READING: Matthew 1, Luke 2:1-38
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I am reading ahead in this devotion, which I typically do not do. I cannot read Matthew 1:22-23, though, without thinking about Matthew 28:18-20. Read these verses, and see what comparisons become obvious to you:
Matt. 1:22-23 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”
Matt. 28:18-20 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The amazing nature of this story continues. The baby in Bethlehem would have “all authority in heaven and earth.” More specifically, His name, Immanuel, meant “God with us” — and He would be the One who would be with us even to the end of the age.
The book of Matthew is thus bookended by these words. In chapter 1, God Himself is coming to be with us. In Matthew 28, God is with us even as He sends us to the nations to tell the story of the gospel. In between is the story of God’s amazing love.
He is with us. Period. Wherever we go. Whatever He calls us to do. Whenever we’re afraid. Regardless of what worries us. Even when we feel alone. And, even when death is upon us, as was the case with Simeon in Luke 2.
God is with us. That’s really all we need to know.
ACTION STEPS: Throughout this day, keep this thought in the forefront of your mind if you are a follower of Christ: “God is with me.” Trust that truth, and let your faith be evident before others regardless of what you face today.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You that You are with us. I really do.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 2, Luke 2:39-52