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“What Child is This?”

 

December 23, 2016

isaiah-9-6When the angel announced to the shepherds the birth of Jesus on that first Christmas night 2,000 years ago, they said, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). This is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, which says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”

What kind of child is this? Isaiah 9 continues, “his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” These four names describe who this child is.

First, he is a Wonderful Counselor. The word “wonderful” describes God’s wondrous, marvelous deeds in creation and in saving his people. The word “counselor” is one who is wise to give counsel to others and make plans. These two words describe Jesus from his youth to his adult ministry. At age 12, he astonished learned Jews with his questions, answers and understanding. When he taught, “the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority” (Matthew 7:28-29). The Apostle Paul described Jesus as one in whom “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

Second, he is Mighty God. This name is attributed only to one who is himself God. Although Jesus first came as a child born in a humble manger, he will return as a mighty conquering warrior. So he is God himself who will have all authority in heaven and on earth, the king of kings and Lord of lords.

Third, he is the Everlasting Father. Again, this is an attribute given only to God himself. From eternity past to eternity future, he was the Son of God existing with God the Father. He is of the same substance or essence as God the Father in every way.

Fourth, he is the Prince of Peace. The angel announced to the shepherds, “on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Was he born to bring peace among nations? Although this will be the final state of the world after he returns as king of kings, the peace he brings is between God and sinners. God and sinners are at war, but faith in Jesus alone will bring reconciliation and peace between a wrathful God and all repentant sinners (Rom 5:1; Col 1:20).

With these names of Jesus, we know that he is one of the three Persons of the Godhead. Therefore, the child who was born, the son who was given to the world, he is God himself.

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