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.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
As we move quickly through the holidays, we often see and hear this passage cited as a wonderful reminder of the long foretold prophecy of the coming Messiah, but do we ever stop to reflect on those four descriptive phrases of Jesus? Even if we strip away the adjectives, we are still left with some deep things to consider. Let’s have a quick look:
Wonderful Counselor: Having invested some time with a counselor, I can understand the value of being counseled. And, as much as I like my counselor, “Wonderful” is not always an adjective I would use to describe her. But here, we have a counselor who truly has our best in mind. We can fully trust Him and His Word to lead and guide us through Life. This should bring us comfort.
Mighty God: Not just any god, but The mighty, omnipotent God of the universe. This God loves us so much that He sent His Son to this ball of dirt to save our sorry souls. He is bigger than any earthy problem we may have to face in this life. This should bring us safety.
Everlasting Father: Even if you are living with a distorted father image because of a broken past, this Father is one you can fully embrace and one Who wants to fully embrace you. He wants to adopt you into His family as sons and daughters with all the benefits and responsibilities that go with that adoption. With this adoption comes the right to call on your “Abba, Father!” in our darkest times trusting that He will see you through them. This should bring us security.
Prince of Peace: The word for peace here is “Shalom,” and means to be safe, to be well, to be happy. And Jesus is the prince of this peace, meaning He not only brings it in the person of who He is, but He also dispenses it as “the giver of all good things.” This should bring us peace.
But the big question is: Do we really live like this? Do we move through our busy, crazy, falling world as though we truly have a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, and a Prince of Peace? And, if we did, how would that impact our busy, crazy, falling world? No doubt people would notice, and they would either think we are a little off…or they would be drawn to find out why we have such peace, security, safety, and comfort. And then we can tell them about the gift we have received and how they can get it too.
Kelley & Jola Johnson
NCD Pastoral Care