Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
22So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:23"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" which is translated, "God with us".


The angel confirmed to Joseph that what was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Spirit. He also guided Joseph to the Old Testament prophecy that the Lord spoke 700 years ago through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6). God wanted Joseph to understand that this miracle did not happen by chance but was designed long ago, being the substance of his salvation, and the summit of the history of the Jewish people.
The "promised one" was a Son born of a virgin. His name, Immanuel (in Hebrew), means "God with us." Through him God comes to dwell among his people. From the time sin entered into the world, the Creator separated himself from his creatures because he is greatly exalted and holy. In view of his glory and holiness, he must condemn sin; for God, in his nature, is an enemy of sin and no sinner can dwell in his presence. He will punish everyone who is not willing to repent and turn away from his evil doings.
The name "Immanuel" rises higher than our understanding. God incarnate among us, reconciling the world to himself, bringing peace and taking us into covenant and communion with himself. Before Christ's coming, the Jewish people had God with them in types and shadows, but never so much as when the "Word was made flesh." God dwelt among his people in his promised Immanuel, Jesus, instead of his symbolic dwelling between the cherubim.
What a blessed action taken by God to bring peace and correspondence between God and man. Two natures are brought together in the person of this Mediator, who is fit to become a referee, "to lay his hand upon us both" (Job 9:33), since he partakes of both the divine and the human natures. In this, we may see the deepest mystery and the richest mercy. In light of creation we see God as a powerful God far above us; in light of the law, we see him as a judging God producing fear in us; but in light of the gospel, we see him as a loving "Immanuel", God with us, walking among us in our nature, very close and very personal. Herein the Redeemer "commended his love".
He who does not repent is a deceiver. He deceives himself and deceives others, especially when his friends greet him, "God be with you." They should rather say, "God is against you", for God’s wrath is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.
From the birth of Christ we learn that God’s holiness became united with his love and mercy. The child of the manger was born pure and without a spot to reconcile us to the holy God, taking away the inequities of people, and bearing the wrath of judgment that we deserve, defeating for all time the barrier that separates us from God. The justified and merciful Christ is the connecting link between God and us.
No religion and no people have the right to say, "God is with us" except those who accept Christ. In the person of Christ, God came and worked. Whoever cleaves unto him shall receive the Holy Spirit who leads all believers toward purity, truthfulness, and service. No man can ever say, "God is with us" except he that walks uprightly in his spirit, and experiences the indwelling of the person of God.
He who seeks after God becomes astonished at the simple message contained in the person of Jesus, "God with us." Keeping prayers, laws, holy days and songs of rituals does not bring you close to God unless you are abiding in the Mediator whom God has sent. We do not deserve his coming to us, yet a virgin bearing a son, calling him Immanuel, was God's plan from long ago.

Prayer
I worship you, Holy God, because you are love. Please do not despise me nor destroy me, but have mercy upon me. You came humbly to me in a stable, took my sin, and cleansed me from all unrighteousness. Thank you that you promised never to leave me or forsake me.
Question
What is the meaning of "Immanuel"? And why is Christ worthy of that name?