This was written roughly 750 years before Christ came to earth as an infant. Israel was in a state of destruction and turmoil. Isaiah was offering hope of what was to come. Some good news for a weary people.
Gospel means Good News. There are four Gospel books in the New Testament that tell of Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection – the Good News of our salvation, believing in what Jesus did for us. Isaiah is sometimes referred to as the 5th Gospel because it contains so many descriptions of Jesus as our Savior.
Isaiah 9:6 is one of the most well-known and cited prophecies, particularly at Christmas time. There are so many beautiful and meaningful descriptions of Jesus in the short passage recorded nearly eight centuries before Jesus arrived on the scene.
Let's dig into each...
For whom does Isaiah say this is all for?
Us! This person that Isaiah is describing is coming for us. Here is how the Message says it:
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
In John’s Gospel, he tells us that the Word became flesh. This Messiah, God’s only Son, came in the flesh as a baby.
The fact that Jesus was a child and was BORN is significant. He didn’t come as an angel, or just appear as a fully developed great man, or as some sort of symbolic creature. He came like all of us came to earth, as a baby. He knows fully what we go through and experience as humans from birth to death.
Jesus is fully God and fully man. This line from Isaiah’s prophesy shows his humanity. He came as a human to die as a human.
Read what the writer of Hebrews says…
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
He could not come save mankind as God alone; it also had to be as a man. He came as one of us to take our sins and make us whole.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him Colossians 1:21-22
Yes, Jesus had to be God and without sin, but the humanity part mattered too. The true king of king and lord of lords came as a baby.
Though Jesus was human, He lived a sinless life. Something impossible for us humans to do.
When sin entered the world through the bite of an apple by man, it was carried on to all humans after (see Romans 5:12).
But Jesus is different. He didn’t have a biological human father. The seed of sin did not transfer to Jesus in His birth.
The person who was to be the Messiah and Savior of the world had to meet all the requirements of holiness to be a perfect and acceptable sacrifice for our sins. Since the time sin entered the world until Jesus came, the only way to have sins forgiven and be right with God was through the blood of an innocent sacrifice.
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22
…and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. Leviticus 9:2
…but shall offer a food offering, a burnt offering to the Lord: two bulls from the herd, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old; see that they are without blemish; Numbers 28:19
But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 15:21
Jesus was the only one who could fulfill the requirement to be pure, holy, and without blemish. Jesus, with His sacrificial death…His shedding of blood on the cross became the final and perfect sacrifice. He fulfilled the law and requirements once and for all!
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:14
His divinity (being God Himself) made Him uniquely qualified as an unblemished and perfect sacrifice. His humanity (being born a human) allowed Him to shed blood as our sacrifice. This combination gave Him the power to save.
Jesus needed to be fully human so that He could die, but He also needed to be fully God so that we may live. Incredible!
You don’t have to spend much time following the news to realize the opinion of government today isn’t the greatest.
Here’s the problem: we often desperately look to government to solve the challenges of the day, but no human government will ever truly bring about peace and justice and righteousness.
Often people look at government as the only thing big enough and powerful enough to help them. But we can see in one historical account after another that government run by humans is generally a mess.
Things weren’t much different in Isaiah’s day when he spoke this prophecy. Government at the time Isaiah was prophesying was messy and often oppressive and unjust. Things haven’t changed much since then. While no earthly government can make all things right, the Kingdom of God can.
This prophesied Messiah will be a King with a Kingdom. The government shall be upon His shoulder. This affirms Jesus’s lordship.
Remember what Jesus says when He begins His ministry...
“repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
With the birth of Jesus, a new kind of kingdom is being ushered in. We are part of it now, but is only a taste of the fullness of it. We wait for its ultimate rule when Jesus defeats sin and death once and for all, as told in Revelation.
Daniel & Zechariah also prophesied about the future kingdom…
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, Daniel 2:44
And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one. Zechariah 14:9
Jesus is often referred to as the King of King and Lord of Lords. His Kingdom has come, but we wait for it to be fully established and reigning over all.
Take a look at what Jesus as King will look like as recorded by John, based on his revelation from Jesus…
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful. Revelation 17:14
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:11-16
Jesus is the ultimate king, and the Kingdom of God is one that we can put our hope and trust in, unlike current political kingdoms and governments. This is good news!
How did you get your name? Did your parents like the sound of it? Are you named after a family member, friend, favorite character?
We just read a passage in Revelation where Jesus is “the one called Faithful and True.”
Names are personal and special, but they were even more significant in the Jewish culture, and they matter to God. He knows us all by name.
Sometimes in the Bible, God changes people’s names to reflect their new identity or purpose. When Jacob wrestles with God, his name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:22-32). Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter, meaning rock. (John 1:42, Matthew 16:13-19).
The name given to Jesus was also very significant and part of prophecy being fulfilled. When the angel appears to Joseph, he is instructed what to name this child to be born…
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:21-23
His name told of who He was and would be…GOD WITH US.
The story of what is to come in Revelation also mentions getting new names…
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’ Revelation 2:17
The Bible is full of names for us…telling us who we are even NOW!
Take a look at some or OUR God-given names...
