Let’s be real, Matthew 1:23 is the only place in the NT where Immanuel is used by anyone in reference to Jesus, that is a fact. In all of the Preaching Luke recorded in Acts, and all of the Epistles written to the church, Isaiah 7:14 is never used.
In Matthew, the “meaning” of Immanuel is given – God with us. It actually doesn’t say Jesus is Immanuel or Jesus is God with us, it just quotes Isaiah 7:14 and relates it to the birth of Christ. WE (speaking as a Oneness or Trinitarian- yes Trini’s use the same verse) “interpret” that to mean Jesus is Immanuel, even call him by that name (no one else ever did) and proudly say, “Jesus is God with us.”
However, I believe it’s because we are ignorant of a few things.
1) where does Matthew get the interpretation of Immanuel? Most have no idea. He got it from Isaiah 8:10 – “Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God [is] with us.” Did you see it?
“for God [is] with us” in the Hebrew, עִמָּ֖נוּ אֵֽל
That’s where the interpretation is derived from. The context of the phrase
“God is with us” is not in a locational sense, but rather in the sense that God is with or FOR us, they have the favor of God. You see Jesus was “the sign” that God was with them. Just as Isaiah 7:11-14 is talking about. A virgin would conceive and bring forth a child – this is the sign of Immanuel- God is with us.
Not only that, but we have two verses of scripture that shows that they (the early church) didn’t hold that mis-understanding that Jesus is God with us. Which leads us to point #2
2) Luke 7:11-15, Jesus raised a young man from the dead. This is what happen after that…
Luke 7:16 (KJV) 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
God had “visited them,” not physically, but rather this “Great Prophet” that had been risen up (referring to Jesus), was letting them know that God was with them.
The other scripture is even clearer…..
Peter, while preaching to the Gentiles, made this statement….
Acts 10:38 (KJV) 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Brethren, Peter would not have preached that if he believed Jesus was God with us.
[see the addendum at the bottom of this post]
Regarding worship of Jesus
Concerning worship of Jesus, we are again ignorant of things that would help us understand who they believed Jesus was and why they worshiped him.
We were taught that Jesus is worshipped because he was God. That means that the people worshiping him believed he was God! Ok, let’s dig into that.
1) here are the times Jesus was worshipped (I believe I’ve got them all listed)
- Matthew 2:2,11, 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 15:25, 18:26, 20:20 28:9&17
- Mark 5:6, 15:19
- Luke 24:52
- John 9:38
Now, let’s look at each one to see if it’s clear as to rather or not they were worshipping Jesus as God, or……
2:2 & 2:11 – King
8:2 – Lord
9:18 – doesn’t say
14:33 – Son of God
15:25 – Lord
18:26 – Lord
20:20 – doesn’t say
28:9 & 28:17 – doesn’t say
5:6-7 – Son of God most High
15:18-19 – King (mocking him)
24:52 – doesn’t say
9:35-38 – Son of God/Lord
So, what can we conclude? Did they ever Call him God? When they called him Lord, were they calling him God?
No, you see it all lines up perfectly.
King, Lord, Son of God, these were who they knew Jesus to be.
- Once you understand that Kings were called Lord in the OT
(1 Samuel 24:8, 2 Samuel 18:31, Chapter 19 ( whole chapter), 24:3, 1 Kings Ch.1
- and worshipped [obeisance, reverence – same word]
(2 Samuel 1:2, 2 Samuel 9:6, 1 Chronicles 29:20),
- and that the Christ, who is Son of David (Matthew 22:42, Mark 12:35) would be called the Son of God (2 Samuel 7:14, 1 Chronicles 17:13),
- then you can understand why they worshiped Jesus.
They that believed on him, believed he was the Christ, the Son of God.
One last note…..
If they had be worshipping Jesus as God, they would have all been killed. Not only would they have been charged with breaking the first commandment, but if Jesus was accused of BLASPHEMY for supposedly saying he was God (it was an accusation, he didn’t say that, plus he clarified what he said John 10:34-36), then surely it would have been blasphemy to call or worship Jesus as God.
My point simply being that we had been victims of mis-understanding. I was. … I [now] realize we are simply believing and teaching a combination of what we have heard and read throughout our lives. However, shall we continue to walk in the darkness of ignorance? Will we submit ourselves to the scriptures, and what they clearly teach or will we continue to view what is written through the lens of them who introduced us to all of this?
Humbly submitted, your brother in Christ Jesus, the Son of God.
SOURCE: Dolson T Gould
ADDENDUM: Regarding Immanuel
The goal of this post is to show the symbology of the ‘Immanuel’ name in the original context of the prophecy and that it does not mean God incarnated.
Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. (Isa 7:1)
When news reached the royal palace that Syria had joined forces with Israel, King Ahaz and everyone in Judah were so terrified that they shook like trees in a windstorm.
The sign of Immanuel was that God would be with Judah against Syria and Israel. The goal of the prophecy was to trust God – i.e. To tell Ahaz to stop worrying.
The assurance Ahaz and his officials received through the prophet Isaiah was:
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isa 7:15 Even before the boy is old enough to know how to choose between right and wrong, he will eat yogurt and honey, and the countries of the two kings you fear will be destroyed.
The fulfilment against Syria:
Isa 8:3 Sometime later, my wife and I had a son, and the LORD said,
“Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.
Isa 8:4 Because before he can say ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’, the king of Assyria will attack and take everything of value from Damascus and Samaria.”
As Jesus was the real name of the Christ, so is Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz the real name of Isaiah’s son. But Isaiah’s son was symbolically ‘Immanuel’ because God was with Judah protecting them against their enemies. The arrival of Jesus later on symbolised that God was again with the children of Abraham because he had raised Jesus as a saviour for them.
Interpreting ’Immanuel’ as incarnation of God is futile when we study the original context of the prophecy.
Isa 8:9 All of you foreign nations, go ahead and prepare for war, but you will be crushed.
Isa 8:10 Get together and make plans, but you will fail because GOD IS WITH US.
Clearly the name of this promised son would be JESUS, yet he would bear the name ‘Immanuel’ symbolically as he is never referred to as ‘Immanuel’ in the gospel narratives, epistles or Acts.
As can be seen in the original context of the prophecy, ’Immanuel’ does not imply incarnation, rather that Jesus would save his people from their sins (Mat 1:21). Jesus does not save Israel on account of his divinity but on account of his obedience.
SOURCE: Silas Zeb