Advent Week Three – Emmanuel
Advent Week Three – Emmanuel
“Emmanuel” means “God with us”. In Jesus, God comes to find us. Explore this theme.
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Bible passages

Matthew 1:18–25, KJV

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.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

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.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

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.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18–25, KJV

Philippians 2:5–8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:5–8

Luke 15:4

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”

Luke 15:4


“Emmanuel” means “God with us”. In Jesus, God comes to find us. Our walk
with him offers us as many challenges as we can take, and asks of us probably more than we are willing to give: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus”, says our passage from Philippians – there’s a steep hill to climb! But the challenges of discipleship are not a means by which we earn our salvation – that is already freely given. The coming to us of God in Jesus is free grace and unconditional love, with no strings attached. He is “with us”. He is on our side.

In the Christmas story we marvel again at how God in Jesus chose vulnerability; he put himself at our mercy just as we in turn depend on his mercy – he levelled the playing field in his Son.

Humanity does not come out of the story of the life of Jesus very creditably.
Right from his infancy there was always somebody trying to kill him – not because he did anything wrong but because power, violence, and corruption do not like healing, truth, and simplicity. The innate authority that was in Jesus posed a threat to what Paul calls “the powers of this dark world and … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). But then that was the very reason Jesus came; because we needed to be redeemed. He saw us with the eyes of a shepherd; because we were lost, he would come to find us, and never give up searching until he could lift us up onto his shoulders and bring us home.



Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus. Thank you for his courage, his vulnerability, his tenderness, and his strength. Thank you for the full and free salvation he won for us. As the time draws near for us to remember again his birth at Bethlehem, we pray for all who are homeless, for refugees, and for those who are persecuted or afraid. And we pray for peace in the Middle East, peace for all humanity. May your kingdom come, and your will be done here on earth. We ask it for his love’s sake; Amen.