The Name, the Burden of Prophecy
Matthew 1:23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is…

Introduction. Though in the order of the historic narrative this name of prophecy, "Immanuel," comes second on this page, yet had it already found its place on the page of ages ago. It is the Name by which the prophet had long ago declared forcibly the dignity of the Christ - the real Being, the Christ. Whereas the other Name of our vers. 21, 24: was that given now in the "fulness of time," which dared boldly to challenge the proof in the immediate future of both itself and of the other predicted Name - their main truth, their minute accuracy. The reminiscence of prophecy, and the quotation of prophetic language now before us, are the appropriate, the natural sequel of the historic announcement of the incarnation and superhuman origin of Christ; and they are the appropriate anticipation of the illustrious career of the Saviour-Christ. Notice -

I. THE CONNECTION PRECLUDES THE EXPLANATION OF A MERE METAPHORIC OR A MERE SPIRITUAL MEANING AS THAT WHICH SHOULD JUSTLY ATTACH TO THIS DESCRIPTION' OF CHRIST. The Name is given clearly in closest connection with the statement that one who was still a virgin should conceive and bring forth a son. Truly enough, there are a hundred things in which God shall be said to be "with man." But it is no one of those hundred ways now. It is one that takes precedence of them all.

II. THAT THE FACT ONCE GRANTED OF THE MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION OF CHRIST OFFERS FOR OUR THOUGHT THE DEEP NECESSITY OF SUCH KIND OF UNION, SUCH REALITY OF UNION OF "GOD WITH MAN" FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE REDEMPTION OF MAN. There must be a certain kind of presence of God with man. The nature of that presence is all-important. All that is most distinctive in what we may call the revelation and the genius of the New Testament really hinges hereupon. Though probably all figures ought to be ruled incompetent to this great, this astounding fact, yet perhaps we shall not stray if we put it thus - that the Incarnation was a literal and a veritable graft of the Divine upon the human nature. Its object was at least twofold.

1. To bring a literal Presence into this world, and partly of this world, which otherwise would certainly in no course of things be here; One which should be a certain incomparable Sight, a certain incomparable Sound, a certain paramount Example among men. From that Presence would come, and come in streams, forces of new impression, of light, of conviction, of surprise, otherwise unattainable; no comet of heavenly bodies in the sky a millionth part so fruitful of impression and so intrinsically attracting, as this unsurpassed comet of real Divine nature within earth's humble range.

2. To bring that Presence into this world to execute one supreme, incomparable task. The motto, nay, the very key-note of the new song of this whole world is heard in the word "atonement." And though this be not the place to go beyond the statement of the fact, that fact is that "God with man" alone found "the proper Man" (Luther's hymn) able, willing, to meet the crisis, to suffer the suffering, to master the problem, and to atone. - B.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

WEB: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. They shall call his name Immanuel;" which is, being interpreted, "God with us."

The Man Christ Jesus
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