Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
There are many names that we use whenever we refer to Jesus. We call Him Savior, Master, Lord, Redeemer, and even Friend. But there is one name that we rarely ever use, perhaps only at Christmas, yet it is probably one of the greatest names ever given to Jesus.
“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.”
There are three things I want to call to our attention as we consider the name Emmanuel.
I. Emmanuel, God Became One of Us
I read that statement the other day in a book and although it’s pretty simple, it made a huge impact upon me. It caused me to stop and think for a moment. God stepped down from heaven’s glory and became a man. The Creator became a part of His creation.
Perhaps there is no clearer description of this than Philippians 2:5-8.
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
A. Jesus is God
Who is Jesus? That can be a very controversial question, depending upon who you may ask. To the Muslim, Jesus is a prophet of Allah. To the Jehovah’s Witness, Jesus is a man who was once an angel. To the Mormons, Jesus is one of God’s many offspring produced through one of God’s many goddess wives. But who is Jesus according to the Bible? Paul tells us –
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God…
Paul tells us that Jesus is God. The word ‘equal’ means that the Son of God is equal with His Father, both in quantity and quality. On one occasion Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30) The religious leaders who heard Him say this thought that this was blasphemy and they took up stones to stone Him; yet Jesus openly declared it. Warren Wiersbe writes –
“Our Lord made a statement that He knew would startle His enemies and give them more reason to oppose Him (John 10:30). It was the “plain answer” that the religious leaders had asked for. “I and My Father are One” is as clear a statement of His deity as you will find anywhere in Scripture.” 
Paul tells us that Jesus is ‘in very nature God.’ Many Bible translations use the word ‘form’ but perhaps the word ‘nature’ is better suited. The particular Greek word used here is morphe which speaks of what something appears to be externally because of what it is internally. One resource says –
“Morphe stresses essence of one’s nature and specifically denotes the essential, unchanging character of something—what it is in and of itself. Morphe does not speak of external appearance or outward shape but of the essential attributes and the inner nature. When Paul says that Jesus Christ was “in the form of God,” the Son is one in nature, one in attributes, one in character with the Father.” 
B. Jesus Willingly Became a Man
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
‘Made Himself nothing’ literally means: He emptied Himself. What did Jesus empty Himself of?
Jesus did not cease to be God when He became the Son of Man. Throughout the gospels we see Him still exhibiting many of His divine attributes. He was all-knowing, all-powerful, completely holy and righteous. But in order for Him to do His Father’s will, it was necessary for the Son of God to lay aside His glory for a season, so that He might become a servant and die for our sins.
There is no clearer illustration of this than when Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. The Bible says:
“He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:4-5)
Though Jesus was their Lord and Master, He willingly laid aside His right to be honored as such so that He might be their servant. Notice again what Paul says –
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used to his own advantage; but rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Here’s what is really amazing about this passage. Paul used the same word to describe the servanthood of Jesus as he did to describe the deity of Jesus. The Son of God, who was in very nature God, took upon Himself the very nature of a servant. We read from the book of Hebrews –
Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’”
How did Jesus become a servant? He did so by becoming a man and dying on the cross.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Jesus was born at Bethlehem in order to die on the cross at Calvary.
II. Emmanuel, God is With Us
God not only became one of us, He is with us.
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, God with us.
God desires to be with us each and every day. He desires to be in our homes. He desires to be in our relationships as husbands and wives, parents and children. He desires to be a part of our work and careers. He wants to be involved in our finances and health. He wants to indwell and influence every area of our lives.
When it comes to God being with us, there is a passage from the book of Hebrews that I think of often.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; (human weaknesses) but was in all points tempted (tested / tried) like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly (unashamed confidence) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
This passage of scripture meant a lot to me this week. As many of you know, my mom fell last Sunday and broke her knee cap. It was only a couple of years ago that she fell and broke her hip on the other leg. If that wasn’t bad enough, Medicare acted like they didn’t want to pay for her hospitalization and rehab. At first my brother wondered how we were going to be able to take care of mom, but then we decided that rather than worrying, we should pray and have faith in God and leave it up to Him to do whatever He thought was best.
One morning as I was studying for this message, the Holy Spirit brought this passage of scripture to my mind. As I read, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession”, I thought a lot about what the writer was trying to say. For one thing, he was telling his readers to not turn their back on Jesus as their Savior. But as I read the rest of the passage and put it all together in context, it seemed to me that he was also saying for us to not lose our faith in Jesus as our Sustainer. The same God who came to save you, is still with you to sustain you.
So I got down on my knees and began to pray. But my prayer was not in desperation, “Lord, what in the world are we going to do?” My prayer was filled with hope. I had inside of me a great sense of peace and confidence that God was with us. He is our Emmanuel. No sooner had I started praying than my cell phone rang and it was my brother calling to let me know that Medicare had just agreed to cover all of mom’s medical expenses and rehab. Praise God for Emmanuel.
No matter what we’re going through in life, God is with us. He is our Emmanuel. It says in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus is at the right hand of His Father, constantly interceding on our behalf. The child born at Bethlehem understands life. He understands hardships and difficulty. He understands pain and suffering. He understands what it is like to be human and He is always with us. He is indeed our Emmanuel.
III. Emmanuel, God is For Us
I want to close today with a tremendous passage of scripture.
Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Paul’s not saying that no one will ever be against us. He’s not saying that we’ll never have a problem or an enemy. What he is saying is: “If God is for you, why worry about who’s against you?” The Bible tells us that we have an enemy called Satan who is always slandering and accusing us before the Father. (see Revelation 12:10) Perhaps He says, “You mean to tell me that they’re one of your children? You’ve got to be kidding. Look at who they are. They don’t deserve to be your children.” What he’s really trying to say is – “You must not be much of a Savior if that’s the best You can produce.” In response, God doesn’t try to excuse our actions. He does not say that our sin is not that bad. Instead, He stands to our defense. We read from the book of 1 John –
1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
An advocate is like a defense lawyer. Jesus does not stand up and say, “They’re not that bad. They’re pretty good.” What He says is, “You’re right, they are bad. But their sins are all under My blood.”
Based upon that, Paul goes on to say –
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If God be for us, who can be against us? If God has given us His best by sacrificing His Son, will He not also provide for the things of everyday life? Who shall condemn us? No one. It is God who for Christ’s sake has forgiven us and it is Jesus, who is at the right hand of the Father constantly praying over us.
Nothing or no one in all of creation, which includes the devil, shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are ‘more than conquerors’ through our Lord.
Jesus is our Emmanuel. He became one of us. He is with us. And He is for us.
 Warren Wiersbe, Be Alive, Be Transformed — John
 http://www.preceptaustin.org/philippians_26_commentary December 9, 2017