UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN
One of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible is Isaiah 9:6 [ESV] 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, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. During Christmas time, it is often quoted by the major Christian religions of our day. At that time, the emphasis is placed on the child being born.
But to consign this scripture to an announcement of Jesus’ birth about 2,000 years ago, or to something quoted around the celebration of a pagan holiday, is to miss the depth and beauty of its meaning for believers today.
Jesus came to this earth in human form. He lived and died for us, along the way experiencing what it is like to be human, so that this scripture became true: Hebrews 4:15 [ESV] 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.
But that short walk, around 33 years, was not the beginning or the end of His role in our lives, salvation and future. Isaiah 9:6 encapsulates so much more of what Jesus means to us.
Government shall be upon His shoulder: While we all look forward to Jesus’ return, when all the governments of this world, which are all corrupt and fraught with greed and error, will be replaced by His government of love. However, right now, His government leads and guides His people. We voluntarily submit to the law of love – loving even our enemies – right now, in this life. The government of our own hearts, minds and actions must be His government of love. The government of our homes must be His government of love. The government of our church organizations must be His government of love. In the future, He will govern the world. Right now, He governs every thought, word and deed of those people and organizations willing to submit to Him.
Wonderful Counselor: Jesus left us a body of work, including His words and actions, which can and should counsel our lives today. The Sermon on the Mount alone [Matthew 5, 6, 7] offers enough wise counsel, guidance and instruction to keep us diligently working toward becoming perfect as instructed in Matthew 5:48 [KJV] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. There is much more rich counsel to be had, but Matthew 5, 6 & 7 alone, if you had no other words of Jesus is, in my opinion, enough to counsel our lives and to keep us busy and steadily moving toward perfection. But we are also told to seek wisdom if we lack it. James 1:5 [NIV] 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. God is ready to give it to us. In the future, Jesus will counsel the world. Right now, He counsels anyone willing to listen to His words and obey His voice.
Mighty God: During His time on the earth, Jesus was meek and humble, but He also showed His power and authority in many ways. Some of you might think of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers. But we should also think about the way He flexed His spiritual muscle and authority by saying, “You have heard that it was said by them of old time” and then explained the greater authority of His ministry and greater depth of these requirements, beginning with the words, “but I say to you.” [Matthew 5:21-44] For us today, He shows His might by living in us, changing our lives and aligning our thoughts, words and deeds with His example and teachings.
Everlasting Father: While we often think of Jesus as Son, we should never forget that He had an eternal existence before He came to this earth and lives in heaven today. In addition, we should remember that Jesus and the Father are one and were one even as Jesus was on this earth. This was a point important enough to be included in Jesus’ final prayer before His crucifixion. John 17:11, 21 [ESV] 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. ... 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. Jesus was and is and is to come. [Revelation 4:8]
Prince of Peace: We all look forward to the time when Jesus will return and bring real, lasting peace to this conflict-torn world – when there will be no more war [Micah 4:3], nor even sorrow, nor crying. Revelation 21:4 [ESV] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." How wonderful to never have a reason to cry for the suffering of this world again! However, let’s not forget that peace is available to us today. Psalm 119:165 [ESV] 165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. [See also Isaiah 54:13; Hebrews 13:20]
Peace was a gift that Jesus specifically gave to us all. John 14:27 [ESV] 27 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.
He is our Prince of Peace right now – helping us to have inner peace in times of trouble, helping us to sow peace in our churches and families, helping us to find a way to make peace with our brethren and even our enemies when no way toward peace even seems possible. We are to be those who sow peace in this world as well – as we are told in Romans 12:18 [NIV] 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Sisters, there is no reason to only look back toward Jesus’ birth and time on this earth as the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6. Nor should we only await the time when Jesus returns to see Him as Governor of our lives, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He is all that to us right now. Praise God for all that He has willed and established Jesus to be to us now and all that the Father has willed and established Jesus to be to this world in the future.
Let’s look toward our Governor, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace to lead our lives now.
I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.