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What’s in a name?

Rev Dirk Willner

Living Grace Church



The Christmas season centres on an ancient prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) that states; “the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” That Hebrew name, Immanuel, when literally translated means ‘with us is the mighty one,’ or as it is commonly proclaimed: ‘God is with us.’ When the angel visited Joseph concerning Mary’s unexpected pregnancy, he quoted this verse, pointing out that their little family had become the target of this prophecy (Matthew 1:20-23). After Jesus grew up and completed the ministry task appointed to him, he referred to the accomplished agenda with the declaration “the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20 NIV). Of all the biblical themes we might suggest, this one, that God is among us, must surely be the most prominent message to the world. Best of all, God revealed himself through Jesus to bring us the good news of a divine friendship made possible by faith. This can only be signified by one person, namely ‘Immanuel.’ So, what’s in a name like that? Well, Jesus is the prophesied, promised, and fulfilled ‘God is with us.’

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