“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
This verse is often seen on Christmas cards. This time of year many people send cards to friends and family. But in all of the hustle and bustle of the pressures that come along with this time of year, do you stop and think about what the celebration is all about? Or, who it should be about?
What child is this verse talking about?
“…a child is born.” Mary was a young Jewish woman living a normal life. She was to be married to a man named Joseph, but that marriage had not taken place yet. Jewish engagements could be long, but they were binding. Mary and Joseph had not come together yet as man and wife…Mary was a virgin. The time had come for prophecy to be fulfilled and God would enter His creation in human form…a child would be born.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary:
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:30-31).
When the angel appeared to her she was afraid. Angels are not cute, chubby cheeked children, nor are the sweet looking women. They are always males and usually when they are seen it is a frightening experience. Mary was frightened, but Gabriel calmed her fears. His news must have been confusing for Mary. She wasn’t married, but he told her she would conceive. Mary didn’t understand how this would happen, but instead of arguing or scoffing she simply asked how it would happen (Luke 1:30-31).
“Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’” (Luke 1:34).
It would be prudent for each one of us to use Mary as an example when God asks us to do something for Him. She didn’t over-analyze it, she didn’t try to make it happen by human terms, and she didn’t argue. She submitted to God’s leading and not her own understanding. She only asked how it would happen. Mary was an ordinary human. The child she bore would be fully human, but He would be much more.
“…unto us a son is given.” God gave His Son. And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35).
God’s Son willingly left heaven to become a man. He is the second person of the Holy Trinity and He never lost His deity. He could only be our Redeemer if He was fully human and fully God. Some people, even so-called Christians, have trouble accepting the fact that Jesus is God.
They see the title “Son of God” and put it in human terms and think that He was less than God. Some misguided souls think He is the brother of Lucifer; some think He was just a really nice guy with some good ideas. How do people come up with these ridiculous notions? Jesus was fully God and fully human.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
The name Immanuel means “God with us.” Gabriel told Mary to name her child “Jesus” not Immanuel. Is there a problem with that? The name Jesus, or in Greek Iēsous, means “Jehovah is salvation.” It is the same as the Hebrew name Joshua or Yĕhowshuwa` which means “Jehovah is salvation.” Jesus is God, He is our salvation. He is Immanuel…God with us.
Mary had to trust God in this situation. Under Jewish Law she could have been stoned to death; God takes a strong view against sexual relations outside of marriage. Joseph, her espoused husband, knew that he was not the father of the child and he would have been well within his rights under the Law to turn his back on Mary. He didn’t want to make a public spectacle of her, but still he wrestled with what he should do. Once again God sent an angel to help.
“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
Joseph had to trust God. He was asked to accept Mary’s condition, take her for his wife, and protect her and God’s Son. He had to step out in faith and he did what was asked of him. How many of us would be so willing?
“… and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” I look forward to this part of Isaiah’s prophecy coming to pass. Make no mistake, it will happen, but there are events that must happen first. The birth pains will continue and grow stronger. Soon the Rapture will occur.
Sometime after that, Daniel’s seventieth week will begin, the last half of that week will be horrendous. Those who are saved during the Great Tribulation and survive will enter will enter the thousand-year reign of Christ and the government shall be upon His shoulder.
It would be wonderful if He ruled now. It would even be a better world in which to live if our government leaders submitted themselves to Christ. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. Like Mary, we need to trust God and know His timing is perfect. Because of Jesus we can live forever with Him if we step out in faith and believe in His death, burial, and resurrection.
When we die we will be in His presence. If the Rapture occurs we will be immediately changed and not have to die first. Either way, by faith in Him—we will live eternally with Jesus.
Throughout His time on earth Jesus provoked controversy:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew10:34).
The Jewish religious leaders would not believe that their Messiah had come in their lifetime. They knew prophecy told when He would appear, but they did not believe God’s Word. Those who followed Him were confused but wanted to hear His words. Of course Judas followed Him pretending to be one of His followers. Jesus knew His heart but allowed Judas to have the same chance to embrace the truth as the other men. Like many today who call themselves Christians, he wasn’t a true follower.
He joined with the Pharisees to do Satan’s bidding. They conspired to murder Jesus, and when they finally did crucify Him they thought they had accomplished something good. Well, in a sense they did. Because of His willing sacrifice on the cross He conquered death. The victory is in Jesus and by accepting His death, burial, and resurrection—we sinners are forgiven. We will live with Him eternally.
Today a huge fight still rages because of Him. Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, nativity scenes. (Was He born on December 25th or some other day?) Should a Christian celebrate Christmas, etc? He is still bringing division and the secular humanists are still trying to crucify Him.
Christians need to stand with Him and not allow Satan to remove Him from public view. Mary and Joseph both did what was right in God’s eyes. Peter and the other disciples chose to follow Him in spite of persecution, and we must make our choice to follow Him, not the world.
So, let me ask again, “What Child is this?”
“…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6b).
He is the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
He is fully human and fully God:
“And the Word was made flesh, (and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
He is the Creator, “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).
He is the Rock:
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).
He is the Good Shepherd:
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
He is the Saviour:
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
He is the Way:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
I could go on and on…
The Alpha and Omega, the Lamb, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the beginning and the end. He is everything.
As you rush around amidst the worldly customs that dominate this season, stop and ask yourself if you are serving a fat, jolly fairy tale dressed in red, riding in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer or are you serving the Lord of lords, the King of kings, the Great I AM? That fat, jolly fairy tale cannot offer you anything but credit card bills. Jesus offers you salvation.
What child is this? Jesus Christ my Lord.
God bless you all,