“Immanuel- God with Us”
I. Immanuel-Immaculate Conception
A. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 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). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
B. Mary was a virgin and betrothed to Joseph. However the scripture indicates that he was going to put her away or divorce her privately, which would cause us to think that they were already married. Yet, when we understand the Oriental culture and the idea that they were betrothed but the actual marriage or consummation of marriage had not taken place it begins to make sense that the scripture would suggest such a thing.
C. Many have called this Divine event as the Immaculate Conception. Immaculate means spotless; pure; unstained; undefiled; without blemish…She was already pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not have the sin nature passed down to Him from another fallen man, but truly He is the Son of God. Therefore His conception was both spotless and without blemish (without sin), but also pure and undefiled because it was a Divine event (authored by the Holy Spirit).
II. Immanuel- Immaculate Communication
To make sure that both mother and earthly father would understand the import and the situation they were being invited into He sent his Angel Gabriel-”Man of God” (according to Luke) to deliver the message.
III. Immanuel- Immaculate Cooperation
A. We see in the Gospel of Luke that when Mary heard the word she received the word. She gave the Holy Yes.
B. God is looking for Divine Cooperation. IF we say yes to His Word in our lives only Heaven knows what can be. Joseph was honored to name the child.
IV. Immanuel- Immaculate Collaboration
A. When you say “Yes!”, is when the work begins!
B. Mary had to labor for Jesus to be born; Mary and Joseph had to endure the ridicule of an “early” birth; Joseph had to lead the family quickly to Egypt to escape the child’s execution; Joseph and Mary settled into a new area for them, Galilee. Over and over when we say “Yes!” the adventure and labor truly begins.
V. Immanuel- Immaculate Communion
A. Jesus grew up in their home. They truly knew what it meant to have as an intimate companion the One who was from the beginning. When we say Yes we enter into communion with the God who loves and gave Himself for us.
B. As a result of God’s sovereignty and their willingness, we too can celebrate Immanuel- God With Us!