Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.
We believers have an unspeakable blessing—we have God’s presence all the time!
In the New Testament, we find several names for our Lord Jesus. One is Emmanuel, which means God with us. A staff member at Bibles for America was enjoying the Lord as Emmanuel so much that he overflowed in song. He based his song on three verses in Matthew and set it to the tune of the American folk song “Shenandoah.” We hope you enjoy the marvelous fact that God is with us as you hear our staff singing the song.
“Emmanuel—His name men calleth,
God with us—with them He dwelleth;
I’m in their midst—where saints assembleth,
‘Behold, I am with thee’—
‘til this age hath ended.”
Play it here:
Let’s now briefly get into the three verses the song is based on, Matthew 1:23; 18:20; and 28:20.
1. Matthew 1:23
“’Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel’ (which is translated, God with us).”
This word spoken by an angel to Joseph is a quotation of the great prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of that prophecy.
In the New Testament Recovery Version, note 2 for Emmanuel explains its meaning:
“Jesus was the name given by God, whereas Emmanuel, meaning God with us, was the name by which man called Him. Jesus the Savior is God with us. He is God, and He is also God incarnated to dwell among us (John 1:14). He is not only God but God with us.”
Jesus is wonderful! He’s Jesus our Savior and He’s Emmanuel, the incarnated God. Through His human birth God was no longer far away in the heavens, unreachable, and unapproachable. As Emmanuel, Jesus was the very God living, walking, and dwelling among human beings.
The blessing of having Jesus as Emmanuel wasn’t only for those who lived in Judea at the time of His earthly life. After the Lord lived a perfect human life among men, He died on the cross to accomplish eternal redemption for us. Then after three days Jesus rose from the dead and later ascended to the heavens. Yet though He’s now in the heavens, wondrously He’s also with us!
2. Matthew 18:20
“For where there are two or three gathered into My name, there am I in their midst.”
The Lord’s pledge here is for all His believers. The two or three in this verse refers to the believers who come together to meet. Whenever we gather together in His name, that is, in His person and out of everything else, Jesus promised He would be with us. Our meeting together isn’t a religious duty but a rich enjoyment because of Christ’s own dear presence. So if two of us come together in His name, three are actually present, because the Lord Himself is among us. What an encouragement and a joy this is!
3. Matthew 28:20
“Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age.”
The Lord Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, after He resurrected and commissioned them with the gospel. Jesus guarantees with this comforting and strengthening word that no matter what, He is with us now and until the end of the age when He returns. And His promise is for all the days. Jesus is with us today, and He will be with us tomorrow and every single day. As we preach and teach His Word to others in the world, He is with us.
The Gospel of Matthew begins with Jesus being called Emmanuel at His birth, the incarnation of God. It continues with Jesus’ own promise to be with us whenever we gather in His name. And Matthew ends with the resurrected Christ promising us: “Behold I am with you.” Praise God for this incomparable blessing of God with us!
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