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Matthew 1:23

Matthew 1:23


I. God offer to Ahaz in his predicament—“Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14)

1. Judah [Jerusalem] was facing a military threat from Ephraim [Israel] and Syria [Aram] [734-32 BC] (7:2 cf. 2 Kings 15:37)

2. Ahaz, king of Judah, and his people were terrified at the coalition of enemies (7:2)

3. Ahaz was planning to get help from Assyria—a wrong source for help [a wrong decision or taking things in their own hands] (7:17-18)

4. God sends Isaiah to Ahaz to offer help (7:3-9)—If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all (verse 9a) [covenant language]

5. But Ahaz turned down God’s offer of help but was getting ready to accept help from Assyria (10-13)

6. Consequently, Ahaz and his unbelieving people would be defeated (10-13)

7. But, God promises “Immanuel” to a remnant of people who are now among the terrified (7:14) [at the time of Syro-Ephraism threat, Assyrian invasion, …]

8. God has been “Immanuel” to His people in the face of crisis and challenges. For example,

(a) I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you (Exodus 3:12)

(b) I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you (Joshua 1:5)

(c) Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will rescue you (Jeremiah 1:5, 8)

(d) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you (Isaiah 43:2)

II. God’s offer to Joseph in his predicament—Immanuel

1. Matthew inserts Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:18-25 because Joseph was in similar situation

2. It is a kind of typology

(a) Joseph was in doubt and fear of infidelity, divorce, and instability in marriage relationship

(b) God tells Joseph that “He will be with him at this crisis and challenging time”

(c) Unlike Ahaz, Joseph accepted God’s offer—Joseph could have taken matters in his hands and followed a wrong route

(c1) Obedience without question (Matthew 1:24-25)
(c2) Accepted inconveniences (Matthew 1:24-2:23)

(d) Just as it was in other situations, “Immanuel” protected Joseph and Mary in their crisis

(e) They were able to be instruments in God’s most important plan in the history of the world

III. Take Away

Accept God’s offer in your predicament—“Immanuel”

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at