“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
The well-known tune of Handel’s Messiah has made Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus a familiar passage of Scripture. When I read these words from Isaiah 9, I sense the wonder and majesty of Christ’s coming as Handel portrays through his musical masterpiece. The lyrics climax at the list of names which Isaiah ascribes to the coming Christ. These names are more than titles for Jesus, they are descriptions of his identity, his character, and his actions. The child that was given to us at Christmas bears a name that demands our attention, our worship... and our celebration.
Wonderful Counselor – Jesus comes to us as supernatural wisdom. This first title for Christ is a designation of divine authority. He comes to us in all the knowledge and understanding of the Godhead, and he visits us in our world of brokenness and futility. He listens to us in our grief. He hears us in our pain. And he does not come to us merely teach us wisdom... he comes to us to be our wisdom. Jesus shall be called Wonderful Counselor.
Mighty God – Jesus comes to us as the strength of God. This second name ascribed to the coming Messiah is what sets apart Jesus from any other child. He is God. This simple yet complex title changes everything, for God in all of his strength and might has come to us as man. He is not just a man who is strong in the Lord... He is a man who is strong because heis the Lord. Jesus shall be called Mighty God.
Everlasting Father – Jesus comes to us as a Son and a Father. The mystery and majesty of the Trinity is seen in this third description of Jesus, for the Son of God is one with God the Father. The implications of this are not just mind-boggling, but they are personal and powerful. Jesus comes to us as a child so that we can come to the Everlasting Father and be welcomed into his family as a child of God. In Him, we find that God is not some divine being distant from us, but he the eternal God who came near to be our Father. Jesus shall be called Everlasting Father.
Prince of Peace – Jesus comes to us as the only perfect ruler. The name of Prince, not only indicates Christ’s authority, but it also points us to his coming reign as King. Jesus did not come at Christmas to fully establish his kingdom on earth, but he came to proclaim his authority, his power, his peace, and his coming kingdom. He came to a world of injustice and turmoil, and he came to bring us the peace of God. And though we still await his coming to establish his perfect peace on earth, we celebrate his coming at Christmas because he himself is our peace. Jesus shall be called Prince of Peace.
This Christmas, I pray that we will find great comfort, encouragement, and hope in the one whose name is above every name for “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
It’s more than a name... it’s a reason to celebrate.
The Frey Life
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"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:74