SAINTS OF MY HEART
Was Jesus called Emmanuel?
St John Chrysostom
Yes, Jesus was called Emmanuel, John Chrysostom explains:
‘What then says this oracle? Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel.
How was it then, one may say, that His name was not called Emmanuel, but Jesus Christ? Because he said not,you shall call, but they shall call, that is, the multitude, and the issue of events. For here he puts the event as a name: and this is customary in Scripture, to substitute the events that take place for names.
Therefore, to say, they shall call Him Emmanuel, means nothing else than that they shall see God among men. For He has indeed always been among men, but never so manifestly.
But if Jews are obstinate, we will ask the, when was the child called, Make speed to the spoil, hasten the prey? Why, they could not say. How is it then that the prophet said, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz? Because, when he was born, there was a taking and dividing of spoils, therefore the event that took place in his time is put as his name. And the city, too, it is said, shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city Sion. Isaiah 1:26-27 And yet we nowhere find that the city was called righteousness, but it continued to be called Jerusalem. However, inasmuch as this came to pass in fact, when the city underwent a change for the better, on that account he says it is so called. For when any event happens which marks out him who brings it to pass, or who is benefited by it, more clearly than his name, the Scripture speaks of the truth of the event as being a name to him.’
Source: John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew, Homily 5, 3.