In November I read Matthew 1:23 in the Passion Translation. This is what it says: “Listen! A virgin will be pregnant! She will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew “God became one of us!” This part really stood out to me - Emmanuel, which means in Hebrew “God became one of us!” I have always read the translation, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23. That was powerful but “God became one of us” is even more powerful to me. As I shared before the meaning of a name was very significant in Bible times and still is for many people. “Joseph, one of the virtues of David, don’t hesitate to take Mary into your home as your wife, because the power of the Holy Spirit has conceived a child in her womb! She will give birth to a son and you are to name him, “Savior”, for he is destined to give his life to save people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21 (Passion Bible) In other translations Savior is translated Jesus. “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus, The Lord is salvation, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Amplified Bible) In Hebrew Jesus – Yahweh means Salvation, Restoration and Deliverance or God saves, restores and delivers. He is Salvation, Restoration and Deliverance. That is so vital to grasp and understand in our hearts. He isn’t just about Salvation, restoration and deliverance. That is Who He is just like red doesn’t just mean a color but it is red, a color. He is Savior, Jesus. In our daily lives just knowing Who He is should bring us tremendous hope. We don’t have to wait to see if He wants to be that for you or beg for Him to save, restore and deliver you because He is that and if you have Him you are saved, restored and delivered already but you have to choose to receive it.
When I read the translation of Emmanuel in the Passion Bible I was so excited. Again, it means in Hebrew “God became one of us!” That is such a vital truth for our lives. If we believe that Jesus lived on earth as part man and part God we can never believe that He identities with us in our daily lives. When we have struggles and hard times we can know that “the Living Expression, Jesus Christ, became a man and lived among us! And we gazed upon the splendor of His glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father overflowing with tender mercy and truth” John 1:14 He became a man – Emmanuel – became one of us.
In Hebrews 4 it says: Since all his “children” have flesh and blood, so Jesus became human to fully identify with us. He did this, so that he could experience death and annihilate the effects of the intimidating accuser who holds against us the power of death. For we have a magnificent King-Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into the heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty. He understands humanity, for as a Man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin. So we now come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.” Hebrews 4:14-16
He understands humanity because He came as a man and lived among us. He is Emmanuel – one of us. He lived this life so He understands EVERY single thing that you and I go through and feel. Even though Jesus did not sin our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin. He was tempted in every way. Wow! We can never say to Him that He doesn’t understand. He understands everything about us even when we are in the worst sin. He conquered sin because He knew His identity, His purpose, His Father. He had an intimate relationship with His Father and kept His eyes on Him and did what He did. That is the secret to not sinning – to being in disbelief. If our eyes were always on Him and His truths and we truly knew deep in our hearts just how much He loved us and is Salvation, Restoration and Deliverance we would be also be able to conqueror sin. Sin is not believing Who He is in us – in me and trying to earn and receive love and blessing through works and actions.
To me this translation was so powerful and changed my thinking. I knew Jesus came as a man so that we could identify with Him and He could identify with us but to know that is what Emmanuel means. If the world knew this truth I believe it would empower Believers to go so far from where they are now. I believe so many Christians haven’t grasped and understood in their hearts the truth that Jesus became one of us. They are waiting on Him to do something and begging Him to save, restore and deliver them from their situations and hurts. When they do not see any results they give up on His love or try harder and harder to get something they already have. If at Christmas time the message was “Listen! A virgin will be pregnant! She will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew “God became one of us!” I think many lives would be changed and be free from all the religious teachings of works, performance, begging, waiting – just plain bondage. I don’t know how to explain it but I know how this truth changed my life and my heart’s desire is to share the freedom of God became one of us so that others can know the freedom we have in Him because He understands and He has already done everything for us and all we have to do is believe and receive His unconditional love. That word unconditional is the key. We don’t grasp that because we tend to have conditional love and relationships.
Jesus understood rejection because He was rejected. He understand humility because He was humiliated. He understands sorrow. He understands you and He understands me.
Be sure and take time for the Lord this next week. It’s the time of year “things” pile up on us and we can become overwhelmed and lose our purpose. He will bring you peace that passes all understanding. He will guide you in ways you never thought of. He multiplies your time, finances and great favor is yours in every situation. My life has been a bit of a whirl wind lately and yet I’ve found myself not stressing or being too concerned. I haven’t done much shopping for my family including my 22 grandchildren but I know the Lord has the perfect gift for them and preparing for Christmas this week will be light and easy. I questioned, “Am I walking in His peace or is it jet lag?” J. I’m believing it’s His peace that I saw in my heart in a whole different way while in Kenya. We give gifts because He is our gift. We give and receive and are thankful for Emmanuel who came on that day to become one of us. Each of you are precious in my life and I am thankful for you. My deepest desire is that you will understand just how much you are loved and accepted by Him and by us. We cherish our friends and look forward to all the ways He will lead us into sharing this wonderful message to others so that that the world can know this freedom and love that we are blessed to know. Have a wonderful week celebrating Emmanuel!!