What does it mean that Jesus is 'God with us'?

In Matthew chapter 1, an angel of the Lord explains to Joseph in a dream that Mary's pregnancy really is a miracle from God. It reads, "'She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus [meaning Yahweh saves], for he will save his people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel' (which means, God with us)" (Matthew 1:21–23). So Jesus is known as "God with us." Some explain it as Jesus being God in the flesh who came to dwell among humankind. The prophet Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would be known by this title. The Gospel writer Matthew confirmed that Jesus was that Messiah and would be called "God with us," but it is the Gospel writer John that most strongly asserts Jesus' claim to be God living among humankind.

Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). The Jews responded to this statement by attempting to stone Jesus saying, "because you, being a man, make yourself God" (John 10:33). The Jewish community rightly recognized Jesus' claim of being God when He used the phrase "I am" seven different times, echoing Exodus 3:14 when God introduced Himself to Moses as "I AM WHO I AM [Yahweh]." "God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And he said, 'Say this to the people of Israel: "I AM has sent me to you"'" (Exodus 3:14). Jesus clearly claimed to be that same Yahweh "I AM" God while He walked this earth. He was God with us.

Paul explained to the Philippians, "Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:5–7). Paul basically said Jesus is God, but took on human form to live as "God with us." More succinctly, "For in him [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Colossians 2:9). So Jesus is God in bodily form.

In John 14 Jesus reminded Philip that He had been with His followers. He said, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?" (John 14:9). But Jesus promised not just to have been with them during His ministry on earth. He said, "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). How can Jesus who ascended into heaven still be with us to the end of the age? He accomplishes this through the Holy Spirit. In John 14:17 Jesus told His followers, "You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." Paul explained his own experience of Jesus being with him by saying, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).

Jesus is the embodiment of God who dwelt on earth in human form. Thus, Jesus truly is "God with us." In fact, all three Persons of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—can be said to be with us. God participates in His creation. One day, all those who have trusted in Jesus will be with God. In describing the new heavens and new earth, John said, "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God'" (Revelation 21:3).



Related Truth:

Who is Jesus Christ?

What is the incarnation of Christ and why is the incarnation important?

Is Jesus Christ God?

Did Jesus come to bring peace on earth?

Who is the Holy Spirit?


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