Although the Messiah would bear the name Immanuel, “God with us,” the spiritual truth expressed by this name was not unique to Jesus’ time on earth in human form.  That God is with His people has always been and always will be true.  Yes, it would have been incredible to be one of Jesus’ disciples while He was on this earth and experience His presence at a meal, listening to Him teach, or praying together with Him.   Can you imagine how you would have felt had you been with Jesus in such a manner and then you found out that He was going to leave, but He wanted you to continue what He started?  Talk about being scared to death!  That is why Jesus reassured His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans.  Instead, He would be with them forever.  God would send the Holy Spirit who would not only dwell with them, but in them.  The Spirit of God would be there constant companion, never leaving them, but instead guiding them into all truth.   The Spirit would be their Teacher, even as He is our Teacher.  He would bring to their remembrance all that Jesus had taught them and prepared them for.  And so Jesus assures His disciples of His continual presence with them for the mission ahead and characterizes this gift of the Spirit in this manner: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives to I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

God’s presences is always timely.  In periods of crisis, when His people are needing special help or guidance, God assures them of His presence.  It is always consistent for He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us.  What a comfort that this ought to be to our soul!  Jesus has not left us helpless or hopeless.  He has given us another helper who also is the guarantee of our great hope, our glorious inheritance, that day when we are forever present with the Lord.  Celebrate our Immanuel this Christmas season, and celebrate what this name of Jesus means to us every day – God is with us!

Advertisements