For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Whenever I read this verse, my mind immediately goes to the corresponding song in Handel’s magnificent Messiah, one of my favorite pieces of music. (If you’ve never heard it, check out the video at the bottom!).
What a wonderful promise about the Messiah given through the prophet Isaiah and fulfilled in Jesus Christ!
For to us a child is born
The Messiah is an actual person, entering the world as a child and living a fully human life. (I love how Isaiah speaks in the present tense of the future child with the certainty of God’s will to accomplish this!)
Jesus was born as a real, historical person, Immanuel – God with us. As fully man, Jesus can empathize with our weaknesses and understand our temptations, He experienced temptation yet didn’t sin (Hebrews 4:15) and is able to intercede for us.
to us a son is given
This child is a son of God who is given to us by God the Father Himself as a precious gift of love and mercy.
Jesus, the Son, was freely given by the Father out of the Father’s great love and mercy for us (John 3:16). Willingly humbling Himself to serve the will of the Father, even unto death on the cross.
and the government will be on his shoulders
The Messiah takes the yoke of authority and rule on His shoulders, ruling in power and sovereignty.
God’s complete sovereignty over the earth has been from eternity. With Jesus resurrection and ascension, He now sits as the right-hand of the Father who has given Him all authority. Now His saving grace and reign extends to the hearts of those who believe in Him and He will one day return and establish a literal rule over the earth.
And he will be called
Isaiah provides four “names” identifying divine and amazing attributes and roles which mark the coming Messiah.
A counselor is one who gives advice or counsel and the Hebrew word translated as “wonderful” holds divine implications. The Messiah’s wisdom and counsel is of a divine nature inspiring wonder and awe.
In the Gospels we see Jesus’ wisdom and teaching and how they impacted the disciples and others. For us, we have a divine counselor who understands our weaknesses, struggles, and temptations. And we have the Holy Spirit living in us, sent by the Father in Christ’s name as our Counselor and Advocate.
The Messiah is, in fact, God and not just a man. Both God and man. Not a “small g” god either, but THE mighty, sovereign God of the universe. His might is what allows Him to establish His Kingdom and rule over all the earth.
Jesus is not just a man but also God, existing for all eternity with the Father and Holy Spirit. By Him all things were made, by His obedience to the will of the Father He died for us, by His sacrifice we are free, and by His power he will come again to rule.
This name is not to be confused with the first person of the Trinity, the Father, but reveals that the nature of the Messiah is as a father who cares for, loves, and protects His children. Unlike earthly fathers who are imperfect and mortal, the fatherly care of the Messiah is perfect, infinite and never-ending.
As we read the Gospels, we see Jesus’ compassion and love for those He came to save. We know His love and care in our lives in many ways as we walk with Him. His infinite compassion and love are without end as well, we will bask in his goodness and love forever with Him.
Prince of Peace
The Messiah is a sovereign ruler, but a ruler unlike all before Him. Rather than the flawed rulers we know, He brings peace to those under His rule and to the whole earth.
Jesus’ death and resurrection offer peace and reconciliation with God to those who trust in Him. This forgiveness and reconciliation mean that we are no longer bound to our fleshly ways but can have peace in our hearts despite trials and temptations, we can have peace with others when we love and forgive them and, ultimately, Jesus will establish His reign of peace at the end of time and forever.
How amazing that 700 years before Jesus’ birth, God spoke trough Isaiah and told us what Jesus would be like! We know that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies and we can have certainty that those prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled – such as Jesus’ second coming – will happen.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to earth because He loves YOU. His love is incredible and everlasting, unlike any love you have experienced before. This Christmas we pray that the love, joy, and peace of Christ will rule in your hearts.