Isaiah 9:6-7, which was proclaimed 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, is one of the most-often quoted prophecies of the Savior’s first coming, but the prophecy longs to be completely satisfied when Jesus returns a second time to establish His perfect reign on the earth.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this (Isaiah 9:6-7).
THE HUMANITY OF THE SAVIOR IS MADE CLEAR
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us.” This is the child who would be named Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). The Messiah would come into the world like any other man. This, of course, was fulfilled in Jesus according to Luke 1:26-31. The conception of Jesus was without doubt miraculous, as the third person of the Triune Godhead overshadowed Mary’s womb, but His birth was like that of any other man. In His humanity, Jesus was identical to us with the exception of sin (Hebrews 2:14-15). His sameness is essential to His being our Savior. Without His humanity, Jesus could not have been a genuine substitute for man’s sin; He could not have died in our place.
THE DEITY AND MINISTRY OF THE SAVIOR ARE ALSO MADE CLEAR
The four names that Isaiah proclaimed announced the deity of the Messiah and previewed His ministry.
1. His Name declares His personality: He is the Wonderful Counselor. When Manoah, the father of Samson, asked the angel of the Lord [the pre-incarnate Christ], “What is your name?” the “angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” (Judges 13:17-18). Jesus is wonderful. One week before our Savior’s atoning death on the cross, the chief priests and scribes “saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant, (Matthew 21:15). As the Son of God, Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). As such, Jesus is the wonderful counselor.
2. His Name declares His power: He is the Mighty God. Jesus is infinite in power. He healed the sick, made the lame to walk again, and caused the blind to see. He cast out demonic spirits and raised the dead. He multiplied bread and fish and calmed the sea by the sound of His voice. John tells us in his Gospel, “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). This is true, of course, because Jesus is God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1). Jesus is the mighty God.
3. His Name declares His preexistence: He is the Everlasting Father. Jesus is the eternal Son of God, as He declared in John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’” When Jesus prayed His high-priestly prayer to the Father, He longed to once again share “the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5). Micah had spoken of the eternality of the Savior hundreds of years before His birth, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2). Jesus is one with the everlasting Father (John 10:30).
4. His Name declares His position: He is the Prince of Peace. Jesus gives sinners spiritual peace through faith in His death. Colossians 1:19-20 testifies, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Jesus also gives peace in a world of fear and turmoil. Jesus said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Indeed, Jesus is the prince of peace who alone can bring us into a relationship of peace with God.
One part of Isaiah’s prophecy; however, remains unfulfilled. But Jesus is coming again and will finish the prophet’s prediction. When the Savior returns as Judge and King—to rule and reign forever—the government will surely “rest upon His shoulders.” Until then, He reigns in the hearts of those who repent of their sins and trust Him as Lord and Savior.
Do you know Jesus?
Jesus is the glorious Savior whom you and I both need most. Do you know Him? Have you believed in Him? The salvation He provides for us is a free gift. Receive Him today. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).