I was in a lecture today and my lecturer was talking about the name of God’s Son “Jesus.” I was just wondering, why do we call him Jesus when the angel Gabriel told Mary to call him “Emmanuel”?
The word Emmanuel translates to “God is with us.” Matthew recalls (v. 1:23) the messianic prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 and states that its ultimate fulfillment is found in Mary’s Son:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.
“Name,” in this sense, does not refer to the actual name Joseph and Mary were to give to their Son (cf. Matt. 1:21, Luke 1:31); “name,” in this case, is used in the sense of “to call” (i.e., “they shall call him Emmanuel”). Analogously, one could say of baseball legend, Babe Ruth, “They called him the Sultan of Swat,” without intending to mean that “the Sultan of Swat” was George Herman Ruth Jr.'s given name.
Matthew 1:23 corresponds to Luke 1:35:
And the angel said to her [Mary] in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”
Emmanuel, “God is with us,” also calls to mind the last verse in Matthew (28:20):
“Behold, I [Jesus] am with you always, until the end of the age.”