Jesus Christ is greater than any other kind of revelation given to the ancient people. God is manifested in the flesh and bone of a human body (I Timothy 3:16). God has given Himself to sinners in Jesus Christ.

Soli deo Gloria!

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