(The following is an excerpt from a message I preached at Lakeside Christian Ministries a few years ago. It is the second in a four-part series that examines the four different names the prophet referred to the Christ child as, some seven centuries before His birth. This one is titled: Jesus is Mighty God)
The world around us proclaims with excitement that this is the holiday season. On the simplest of levels, I suppose it is. If you start the clock, if you will, at Thanksgiving, over the next six weeks there is Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Each of these traditions hold their own unique celebrations, keeping many people busy and filled with expectations of merry times with presents to be exchanged.
I’m not here to put a damper on anything, but at the same time I am here to speak as clearly as I can about what the birth of Jesus meant and means for all people and for all time. How Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies, like the one I’m writing about again today, points to the power and love of God, who predicted and then fulfilled His awesome salvation plan through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, the world has successfully turned this incredible time into a materialistic mania. This has caused much spiritual darkness, so much so that many who know that God has given the Light of the World, Jesus, still live in fear of the darkness. It is my hope and prayer that by considering the prophesy of Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah, we can all experience more of the awesome light of God in our own lives, and thus be able to shine it better into our hurting world.
Let’s continue with our discussion of Isaiah 9:6 as we consider the four titles the prophet gave to the coming Messiah. Please recall that these words were first uttered some 700 years before the Lord was born.
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. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)
In my previous blog I examined Jesus as the fulfillment of the Wonderful Counselor. Jesus was/is the incomprehensible and perfect counselor, full of all the wisdom and knowledge of everything. His counsel is divine, and ought to be sought by us in all things.
This time let’s uncover some more of who this Mighty God is. Let’s start by not overlooking the obvious; this child born is God. Ray Pritchard of Keep Believing Ministries says it this way: Who is Jesus Christ? This baby born in the manger is not just the Son of God, he is also God the Son. He goes on to say; if he is not God, we are fools to worship him. If he is God, we are fools not to.
The Hebrew word that was translated as God in Isaiah 9:6 is El. It means the Strong One. Once again God stretches us to consider His unfathomable power. After all, what is less mighty than a newborn baby; and yet this is the title that the prophet gives Him. Much the same as how this child was to be born in a town so small it didn’t even make the map of those days (Micah 5:2); here we have our all-powerful God coming to dwell among us as an infant. God challenges us to think beyond our finite limitations to behold His magnificence.
As per Jesus’ advice, we must take these deep issues of faith as a child (Luke 18:17). This can be difficult to do in our time with so much information available at our finger-tips. If I thought that this wealth of knowledge was in fact bringing with it real peace for folks, I might suggest we use it exclusively in our quest for understanding of this Mighty God. But as I do not see this happening, why not join me in taking a bit of a child-like look at Jesus.
The title Mighty God that Isaiah gave to the coming Messiah gives the indication of a conquering hero, a warrior that fights against anything that might injure His people. Who better than a child can picture this type of hero overcoming to save the day? Yet the comfort here goes beyond just knowing these battles are being fought for us because this Mighty God is the ultimate conqueror who cannot be beaten.
Consider what Matthew Poole’s commentary has to say about this: The mighty God: this title can agree to no man but Christ, who was God as well as man, to whom the title of God or Jehovah is given, both in the Old and New Testament, (Jeremiah 23:6 John 1:1 Romans 9:5), and in many other places. And it is a most true observation, that this Hebrew word El is never used in the singular number, of any creature, but only of the Almighty God, as is evident by perusing all the texts where this word is used.
Understanding that Jesus is the Mighty God opens our hearts and minds to so much that the scriptures tell us about Him. Our Mighty God Jesus is the reason to not let our hearts be troubled because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Our part in this is to have strong enough faith to believe Jesus meant us and our trials when He made this promise.
It is only Jesus, as Mighty God, who could/would defeat the power of sin and death by His victory on the Cross. Once again, we see God stretching us to see that eternal life springs from physical death. It is through the unlimited power of God that the bridge back to Him is constructed. The vast separation sin cast between us and God could only be spanned by Jesus, the Mighty God.
I wrote last time how Jesus fulfilled the prophesy of Messiah being the Wonderful Counselor. I have endeavored today to shine some light on to the fact that the Lord was/is/will always be Mighty God as well. The well-known worship song Indescribable written by Laura Story and Jesse Reaves and made popular by Chris Tomlin, pretty well sums up these points about our Mighty God.
Indescribable, uncontainable, you placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You are amazing God. All powerful, untamable, awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim, You are amazing God.
The child who has been born, the son who has been given, is our Mighty God. My words cannot adequately express the might He contains, but with the child-like wonder I mentioned earlier, we can gaze upon Him and give our praise to Him. We can offer thanksgiving to Him who has this incomparably great power.
We do this because of all the mighty power that we’ve talked about and witnessed, there is nothing greater than what Jesus did for all mankind on the cross. What is impossible for us to do, Jesus did, as He explained in Luke 18:31-34.
The Lord accomplished, as only God could have, the atonement for man’s sins. What is impossible for us to achieve, Jesus has done by willingly taking our punishment on Himself. This baby, so often pictured in a peaceful scene in a manger with farm animals looking on, came to this world to die an ugly and incredibly painful death, so that the awesome, mighty power of God could be displayed in His resurrection.
May we all come to a greater appreciation of just what this season celebrates, as we do joyfully proclaim the birth of Jesus. A birth foretold centuries years before the fact by the prophet Isaiah, which allowed the Mighty God of heaven to take up his dwelling among us. My we sing joyfully at the sight of His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Jesus was the fulfillment of this prophesy of the Mighty God. He continues to fulfill it in the hearts and lives of believers since then until now and forever more. He is the all-powerful creator. He is the light of heaven shining on all people. He is Mighty God. Amen.