The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
Sometimes, I think of how amazing it might have been to spend time with Jesus and get to know him the way his disciples did. To have the chance to look into his eyes, speak with him, hear his voice, feel his touch, learn from his teachings, or even go on a fishing trip with him. I’d truly experience the meaning of Emmanuel: God with us! That would have been an experience that words cannot even begin to express.
But there was a limit to his presence. For the most part, Jesus was only with his disciples when he was in their physical midst. During the times that Jesus was not with them, they did not experience his companionship and power in the same way.
So what does Emmanuel mean for us today that Jesus has lived, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven? We certainly do not have the same opportunity to experience Jesus the way his disciples did when he was with them. However, we have something even better. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives permanently in the hearts of believers today.
Because Jesus became fully human (while also remaining fully divine), he experienced every suffering and temptation so he can sympathise with us in every way. He understands everything that we go through and can help us in our weaknesses. He delights in our prayers and continually intercedes on our behalf. He shares in our failures and our triumphs, our sorrows as well as our joys. He is our ever-faithful friend who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. In many ways, we can experience the fellowship of Jesus in even more real and powerful ways than his disciples did when they were physically with him!
So as we celebrate the Christmas season, let us meditate on the wonderful truth that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. In what ways have you experienced the reality of the fellowship of Emmanuel in your life?
Let us remember that Emmanuel God is with us by:
- Praising God for sacrificing Himself without reservation for you to reconnect with Him.
- Asking God to help you have a desire to explore and cherish what it means to be with Him.