Matthew 1:22: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means “God with us.”
The coming of Jesus to this earth was no accident, no random act of coincidence or chance. Nor was it God’s last minute change of plans because his earlier plans had not worked. God was putting into action His plan that he had told to the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years earlier. But even that was not the beginning of his plan to send Jesus. Right after Adam and Eve decided that they were better at knowing what was best for them than God, and chose to disobey his one rule, sin entered the world and God already had a plan. And that plan was Jesus. That Jesus would come and be “with us.” And as I read Matthew 1-4 again today, I was reminded that nothing stopped his plan. Not kings, or armies or even the “tempter” himself. When God has a plan it will happen!
I am a recipient of that plan and so are you. God planned thousands of years earlier to send his son to this earth as a man, to be “with us”, to teach us about himself, to die on a cross for us, and to provide a way for us to be with Him forever and Him with us.
I had the opportunity to spend a week this last fall on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. One day while taking a swim, I had the thought that this was the Ocean that Jesus may have swam in at some time in his days on this earth. Maybe when he visited the area of Tyre where he healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter. It reminded me that God really did come to earth and hang out with real men and women; that he really was “with us” just as he planned.
As followers of Jesus, the very presence of God resides in us; God is still “with us” in a very intimate way. Someday, yes, we will experience Jesus’ majestic, powerful, almighty, forgiving and loving presence in his perfect eternal kingdom. Our finite minds cannot really comprehend all of that. I do know, however that God’s has a plan and that his track record for bringing it to completion is pretty good. So, one day God’s plan of us being with Him and He with us will be completed. But we must not forget that as those who have put our trust in Him have his very presence with us every day. We must not forget that.
Lord, thank you that your plan and desire has always been to be with us, even when we have turned our backs on you. You have always been the pursuer of us. Thank you that you came to be with us and to die for us so that we can be with you now and for eternity. Help us to live today with that gratitude in our hearts and with the knowledge that you are Immanuel, you are with us.