It is hard for me at times to remember what happened yesterday. It is also hard for me to know what will happen tomorrow. I may have an idea, but I really can’t guarantee it. But for me to say I know what will happen hundreds of years from now is foolish. I don’t have that knowledge, but God does and He revealed it to Isaiah the prophet.
Isaiah 9:6 says, “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.” This verse elaborates on what Isaiah had said earlier, “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
In the New Testament, Matthew records some details of Jesus’ birth and he quotes the Isaiah passage. On December 25 we celebrate the birth of Jesus – the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. How can considering these four names help us understand the Christmas story a little better?
We all need wisdom! Left to ourselves we will make foolish choices and decisions. The Wonderful Counselor provides the truth we need to hear. His counsel is perfect and it gives us hope. God makes our paths straight as we trust Him to guide us in His wisdom. (Proverbs 3:5-6) As Mighty God, Jesus has the power to overcome bad situations. He is not limited or hindered in what He can do. He knows that sinful people need a deliverer who is stronger than the bondage of sin and death. In regards to the Everlasting Father, John MacArthur says, “The Messiah will be a Father to His people eternally…He will compassionately care for and discipline them.” Jesus’ birth shows how loved we are and that God desires us to be a part of His family. The Prince of Peace brings wholeness and completeness to what is broken. All humanity needs rescuing and restoring because sin has totally corrupted us. Jesus gives us His peace or “shalom” from the Old Testament. He takes what is shattered in pieces and puts it back together. Jesus takes a damaged relationship and brings reconciliation and healing.
Since we are separated from God because of our sin and our relationship with God is broken, we need the Prince of Peace. We also need an Everlasting Father to care for us and give us what we need. Only Jesus is the Mighty God who has the power to bring us eternal life. And He is the Wonderful Counselor who illuminates our darkened minds to the truth. At Christmas when you think about the baby in a manger, remember that He is so much more than a little infant. God allowed Isaiah to learn this many years before we started celebrating His birthday on December 25, and He wanted you to learn this too. That is why He recorded both the prophecy and the events of Jesus’ birth in the Bible.
Take a few minutes to watch Paul David Tripp share the “Four names that tell the whole Christmas story.”