Why Flash Mobs Remind me of Immanuel

I watch this video every year. It’s my favorite, and evidently it’s the favorite of a lot of others too. More than 52 million have watched it! But before you look at it, consider Jesus’ own appellation: Immanuel.

Isaiah predicted it. Matthew affirmed it. His name shall be called Immanuel. But did Jesus embrace it? What did Jesus think of Immanuel? Jesus’ fulfillment of his own name can be summarized in three statements:

I was with you

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23, ESV) Before you and I were ever born, Jesus became one of us. He took on our flesh, and more importantly and drastically, took on our sin. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)

I am with you

Listen to Jesus’ own words: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20, ESV) “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, ESV) He is with you in the delivery room, the operating room, the courtroom, the classroom, the living room and the solitude of your bedroom when tears quietly drop from your eyes. He is with you in the celebrations and the humiliations.

You will be with me

Listen again to Jesus’ words: “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.” (John 12:26, ESV) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3, ESV) “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24, ESV)

Flash mobs are a welcomed but surprise visit. Passersby don’t expect them, but are glad when they show up (if they can sing!). That was Jesus. Unexpected by most. Welcomed by some. “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..”(John 1:12, ESV)