Since we’ll soon hear the amazing story of Jesus’ birth being told from the pulpit, I thought we’d take a look at two words from the account: Jesus and Bethlehem. Two seemingly separate words yet intertwined in a surprising way. We’ll look at Jesus today and discover the treasure hidden in Bethlehem next time.
In the Old Testament, God’s name and His presence were virtually synonymous, which was evidenced in His name Jehovah-shammah, meaning the Lord is present or there.
Jehovah-shammah, dwelling on the throne of heaven, lowered Himself to earth to be born in another form, to live personally with His people. His name? “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6 NKJV)
In the New Testament, Jesus was Jehovah-shammah, as Matthew, quoting prophecy, said of His name, “‘They shall call His name Immanuel,’ translated as, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23b NKJV)
When Jesus came to be with us, He threw off His robe of celestial royalty and dressed Himself in a tiny, pink suit of humanity, and from the birth-manger to the death-tomb, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14 NKJV) The original Greek says that Jesus “tabernacled” among us.
That Divine Flesh was known by the name of Jesus, which the Word says is a “more excellent name” (Heb. 1:4) and the “name which is above every other name.” (Phil. 2:9b TLB)
Calling on that precious name has opened the portals of heaven and shut the gates of hell bringing salvation to lost souls, turning away tornadoes, averting disasters, saving the lives of those in car wrecks, healing people of cancer and AIDS, giving the lame the ability to walk, hearing to the deaf, and sight to the blind, delivering those oppressed by demons, and even bringing some back from death’s grip. Dependence on that name is essential.
The last thing Jesus said to His disciples was, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20 NKJV)
Jehovah-shammah. Immanuel. God with us. Always!