Monday, December 5, 2016

Day Two: The Wonderful Names of Jesus (Isaiah 9:6-7)

As we come up to Christmas, I've been following the December Scripture Writing Plan. Day Two was based on Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV):

6 "For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this."

There are so many interesting and wonderful things about this passage (just knowing it was written 700 years before Jesus' birth blows my mind), but I especially liked the four names Isaiah gives to Jesus. In one of the commentaries I read about this passage, it says that: "The kings of Egypt and Assyria with whom his nation had been brought into contact delighted in long lists of epithetic names (e.g.,“the great king, the king unrivalled, the protector of the just, the noble warrior.” Inscription of, Sennacherib in Records of the Past, i. p. 25), describing their greatness and their glory."

Isaiah 9:6 reminds us that this child who would be born 700 years later wasn't just a good teacher or a performer of miracles. Instead, Jesus would be born humbly, then return as a ruler who would establish and reign over a kingdom of peace. I love that each of the four names represents a different facet of Jesus, and throughout the different periods of my life, I've gravitated more towards each name. 

1. Wonderful Counselor. To me, the name "Wonderful Counselor" illustrates Jesus' wisdom. As a counselor myself, wisdom is crucial. If I just threw out bad advice to everybody, I could do serious damage. Many times, there are situations where the solution or issue is clear. 

However, there are other times when I'm stuck looking at a situation, and I literally don't know what the right answer is. I'm so incredibly grateful for Jesus' wisdom and teachings in the Bible. I find that his teachings are still relevant today, and represent a balance between love and accountability. When I find myself feeling lost, I will open up to the gospels and read Jesus' teachings on everything from relationships to money to attitudes.

2. Mighty God. During a very difficult time of my life, after my dad almost died, I needed a "Mighty God." I knew that it wasn't a situation that I could simply "fix." I needed an all-powerful Savior. One who could do miracles. One who had complete control over my life and situation, because I felt so lost. One that defeated death. For some of you, you are in a situation that seems like it has no way out. You feel helpless and defeated. Your medical issues or mental health issues are overwhelming

However, Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV) says, "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Although Jesus came humbly, don't forget that he was also mighty. 

3. Everlasting Father. One commentary that I read said that: "'Father of Eternity' describes the king, not as “possessor of the attribute of eternity” but as one who continually acts as a father to his people." 

Wow. I LOVE the line "one who continually acts as a father to his people." It can be so easy to feel like God has forgotten you when we are in a waiting period of our lives, so I love this idea that Jesus has the title of "Everlasting Father." So many people in this world have absentee fathers, and it can be difficult for them to wrap their mind around a consistent, loving father, but Isaiah shared that as part of Jesus' divinity, he would continually be there for his people.

4. Prince of Peace. Throughout the Bible, there were few times of peace. The Israelites were often enslaved by other cultures, or at war with them. Many had hoped that Jesus would be a warrior who would overthrow the Roman government and were surprised when he entered as a humble servant! 

However, Jesus as the Prince of Peace offers us something politicians, warriors, and governments won't give us. He offers us peace. I think this is especially poignant in today's world where there is war, refugees, displaced humans, conflict and riots. So many people (even Christians) get wrapped up in what politicians can do for us, but ultimately, it is Jesus and his return that will bring true peace in this world.

For some of you this holiday season, you will gravitate towards Jesus as Prince of Peace. You might be struggling with feeling overwhelmed or that your life is full of chaos and uncertainty. In John 14:27, Jesus told his disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (NIV). If you seek him, you will find peace from Jesus. 

So this season, which of his names are you drawn to? Wonderful Counselor? Mighty God? Everlasting Father? Prince of Peace? 

Or is it all of them? That realization that we serve a multi-faceted God who can meet you wherever you are?


In Him,

4 comments:

  1. Lovely. In every name of God, there is a ministry to our hurting hearts. Rhonda

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  3. Please do not confuse titles with names. Jesus has many titles of which some God and/or others may also have the same title. But the name of Jesus, who is the son of man and son of God, is Jeshua. Whilst the Only One God of gods is Jesus his heavenly Father, the God of Abraham and Jesus, Whose Name is Jehovah.

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