22 Dec Look At The Holy Spirit Part I
Does JESUS still come today? Let’s look at the HOLY SPIRIT Part I
“All this took place to fulfill what the LORD had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, GOD with us).” – Matthew 1:22-23
Today we want to explore this truth from a theological perspective. Now before you get all put off, recall that Martin Luther said that theology is nothing more than using grammar to study the Bible. So as we begin this Bible study, the first question that comes to mind is who is the prophet are we talking about. Matthew is quoting the prophet Isaiah (7:14) who wrote about his confrontation of the evil king Ahaz. In this confrontation, Ahaz proudly stated that he would not submit to GOD’s request and ask GOD for a sign. So GOD provided one, and one that Ahaz likely would not have chosen. A son was to be born of a virgin and he was to be named Immanuel (GOD with us). Some 600 years later, this prophecy is about to be fulfilled as the virgin Mary gives birth, and Joseph names HIM, JESUS, that is Immanuel.
The second question from a grammatical standpoint is what does the phrase, GOD with us, mean. The first word, GOD, refers to the Triune GODHEAD. That is to say GOD in HIS fullness was coming to earth to live among the people HE had created. HE was coming in the form of a baby, a human child with all of our weaknesses and limitations and yet still being GOD. With, means alongside, to go with someone is to come alongside, to walk their same journey, to experience together their situation. This is what JESUS did. We read in the Bible that HE walked alongside Mary and Joseph learning from them and about them. HE also walked along side HIS brothers and sisters, his boyhood friends, and fellow townspeople. Finally HE walked alongside the twelve HE called disciples. HE taught them, HE ate with them, HE laughed with them, HE cried with them, that is, HE lived with them. The pivotal word in this phrase, however, is us. Who is us? Does JESUS’ presence stop when HE ascends into heaven in Acts chapter 2 and resumes HIS close fellowship with GOD the FATHER and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT? Grammar says no! This short little phrase offers tremendous comfort and joy because it says emphatically that GOD is with HIS people, all of HIS people, all of the time. HE came to be with us. When your emotions or circumstances scream otherwise, remember HIS last words in Matthew 28:20…and lo I am with you always…