“6 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 NIV
This magnificent verse, used so often during the Christmas season, is a splendid prophecy of the divine/human nature of the coming Messiah. He would be born as a child, like every human being, but He would also be given as a Son at the same time, with the Giver clearly identified as God himself. “He gave His only begotten Son”! (John 3:16).
The name of the child offers further testimony. At the introduction of this prophecy, God had named Him Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
On Christmas we are not only celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus but we are recognizing the miraculous conception of the baby Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
The virgin birth is of great intrinsic importance because it addresses the very essence of Christianity. The greatest demonstration that Jesus was both God and man was the perfect life He lived, “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” – John 8:29 NIV
The “name” of the God/man in Isaiah 9 reveals the series of names, all of which are needed to express His full identity. It is likely the first two names should be considered one name: He is our “Wonderful-Counselor” (the punctuation marks have been added to our translations, but the combined term is more in keeping with the structure of the other names).
This “child,” amazingly, is also “The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father”, stressing His absolute and eternal deity, His omnipotence (unlimited power), and the unity of the Father and the Son in the triune godhead.
(It’s important to remember that in the Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit there is an equality of being but not an equality of function. Many today, even Christian institutions, are re-writing doctrinal statements in an attempt to overlay the cultural drive for equality on every level. This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the functional hierarchy of the Trinity so clearly seen in Scripture.)
This child is also called “The prince of Peace,” which describes His future role of being the source of peace between God and mankind. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” – Romans 5:1 KJV
He also “is our peace” (Ephesians 2:4) and we can experience His personal peace (the absence of anxiety) because of His Spirit controlling us (Galatians 5:23). He will of course bring final peace in the world when He ushers in His thousand-year reign (see Isaiah 11:6-9)
Finally Christ is our “Wonderful-Counselor,” our perfect example and infallible teacher! He both tells us and shows us what to believe and how to live. We are always safe to follow Him because He is never wrong and is the source of all truth! For in Him “are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” and “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:3&9).
May your Christmas truly be a “holy day” in which you and your family remember and embrace this Child born and this Son given!