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IMMANUEL: “GOD WITH US”

Daily Devotional Matthew 1:22–25


Before the days of GPS, long road trips were a bit of a challenge. Drivers needed encouragement that they were on the right road and regular updates on how far they were from their intended destination. Regularly spaced highway number markers and mileage signs giving the distance to key points ahead were a great source of comfort. They assured travelers that they were indeed on the right route.


The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).

MATTHEW 1:23


Matthew 1:22–25 is an important marker on the spiritual historical roadmap. These verses record a momentous fulfillment of prophecy. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (vv. 22–23).


The fact that Matthew highlights the “with us” theme so early in his Gospel unveils a key theme for the book. All throughout this Gospel the theme of “God’s presence” is evident, ultimately reaching its climax in the last verse of the book when Jesus states to His disciples and by extension to us: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).


Notice that Matthew’s Gospel record highlights Joseph’s story. Certainly, the news of Mary’s pregnancy was surprising and even troubling to him. Even so, Joseph obeyed. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, explaining the divine origin of Mary’s pregnancy and affirmed his trust in God’s promises (vv. 20–21). God was present in Joseph’s situation.


Jesus came to earth to be “with us.” Just as Joseph and Mary found comfort in this truth, realize that Jesus is your “Immanuel” as well. His name is more than a title, it is a promise, and it serves as a signpost until we reach our eternal destination!


Go Deeper


What did God’s presence mean to Mary and Joseph? What does His presence mean to us as we walk through difficult life circumstances?


Pray with Us:


God, give us the faith of Mary and Joseph who welcomed You into their lives and lived in the reality of Immanuel, “God with Us.” Help us understand that You will walk with us every step of the way until our eternal destination.

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