Updated: Jan 31, 2022
Last week, my small group started our LOVE study, and I am filled with eager expectation of all that God will do in our time together!!!
As we got to know each other a little, I asked them to share what they believe was a special anointing or characteristic of Jesus that is very evident in their lives. It’s so hard sometimes to say anything good about ourselves. We almost feel it braggadocios to do so. And yet, if we believe God’s Word that says we all have been given gifts to edify the body (Ephesians 4), then we are not bragging about ourselves but rather bragging on who Jesus is in us!!!
I listened as each one share: compassionate, atmosphere changer, encourager, authentic, mover and shaker, and more, and I could actually agree with them because it emanated from each of them.
That led me to this thought: my name is Jena. That would be what I consider my title, how I am addressed. But I am a student-proclaimer and encourager. That is more like the gift I carry in relationship with others.
In Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah prophesies, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” But Mary didn’t actually name Jesus, Emanuel, but rather Jesus, Yeshua, which means salvation. So what did Isaiah mean? Well, we have to look up what the word “name” means in the Hebrew. That word means “character, brand, mark, and reputation”.
Do you see it? Isaiah was not telling us Jesus’ actual name, but rather His character. Isaiah was telling us the way Jesus would function in relationship with us. It is not that Jesus ever bore the name Emmanuel but rather it indicates His role, bringing God's presence to man. Jesus was “marked” by God’s presence. Jesus was known for carrying a presence, The Presence, that they had not yet known, nor ever experienced.
Think about the guys on the road to Emmaus; here’s what they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) They knew that they had been with Jesus! They knew they had experienced the presence of God! And what about Acts 4:13? It’s says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Jesus emanated the presence of God because He was God in the flesh, come to earth. Emmanuel was much more than just a title: it was the chief characteristic of Jesus. God come to earth to be with us.
With Jesus’ death and resurrection, we now get to experience Christ IN us! Christ in us the hope of glory!(Col. 1:27) Jesus lives in us! (Gal.2:20)
So this begs the question: could those who spend time with us be able to say, “I can tell that they have been with Jesus.”? That we would live in a way that emanates the presence of God with us?
Jesus Was Marked By God’s Presence; Are You?
Oh God, that we would emanate Your loving Presence with us and in us, working through us! Help us, Holy Spirit, to emanate the evidence that Jesus lives within us!
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