2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Monday Morning Prophecy #10 – He Would Be Called Immanuel (God With Us)

cross-pictureLast week we looked at the virgin birth of the Messiah foretold hundreds of years before Jesus was born.  This week we will look at another amazing prophecy surrounding the birth of the Messiah.  Hundreds of years before he was born, the prophet Isaiah tells us about the “name” of the Messiah:

“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]

In the gospel of Matthew, we are told that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy:

But as he considered these things, behold, 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.” 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” (which means, God with us).   [Matthew 1:20-23]

So, the obvious question is, if Jesus was named Jesus, how is he the fulfillment of a prophecy that says he will be named Immanuel?  Good question!  In the Old Testament, names were much more than just the way a person was referred to.  Names had meanings and they meant a lot more than the meanings you find in the book of 10,000 baby names on your local book store shelf.  Names told you something about a person.  Here are some examples:

  • Adam means “man” (Genesis 2:20)
  • Abraham means “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5)
  • Isaac means “he laughs” (Genesis 17:19)
  • Moses means “taken out” (Exodus 2:10)
  • The 12 Sons of Israel (Genesis 29:31-35, Genesis 30:1-22; Genesis 35:16-18)
  • Nabal means “fool” (1 Samuel 25:25)

In Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah writes about the Messiah that “his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Clearly he was not implying that these would be the “name” by which he was referred, but these would be names that described him in some way.  In the same way “Immanuel” is a descriptive name meaning “God with us,” and Matthew tells his readers the obvious – that in the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, God was now physically with his people.

As an aside, this also serves as further proof of the authenticity of the Bible.  Had Matthew been making up his gospel, it would have been easy for him to have Mary or Joseph simply refer to Jesus by the name “Immanuel” a couple of times to prove the fulfillment of this prophecy.  Instead, he stays true to the meaning and intent of the original prophecy and simply explains that Jesus taking on human flesh and living amongst his people is the true fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would be called “God with us!”

Return to the Monday Morning Prophecy index page.

Image courtesy of Abby Reed