We’re Having a Boy (Isaiah 9:6)
When Tammy and I found out she was pregnant, we began anticipating the birth of our children. The day after we found out we were expecting RJ, I ran to Wal-Mart at lunch and bought a Mickey Mouse. With Wil, I bought a large Easter bunny. Both times, Tammy got out a piece of paper and began sketching the way she wanted the nursery.
People anticipate the birth of their children; Isaiah writes about the anticipation for Jesus. In a dual prophecy, Isaiah told us that Jesus would be born of a virgin (Is 7:14). Isaiah told us about Jesus’ sufferings (Is 53). Isaiah wrote of Jesus so much that he is known as the “Messianic Prophet.”
Let us examine how Isaiah anticipated Jesus in this passage.
He is Beneficial
Twice Isaiah says that the Messiah would be “for us.” He means that Jesus’ birth and subsequent life would be for our own good. Jesus’ coming to earth did not really benefit him. When he came to this earth, he “emptied” himself (Phil. 2:7).
Jesus came to this earth for us. Jesus came “not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 10:28). Isaiah tells us that Jesus was wounded for our transgressions (Is 53:5).
Jesus came to this earth and gave his life for you.
He is King
Isaiah says that the government shall be upon his shoulders. In the Ancient Near East, kings often wore a scepter, key, or some other symbol on their shoulders to signify their kingship. This obviously refers to this practice.
Jesus is a king. Jesus referred to the church as his kingdom (Matt. 16:28). He is “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). John portrayed Jesus as the “King of kings” (Rev. 17:14; 19:16).
Since Jesus is our king, he should determine how we live. The church is not a democracy—we don’t vote on what we like and what we don’t. Jesus has spoken, and we who are his subjects must live accordingly.
In antiquity, kings had the right to expect absolute obedience. When the king spoke, you asked, “How high?” That really should be our attitude toward our King—one of obedience. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (Jn. 6).
He is a Wonderful Counselor
Isaiah gives four names that the people would call Jesus. Notice that Isaiah says, “He will be called.” This shows that the people would give Jesus these descriptions.
The Messiah would be called “Wonderful Counselor.” Although some translations separate “wonderful” and “counselor,” Hebrew grammar suggests that we take them together. The phrase literally means “‘wonder of a counselor” in the Hebrew.
Throughout the first part of Isaiah, the folly of human wisdom is derided, because this wisdom lacked any spiritual guidance. We are told that God takes away the counselor from Jerusalem (Is. 3:3). “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” (Is. 5:21). Jesus is called “wonderful” counselor because his counsel does not occur naturally; his counsel is more than human wisdom.
He is a “counselor.” In the Ancient Near East, a “counselor” was one who advised the king. Obviously, the king would surround himself with the wisest advisors. “The Spirit of wisdom and understanding” would rest upon Jesus (Is. 11:2).
Since Jesus is the “wonderful counselor,” he can provide counsel to those who need advice. Being the “wonderful” Counselor, Jesus can provide more prudent advice than human advisors—Jesus stands above human advisors.
Since Jesus is the “wonderful Counselor,” we need to seek his counsel. Those who listen to Jesus’ sayings are wise (Matt. 7:24). Jesus’ words are spirit and life (Jn. 6:63). Are you listening to Jesus’ counsel?
He is Mighty God
Isaiah here prophesied that Jesus would be divine. There are many who deny that Jesus is divine. Yet, Scripture plainly teaches that he is divine. Jesus would be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us” (Matt. 1:23; Is. 7:14). God the Father calls the Son “God” (Heb. 1:8).
Jesus is mighty as well as divine. In the Old Testament, God performed many mighty acts—he created the world, he rescued the Israelites from Egypt through many plagues, he cleansed Naaman from leprosy.
In the New Testament, Jesus performed many mighty acts. He healed all kinds of diseases. Jesus triumphed over and made a spectacle of demonic forces (Col. 2:15). Jesus overcame death. While on earth, Jesus raised the dead. With his death, Jesus destroyed the one who has the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Because Jesus destroyed the one with power over death, all in Christ shall be made alive (1 Cor. 15:22).
He is Eternal Father
Since Jesus is divine, it stands to reason that he would also be eternal. Since Jesus is eternal, he has no beginning.
The Scriptures affirm that he has no beginning. Jesus’ goings forth are from old, from everlasting (Mic. 5:2). Jesus was in the beginning with God (Jn. 1:1). Before Abraham was, Jesus is (Jn. 8:24). Some teach that Jesus is a created being, that he had a beginning. Yet, the Bible teaches that Jesus had no beginning; he existed from eternity.
Not only is Jesus eternal, he is a Father. Throughout the Bible, God is referred to as “Father.” By calling Jesus “Father,” Isaiah equates Jesus with God the Father. Jesus is on equal footing with the Father.
Jesus also cares for his people as a father cares for his children. A father loves his children—Jesus loves us. A father provides for his children—Jesus provides for us.
He is Prince of Peace
This world desperately seeks peace. A Nobel peace prize is given to an individual who works toward peace. Many leaders have spent years seeking a peaceful resolution in the Middle East.
Jesus brings real peace. Peace is a situation where there is no strife—whether the strife be internal or external. Jesus allows us to be at peace with God; because of Jesus we do not have strife with God. We have peace with God through Jesus (Rom. 5:1). Through his cross, Jesus reconciled all things to God thus making peace (Col. 1:20).
Jesus also gives us peace of mind. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).
Do you have the peace that Jesus gives?
Isaiah and others of his day greatly anticipated the Messiah’s coming.
We can greatly anticipate his Second Coming. Those of the apostolic era prayed, ‘”Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). Are you ready for Jesus’ Second Coming?