Mat 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
It is a story that has been told countless times throughout history. Yet, it is just as powerful and majestic to the believer today as it was when it was first spoken. This verse begins with a command to pay attention. We learn as children that when someone in authority says “Pay attention!” it is good for us to look at what is going on. In this case, a virgin shall be with child.
A promise was fulfilled (Isa 7:14), regardless of how impossible it was. This was a sign from God given to men. The physical proof of God’s love for us was carried in the womb of a virgin. It was physically impossible, except that with God all things are possible. Mary had conceived (something that could not be hidden for long) a Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. The truth of the Son of God is conceived in us today by that same power. The same miracle-working God works in us the miracle of life, of faith, and service in the face of all manner of doubters.
A virgin conceived and brought forth a son. It was not enough that this great miracle of conception was accomplished. God intended for men to see the fulfillment of His covenant in His son Jesus Christ. Mary conceived and brought forth. Mary’s conception bore fruit. When we are blessed by the Holy Spirit today to conceive the miraculous truth of God, it will produce fruit. We will bring forth (manifest) that which is in us by the power of God for the glory of God. Just as Mary’s physical condition could not remain hidden, the work of God in the lives of men today cannot remain hidden. God does not cause His light to shine in men and then hide it.
A virgin conceived and brought forth a son and called Him Emmanuel. Emmanuel; a word of Hebrew origin meaning “God with us.” All of this is the direct result of the promise of Almighty God who cannot lie. Jesus was God with us in a body of flesh. This is a miracle of immeasurable proportion. Consider that when we are blessed to conceive the truth of God today (by the power of the same Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary) and bring forth fruit that honors God, it is a manifestation of God with us, and no less miraculous. The reason we, as Christians, can so readily believe the Christmas story is because, by the power of God we have experienced the Christmas story. It is not just words on a page; it is the very fabric of our lives. Our existence, our hope, our worship is grounded in the experience of God with us!
May we have grace from God to not just read the story of the birth of Jesus but to live it and rejoice that we have God with us!