…Prince of Peace. 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 9:6-7
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 often so hard to get. Both externally in a world filled with conflict, war, violence, lack of unity, political and cultural tension…and internally in our soul and daily lives.
Separation from God causes peace to elude us. Disunity, loneliness, unrepentant sin, anxiety, and fear are things that keep peace at bay. The world is lacking internal and external peace, despite incredible advancements, new technology, more communication methods, secular counselors, and self-help books flying off the shelves. We look for peace in all the wrong places.
When the birth of Jesus is announced by the angel to the shepherds, these words are proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-13) Until Jesus’s final kingdom is established, the earth will not be a peaceful place. However, peace is available to those with whom He is pleased. And God is pleased with believers who put their hope in the work of Jesus. We can experience this peace, both here on earth and forever in heaven.
Think about Jesus’s life on earth. Though misunderstood, shunned, and persecuted, Jesus was at peace. He knew He was always doing God’s will. He was always on mission. He was confident in His purpose and He always took time to abide in His Father. The Prince of Peace modeled peace and offers peace to those who put their hope in Him.
Questions: What keeps peace at a distance and so hard to obtain? Where/when do you feel the least/most at peace?
…Everlasting Father… Isaiah 9:6
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?
The Messiah – Jesus -- is called Everlasting Father.
Everlasting in terms of TIME. He was here from the beginning and He will be here for eternity. And everlasting in terms of UNCHANGING. He is consistent with no variation in character.
His name is also Father. We are His sons and daughters. We are part of the family. A special bond and blessing. AND, heirs to His kingdom.
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. But God is the perfect Father. It’s who He is and we are loved by Him.
We have a Father who, despite our mistakes and even our outright sin, loves us. A Father who pursues us and eagerly desires for us to come to Him.
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.
We have an Everlasting Father…always there, always has been…protector and provider…unlimited forgiveness…unwavering love…waiting to celebrate with us for eternity.
Challenge: Listen to Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father” song below. Pay close attention to all the lyrics. Mediate on what it means to have God as our good and everlasting Father.
…Mighty God… Isaiah 9:6
Here in Isaiah’s prophesy we again see the deity of Jesus, the promised Messiah. He was no ordinary human born to man. He was the Son of God. But He also was and is God.
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.
Question: Can you think of any other mighty things Jesus can do?
…Wonderful Counselor…Isaiah 9:6
Who do you look to for counsel/advice? Your parents, your best friends, 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!
A counselor is an adviser. 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; do what I do.
This Messiah, prophesied about in Isaiah and 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.
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.
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.
Question: What can you do to remember to make daily appointments with your Wonderful Counselor, Jesus?
His name shall be called… Isaiah 9:6
How did you get your name? Did your parents like the sound of it? Are you named after a family member, friend, favorite character?
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, meaning “God contended; wrestled with God; Triumphant with God” (Genesis 32:22-32). When we get to the New Testament, we’ll see Jesus change one of His disciple’s name from Simon to Peter, meaning “rock” (John 1:42, Matthew 16:13-19).
The name given to the infant Jesus was also very significant and part of prophecy being fulfilled. An angel appears to Joseph and instructs him what to name this child to be born…
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘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
Jesus’ name tells us who He was and would be…GOD WITH US.
This prophecy in Isaiah tells us some other names that will describe the Messiah...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.
Questions: How did you get your name? Do a quick Google search to see the meaning of your name. Does it fit you? If you could name yourself anything based on its meaning, what would it be?
… and the government shall be upon His shoulders… Isaiah 9:6
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 problems of the day. 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. No human government will ever truly bring about peace and justice and righteousness.
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 shoulders.
Here’s a little sneak peek into what is to come. Do you know what Jesus says when He begins His ministry?
He says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
With the birth of the Messiah, a new kind of kingdom will be ushered in. We are part of it on this side of Jesus coming, but even now it is only a taste of the fullness of it. In God’s great story to us, He tells us how it will all end through a Revelation given to the apostle John. The Kingdom of God is at hand, but we wait for its ultimate rule when Jesus defeats Satan and death once and for all.
Questions: When you think about Jesus, do you think of Him as a king? Is He the king over your life? What do you think when you hear the “kingdom of God?”
… to us a Son is given…Isaiah 9:6
Not only is the Messiah to come as a child who will be born, but He is also a Son. And not any ordinary Son…God’s Son.
To us, a Son is given. To us (you, me, the world), a Son (God’s Son in human flesh, born as a baby) is given.
Sin is a big deal and God is a just God…sins must be punished and paid for. The only way to have sins forgiven and be right with God was through the blood of an innocent sacrifice; a firstborn male without blemish. Unending sacrifices for unending sin.
Though God is just and requires payment for sin, He is also full of grace and mercy. He delays His wrath and then sends a substitute to take it from us for us. 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. The one Isaiah is prophesying about will be the only one worthy to fulfill the requirement to be pure, holy, and without blemish.
Jesus’s 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 and ability to save us.
The Messiah needed to be fully human so that He could die, but He also needed to be fully God so that we may live.
Questions: Have you ever thought about why Jesus had to be fully God and fully human? Why do you think this combination was necessary?
For unto us a child is born… Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah is looking forward to a day when a special child – a Savior -- will be born.
Unto us and for us.
The fact that the Messiah would come as a child and be BORN is significant. He could have come as an angel, or suddenly appear as a fully developed great man, or as some sort of symbolic creature. But this isn’t how God sent in His rescue plan. The Messiah will come to earth as all of us come to earth, in human flesh as a baby. He will know fully what we go through and experience as humans from birth to death. He will experience growing and learning and temptation, pain, joy, loss, celebration, and suffering.
It is all part of God’s plan, and from where we sit now, we know this baby was Jesus. This line from Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah shows his humanity. He will come as a human to die as a human.
As we continue to see God’s rescue plan unfold, we will see that 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 righteous to stand again before a holy God.
Yes, Jesus had to be God and without sin (we’ll look more at that in the next line of the verse), but the humanity part mattered too. The true King of king and Lord of lords came as a baby.
How incredible that one who came to save us from our sins and from eternal destruction came as a tiny, messy, helpless, totally dependent baby?!?
Questions: How does this change what you think about why Jesus came as one of us? What do you think is the significance of Him coming as a baby?
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, God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
You have probably heard this passage before…likely around Christmas time. It is one of the most often cited prophesies about Jesus. In this one single verse, the prophet Isaiah provides a glimpse into so many characteristics of Jesus who would be born roughly 750 years after this was written.
Israel was in a state of destruction and turmoil. Isaiah (a prophet in the Southern Kingdom) was offering hope of what was to come. Some good news for a weary people.
Gospel actually 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 by grace through faith in the work of Jesus. Isaiah is sometimes referred to as the 5th Gospel because it contains so many descriptions of Jesus as our Savior.
We are going to break this one verse apart and dig into each description and how it could only be fulfilled by Jesus. This prophecy from God through the lips of Isaiah is one of God’s many clues to His people – to us – about who Jesus is.
Speaking of prophecies, did you know that there are over 300 descriptions/prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah that were fulfilled by Jesus?
Challenge: Lee Strobel, a journalist and former atheist, set out to disprove Christianity, but in the process, he became a believer. He wrote a best-selling book called A Case for Christ. Take a few minutes (just under 6 minutes) to watch the video below where Lee Strobel talks about some of the messianic prophecies being fulfilled through Jesus’ life & death.
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