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Faithlife Corporation

Immanuel Is Born

Notes & Transcripts

This Christmas I hope you see the birth of Christ in a whole new way. For I hope you see the reason God sent the Son. That he sent a child the Son to the world for the purpose of seeking and saving the lost. And today by the power of the Holy Spirit we are sent preaching good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Please stand for the reading of God’s Word

Matthew 1:18-25 (NLT)

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement* quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,* for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!

She will give birth to a son,

and they will call him Immanuel,*

which means ‘God is with us.’ ”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

God sent his angel to Zac and Beth,

Luke 1:19-20 (NLT)

19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

God sent his angel to Mary,

Luke 1:35-37 (NLT)

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.*”

and now,

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,* for he will save his people from their sins.”

However, before this happens Joseph is confronted with this news from Mary. “Ah, Joseph I got something to tell you…I just got back from visiting with my relatives Zac and Beth and guess what; well, an angel told them they are going to have a baby! And, and Joseph, an angel told me the same…see!”

Joseph, must have said, “woo!”

I’d imagine that he must have had a difficult time sleeping that night! All sorts of ideas must have been racing through his mind before and after he has the miraculous dream.

He obeys the Lord just as Mary had when the angel spoke to her (Luke 1:45).

I like how Joseph protects his bride from any harm.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 (NLT)

23 “Suppose a man meets a young woman, a virgin who is engaged to be married, and he has sexual intercourse with her. If this happens within a town, 24 you must take both of them to the gates of that town and stone them to death. The woman is guilty because she did not scream for help. The man must die because he violated another man’s wife. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.

Matthew 1:24-25 (NLT)

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Joseph saved Mary from being stoned by taking her as his wife which may have gone against the grain in this honor and shame culture.

Speaking of saving did you know that Jesus saves? How does he save? He saves by being our Immanuel (Matthew 1:23).

A writer for Standard puts it this way,

We see here two natures, a child and a son. The child is the human side. The Son is the divine side. The child born of whom? The virgin Mary. The Son given by whom? God the Father. The child was born. The Son was given.

You see because we are all sinners God had to make a way for us (John 14:6).

Tracing the pathway of his life we see these two natures. At his birth: a stable for a child to be born, a star for the Son; a company of shepherds viewing the child, a choir of angels celebrating the Son. In his life we see a hungry child revealing his human nature. In his ministry he feeds 5,000, showing his power as the Son of God. On the cross, the child shows his human nature in suffering. In his resurrection, the Son shows his power and glory as the Son of God.

For the Father of Heaven to reclaim lost humanity, it would take both the human nature and the divine nature. God’s eternal purpose could not be accomplished if these two natures stood alone and independent of one another. John said, “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” (John 1:14). As both the mediator of God and man, he had two natures but only one person.

Therefore, Immanuel means God with us. He is with us both in human form and divine form, but for what purpose? The angel announced the purpose to Joseph: “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” (Matthew 1:21). Only Immanuel can be the Savior. The mediator and deliverer must be “with us.” Moreover, he must be “God with us” in order to save us from our sins. He must be a man because mankind committed the sin. But he must be God for only God can forgive our sins.

The New Testament writer said, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

The apostle wrote in 1 John 2:1, 2, “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the sins of the whole world.”

The child alone could not save us from our sins. The child’s shoulders were too weak. It was on the shoulders of the Son that the sins of the world would rest.

Later in Isaiah the prophet says, “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (53:6). Isaiah’s prophesy in 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah is not referring to an earthly government but to God’s ability to forgive us of our sins, thus providing us with counsel, power, peace, and everlasting hope. Jesus kept the weight of sin on his shoulders and he bore it.

Yes, God is a Sender He has sent a child and a Son so that we can be reconciled back to the Father. If I had the time I would show to you how this is not the first time God has been a Sender and you can be certain that until Christ returns He will continue be sending those of us who are willing to respond as did Joseph and Mary to seek and save the lost!

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