Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 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). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.  Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV)

When God first promised Ahaz that he would give him a sign that his enemies would no longer threaten him, the sign came through a baby whose name would be Immanuel. God’s answer for Ahaz’s enemies wasn’t a military attack or even a military leader. His plan was the promise of His presence.

When God told Joseph to marry Mary, God informed Joseph of his tactical assault on sin: “She will bear a son, and they shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” The first immanuel was born to remind Ahaz that God could handle his most dreaded enemies; the second Immanuel was born to show Joseph (and us) that God can handle our most threatening enemy–sin.

How does God do it? Immanuel. God could have blown sin off the map from His vantage point in Heaven. Rather, he came down and became one of us, walked among us, and now lives in us to daily eradicate sin in our lives. He is Immanuel.

What is your most significant sin struggle today? If you’ve trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He’s Immanuel. He is with you and He is for you. Turn to Him today. When sin comes knocking at the door of your heart, send Jesus to answer the door!


  1. What do you mean by the first immanuel? Then you call Jesus the second Immanuel. I’m missing something here.


    1. Rachel, that is a great question! In Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah told Ahaz the king of Judah that a baby would be born whose name would be Immanuel and before that baby would be weaned, Israel and Syria (Judah’s enemies) would be no more. The first Immanuel was a baby born in Isaiah’s day as a sign to Ahaz. Much of OT prophecy had both a meaning for then and a meaning for now. This is an example of that. Does this help?


      1. I’m still confused. Are you saying an actual real live baby was born (not Jesus) in Isaiah’s day to prophesy or even mirror then baby Jesus (second Immanuel) born later? Sorry I’m being confusing 😉


  2. The first reason the actual real live baby was born in Isaiah’s day was to prove to King Ahaz that God was with Judah and that God would take care of Judah’s enemies. The second reason was to point forward to the ultimate Immanuel–Jesus. Don’t apologize! Good questions!


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