You are Beautiful – Ps 45:11
You are Unique – Ps 139:13
You are Loved – Jer 31:3
You are Special – Eph 2:10
You are Created with a Purpose – Jer 29:11
You are Cared For – Eph 3:17-19
You are Lovely – Dan 12:3
You are Precious – 1 Cor 6:20
You are Strong – Ps 18:35
You are Important – 1 Pet 2:9
You are Forgiven – Ps 103:12
You are a New Creation – 2 Cor 5:17
You are Protected – Ps 121:3
You are Chosen – John 15:16
You are Family – Eph 2:19
You are Mine – Isa 43:1
This prophecy in Isaiah tells us what the Messiah’s name will be called...what His identity will be…what He will be to those who believe in Him and live under His rule in His kingdom: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
That’s a good name for a good savior.
Who do you look to for counsel/advice? Your parents, your best friends, your spouse, your pastor?
While they might be good listeners and even have great advice, they are human and not all-knowing. Who we go to for counsel matters a lot!
This Messiah prophesied about --fulfilled in Jesus -- would be a wonderful counselor.
Wonderful. We use this word a lot, so it loses the impact of its meaning. It is not just super great; it is FULL of WONDER. It is astonishment. It is incomprehensible.
A counselor is an advisor. Someone who knows what they are talking about. A veteran and expert who you can trust to give you sound advice. Someone who can say, Keep your eyes on me. I know what will happen, so follow me. Watch me, and do what I do.
In Jesus, we have the perfect, full-of-wonder counselor. He was born in the flesh and knows what we are going through and what it is like to be tempted and to suffer. But He is also God. He is the one who IS ALL and KNOWS ALL. The one who was there at the beginning of time and has seen it all. The one who can never lead us down the wrong path. The one who always shines the light for us to find our way out of any situation. The one who is full of love and compassion and truth.
Look at the following truths about Jesus...
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. John 14:6a
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Jesus tells us to SEEK FIRST His Kingdom, and His righteousness and all the other things we worry about will be given to us accordingly (Matthew 6:33).
We need to get in the habit of going FIRST to the Wonderful Counselor. When things are hard, scary, painful, uncertain, confusing, we need to get on our knees and spend quality time in prayer and conversation with Jesus. We need to open our Bibles and let God’s Word and truth speak to us. And we need to do this before we go to our friends, post on social media or seek other counsel. Family and friends are so valuable, but we need to recognize who the wonderful counselor is in our lives.
What can we do to help us daily make an appointment with our Wonderful Counselor?
Who or what comes to mind when you hear “mighty?
One definition of MIGHTY is, “possessing great and impressive power or strength.” Not only is Jesus the Wonderful Counselor, but he is also powerful and mighty enough to do what He says He will do.
This word might is also used in military settings…a warrior word. Jesus can and will defeat Satan. Jesus fights for us!
Look at what some of God’s might can do…
Speak the world into existence
Calm the wind and sea
Bring order out of chaos
He can do incredible things, and He can also CHANGE US on the inside. He has the power to work in us and change our fear into fierceness, our pain into purpose, our doubt into doing, and so much more.
He not only saves us, but He makes us new and whole and useful for His kingdom. Something only a Mighty God could do.
How many things can you count on with certainty? Are there any things or people that are unwaveringly consistent, that never change, that will be there for all time?
Jesus is called Everlasting Father.
Everlasting in terms of TIME, there from the beginning and there for eternity. Everlasting in terms of UNCHANGING, He is consistent with no variation in character.
10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” Hebrews 1:10-12
His name is also Father. We are His sons and daughters. We are part of the family. A special bond and blessing.
Some of us may have a fabulous father of our own. Others may have a father who wasn’t around or wasn’t very loving. Jesus demonstrates to us what kind of father our God is in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:20-24
We have a Father who, despite our mistakes and even our outright sin, loves us. A Father who eagerly awaits us to come to Him. A Father who can’t wait to celebrate with us.
Yes, He even sometimes disciplines us as a good father should, but only – and always -- because He loves us and He knows what is best for us.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
We have an Everlasting Father…always there, always has been…protector and provider…unlimited forgiveness…unwavering love…waiting to celebrate with us for eternity.
Is it well with your soul? On a scale of 1 to 10 (1= never and 10=always) how often do you truly feel at peace?
Peace is something we all want but is so hard to get. Both externally in a world filled with conflict, war, violence, political tension, lack of unity; and internally…in our soul and daily lives.
The world is lacking internal and external peace, despite advancements, technology, more communication, secular counselors, and self-help books, etc.
When the birth of Jesus is announced by the angel to the shepherds, these words are proclaimed:
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13-13
But, peaceful doesn’t mean easy. We are never promised easy. In fact, we are told to expect trouble, tribulation, trials, and suffering (John 16:33, James 1:2). But we ARE promised help. And in this, we can have peace.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Through prayer, supplication (request), and thanksgiving, a peace that we can’t even fathom – that surpasses all understanding – will be given to us. Our hearts and minds, the things that can generate unrest, will be guarded and we will experience peace. We go to our Wonderful Counselor, who is Mighty and Holy and willing and able, who is never changing, and He will give us peace.
During His life on earth, Jesus was at peace. He knew He was always doing God’s will and all God told Him to do. And He shares this peace with us if we will only reach for it.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
Take a look at the verse immediately following our key verse in Isaiah…
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:7
Peace is fleeting now in our flesh. It is available to us, but we often get in the way. But a time will come when “of peace there will be no end.” We wait with anticipation for the peace that will not end. Everlasting peace, from an everlasting father.
What keeps peace at a distance and so hard to obtain? Where/when do you feel the least at peace?
Separation from God causes peace to elude us. Disunity, unrepentant sin, anxiety, fear are things that keep peace at bay.
We must consistently reach for the peace available to us by seeking first the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
No Jesus, no peace.
Know Jesus, know peace.
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