Landon and Judah are still loving to find out what ornament we will be making each day. Yesterday, we got out some modge podge (part glue part water) and had fun finding letters in magazines to spell Jesus to glue on our craft sticks as well as other names we came across in our magazine. We made sure to make Jesus stand out by finding big letters for his name. We talked about what Immanuel means~ God with us, which is what was prophesied in Isaiah about the nature of Jesus. Writing this post made me wonder why we don’t call Jesus Immanuel and came across a website called ApologeticsPress.org. It explains this very well…
Why Did Mary and Joseph Not Call Jesus “Immanuel”?
Approximately 700 years before the birth of the promised Messiah, Isaiah prophesied about a virgin who would “conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (7:14). Years later, the apostle Matthew referred to Isaiah’s prophecy, specifying once again that, “they shall call His name Immanuel” (1:22-23). Many have wondered why, if the promised Son of Mary was supposed to be called “Immanuel,” this name is never used in the New Testament aside from Matthew’s quotation of Isaiah 7:14. Why do we never read of Mary, Joseph, John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul, or others calling the Messiah “Immanuel”?
Thankfully, as so often is the case with God’s Word, the Bible is its own (and best!) commentary. To better understand what Isaiah meant by the name Immanuel, it is helpful to consider what the prophet wrote two chapters later. In prophesying about the Messiah, Isaiah wrote: “His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). Did Isaiah mean by this that the Messiah would literally have as His given name “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” or “Everlasting Father”? Surely, to ask is to answer. These names were given to describe the nature of the Messiah, not serve as literal, given names. As commentator Albert Barnes noted:
His [the Messiah’s—EL] attributes shall be such as to make all these applications appropriate descriptions of his power and work. To be called, and to be, in the Hebrew, often mean the same thing…. Such a use of a verb is not uncommon in Isaiah. ‘One calls him,’ is, according to the usage in Isaiah, as ranch as to say [the equivalent of saying—EL], he will justly bear this name; or simply, he will be (1997).
By nature, the son of Mary was “Immanuel” (John 1:1-3; 10:30,33; 20:28), but by name, He was “Jesus.”
A similar distinction between one’s nature and name is found as early as Genesis chapter two. Following God’s creation of Eve from Adam’s rib, the first man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23, emp. added). Although Adam said, “she shall be called woman,” one chapter later Moses recorded how “Adam called his wife’s name Eve” (3:20). Obviously, Adam meant that by nature the one whom God created from his rib was a female human, “a helper comparable to him” (though with noticeable differences and roles—3:18-23), but by name, she would be known as “Eve.”
Gabriel’s conversation with Mary prior to her miraculous conception is also helpful in gaining a proper understanding of Jesus’ name and nature. Although Gabriel did not use the term “Immanuel,” notice how he distinguished between Jesus’ given name and the titles by which He would be known as a result of His divine nature:
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end…. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:30-35, emp. added).
Finally, Matthew further clarifies God’s use of the “name” Immanuel in the very passage he quotes—Isaiah 7:14. Immediately before and after Matthew reminds his readers of the prophecy regarding the Messiah’s name being “Immanuel” (1:23), he noted how Joseph would call (1:21) and did call (1:25) the Messiah by “His name Jesus.” The fact that Matthew wrote of the Messiah’s “name” being “Immanuel” in verse 23, but “Jesus” in verses 21 and 25, clearly shows that Matthew understood that one name (Jesus) was a given, literal name, while the other (Immanuel), similar to Jesus’ title “Christ,” characterized His essence. ~reference-Barnes, Albert (1997), Notes on the Old and New Testaments (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Sorry such a long quote, but I think it is very helpful. Another interesting tidbit of info is that Jesus’ name in Hebrew is Yeshua (a shortened version of Yehoshua~ which means ‘the Lord saves’ which translates into English as Joshua), which when translated into English is Joshua, and means ‘he will save.’ How interesting is that? How did we get the name Jesus then you ask? Well,
Yeshua translated into Greek is Iesous.
Iesous transliterated into Latin is Jesu.
Jesu became Jesus in English.
Cool, huh? I found this information on Godwords.org.
Back to Truth in the Tinsel… Day 12, yesterday, we made “I Spy Mary and Joseph” jars after reading about Mary and Joseph going back to Bethlehem for the census, since he was from the house of David. We talked about what a census is- that they were going back to where they were from to be counted. Justin asked them where they would have to go (where they were born), so for Landon that would be Colorado and Judah, Germany. Landon asked where we would go, which for me would be Georgia and for Justin would be Florida. Landon was upset that we would all be split up, but we reassured him that we would ALL go to Florida with daddy since he is the head of the house. :) Here are the highlights from these days! You can still do these activities with your kids. Just pick up on the current day, and add any missed days that you want to. Click here to visit Truth in the Tinsel.