Day 42 - FOUNDATION STONES IN A YEAR
Quite apart from the overwhelming number of statements in the Bible that directly refer to Jesus as God, the Bible is also jam-packed with indirect or circuitous references to the Deity of Christ. These make fascinating studies because they tell us so much about what Jesus is like.
Today’s readings share of a prophecy that was fulfilled at the time of the birth of Jesus. Here the baby to be born, upon whom the ‘government’ would rest, is referred to as Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. And although Isaiah the Prophet doesn’t specify that the one about whom he is prophesying, is Jesus – later, Matthew does make this very definite connection.
This Immanuel, this ‘child born to us’, is none other than Mighty God. Immanuel is a masculine Hebrew name meaning “God with us” or “God is with us.” The name Immanuel appears in the Bible only the three times represented by our readings for today.
In the book of Isaiah, a child born in the time of King Ahaz was given the name Immanuel as a sign to the king that Judah would receive relief from attacks by Israel and Syria: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The name Immanuel betokened the fact that God would establish His guiding and protecting presence with His people in this deliverance.
A second, far-reaching implication of Isaiah’s prophecy about a child named Immanuel concerned the birth of Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah.
Seven hundred years after King Ahaz, a virgin from Nazareth named Mary was engaged to Joseph. Before they were married, an angel visited Joseph to confirm that Mary had conceived a child through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20–21). Matthew, understanding the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, delivers this inspired revelation: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:22–23).
Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy because He was literally “God with us”; He was fully human yet still fully God. Christ came to live in Israel with His people, as Isaiah had foretold. Matthew recognized Jesus as Immanuel, the living expression of the Incarnation—the miracle of the Son of God becoming a human and making His home among us so that He could reveal God to us.
What is God like? Well, just like Jesus actually.
Thank You Lord for confirming the Deity of Jesus through prophecies like these.
For the family
Explain the study in an age-appropriate way.