06 December 2016

What's In a Name? A Child Born, A Son Given


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. (Isaiah 9:6)

Isaiah 9:6 contains more names of Messiah in a single verse than any other in the Bible. The names of Messiah presented in this verse cannot be fully appreciated, however, without an understanding of the broader context of the passage.

As Isaiah prophesies, chapter 8 ends on a note of judgment:
When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. They will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward. Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness. (Isaiah 8:19-22)
Indeed, in short order, as history demonstrates, Assyria came and took Israel into captivity. Judgment had come.
 
Yet in the midst of the darkness, chapter 9 opens on a note of hope:
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. (Isaiah 9:1)
Just as surely as judgment came, so too would the land of Israel one day see the glory of God.
Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI,
BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES--
“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT,
AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH,
UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” (Matthew 4:122-16)
As Isaiah declared in 7:14, the “great light” that would be Israel’s future hope was in fact, a child.
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)
We learn more about this child in Isaiah 9:6. Read its glorious promises again:
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. (Isaiah 9:6)
Note first that this child will be born. This refers to Messiah’s relation to men. Even in His birth, He will enter into the experience of humanity.1

The child, then, will be born, but this same One is a “son” who is “given.” Whose son? Given to whom?
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:9-15)
Denoting the Messiah’s relationship to God, we see that the Son of God is given to men, as a child born, to bring salvation for His people.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, the divine son of God. Jesus Christ is absolutely alone. He is an amazing person. He is a person who comes among men and points out men's sins but acknowledges no sin on his part. He is a man who comes and says to men that you must repent. But he does not repent. He tells us that we are sick, and that he is the good physician. He tells us that we are sinners and not only that he is not a sinner, but that he is the Savior. He tells us that we are sheep, and he says that he is the good shepherd. If Jesus Christ is not really what he claims to be, he's a madman. And he is not one that we can follow.1
Yet, Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be. He is no madmen, but rather the Savior of men. A child born, a Son given, salvation purchased.

_________________________
1. Johnson, S. Lewis. “The Child Who Is A Father.”

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