Seven-hundred years before Christ was born, Isaiah wrote about his birth, life, and death. Isaiah tells us the place, Galilee (9:1). Jesus performed most of his miracles around the sea of Galilee. He tells us Jesus would come as a baby and would have four names. “His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). The verses surrounding these names unpack them for us. We don’t just need temporary fixes in life, we need eternal solutions. That’s what Jesus is!
Wonderful Counselor – His Name for Our Guidance
Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” Jesus is the Light of the World. He is the Way. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, but for many it is a time of sadness and depression. Even though December is not really the birthday of Christ, I think God had the church to celebrate Jesus’ birth during one of the darkest seasons. His name means the difference between darkness and light. Dark times come into your life, but He has a way of turning your darkness into light if you will only trust Him. Did you notice the phrase “shadow of death”? His name means the difference between death and life.
Mighty God – His Name for our Gladness
Isaiah 9:3-4 says, “You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.” Mighty God has a military overtone. Verse 5 is a graphic battle scene. Life is filled with battles. Jesus won the battle over sin at the cross. Midian refers to the story of Gideon. The same God who fought for and delivered Gideon, fights for and delivers us. His name means the difference between sorrow and joy and bondage and freedom. Some of you are in bondage to a stronghold in your life. Jesus walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee and set the captives free! Jesus defeated disease, demons, disaster, and death. As the Mighty God, Jesus is still mighty to save! No problem is too difficult for Him.
Everlasting Father – His Name for our Grace
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” (9:6). God gave His Son. Jesus gave His life. You may be wondering, why is the Son called the Father? He is not saying the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father. He is saying that Jesus is the Father of everlasting life. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. The disciples said, “Show us the Father,” and Jesus said, “My Father and I are one.” There is only ONE God. A founder is often referred to as a father. George Washington is the father of our country. It means originator. Jesus’ name is the difference between heaven and hell. He is the way into the family of God. What we need comes not from the earth, but from heaven. His name is the difference between deity and humanity. A Child was born to live in us. A Son was given to die for us.
Prince of Peace – His Name for our Government
“…and the government will be upon His shoulder… Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (9:6-7). His name is the difference between peace and conflict. One day there will be peace on earth. When the Prince of Peace rules and reigns on David’s throne, the lion will lie down with the lamb, the child play with the cobra, and men will study war no more. Jesus came to give peace with God and the peace of God! The government is on His shoulders. You can cry on His shoulder! God has it all under control. Whatever burden you are carrying, He can carry you. His shoulder carried the cross. When the Shepherd left the 99 and went after the one lost lamb, he carried it on his shoulders. His name is the difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. Jesus did not get voted into office and He can’t be voted out! Whatever you are facing, Jesus – the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace – is the answer!