(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Isaiah 9:6 and 7 is the most beloved Old Testament Christmas prophesy there is!
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlast- ing Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His gov- ernment and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from this time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah’s prophesy tells so much about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who would make His appearance 700 years later as a baby born in a manger! What can we know from this Old Testament passage of just two verses?
“For unto us a Child is born…” (verse 6).
✞ This tells us that the Messiah will appear as a child, a baby born into this world just like any normal human baby would be born.......except that He would be born in a humble stable and laid in a manger! Why was He manifested in this way? ➔ He could have come with a world-wide an- nouncement made by the mighty voice of God Himself! But that wouldn’t work! For in John 12:28 and 29 this is recorded: [Jesus cried out,] “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glori- fied it, and will glorify it again.” Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thun- dered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” ➔ He could have appeared in glorious form, as he did to the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos in Revelation 1:12 through 16: I saw...One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shin- ing in its strength.
But John’s reaction is recorded in verse 17: “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” The aged apostle was just bowled over in a dead faint when confronted with such glory!
So how could we identify with Him if Jesus came in such glory? We would also be knocked flat as was John! And how could we ever respond to His invitation in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Would not we want to run and hide?
➔ Even though Jesus was born as a baby, why not make His appearance in a king’s palace surrounded by the trappings of luxury? Was He not “...born King of the Jews...” as the wise men said of Him in Matthew 2:2? But if Jesus had been born into such earthly royal- ty and wealth, then maybe the wealthiest one percent might have identified with Him...... but what about the other 99%?! ✞ Don’t miss that little two-letter word, us! “...unto us a child is born...”! This brings it home to us! You and I are included – He’s your Savior and Lord! He’s my Savior and Lord!
“…unto us a Son is given…” (verse 6).
✞ A Son...whose Son? ➔ Yes, He was the son of Mary, and the step- son of Joseph. But notice I didn’t capital- ize ‘son’ in this identification. For Jesus being the son of Mary means He is fully a human being – someOne with whom we can iden- tify! ➔ This ‘Son’ is none other than the incarnate Son of God, God the Son, the second Person of the Almighty Trinity! He came “...to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). He came to pay for our rebellion against God! As Jesus said in 18:37, “...for this cause I have come into the world...,” to die for our sins, to raise from the dead, to live forever, so we could be forgiven, escape hell, and gain eternal life with Him!
“…and the government will be upon His shoulder…” (verse 6).
✞ The two advents of the Lord are in view here – Jesus’ first and second coming! In the Old Testament they are often seen as one advent – and it presents great diffi- culty to try to reconcile the prophesies of the suffer- ing Servant with those of the victorious King! ➔ Isaiah 53 the Messiah is presented as the suffering Servant. ➔ Isaiah chapters 60 through 62 show forth Him as the reigning King, and describe His mani- fold blessings upon Israel and the world!
Some have even speculated that there had to be two Messiahs!
It is in the New Testament that this is explained much more fully. The Messiah will appear in two advents, separated by the Church age! This is why the Jews had/have such a hard time seeing Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. They only hold the Old Testament as Scripture.
✞ When Jesus Christ returns in glory as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16), He will rule from Jerusalem over “...the nations ...with a rod of iron...” (Revelation 19:15 – see also Psalm 2:9; Revelation 12:5). He will head the only government! He will be the su- preme Ruler! ✞ You might say, He will shoulder all the respon- sibility of righteously governing the world!
Oh, what we have to look forward to as Christians!
These two verses in Isaiah 9 are so packed with prophetic truth, this Gem must be split in two! We will continue next Tuesday.