“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
There are three ‘incomparables’ in this one sentence of Isaiah, namely…
Our Lord’s incomparable birth
“For unto us a child is born.” That is the simple human element, but look at the great divine fact: “Unto us a Son is given.” The same incomparable fact is recorded in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in Rom.8:32 we have the assurance that “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all…”
Our Lord’s incomparable destiny
“And the government shall be upon His shoulder.” What a relief and comfort it is to know that a glorious kingdom is coming. It will be an age of glory under the headship of the Man of Calvary. And it will be forever (verse 7).
Our Lord’s incomparable character
The incomparable character of our Lord is summed up in five wonderful Names.
1. Wonderful – He is wonderful in His works (Matt. 21:15) and in His words (John 7:4-6).
2. Counsellor – Truly, “A greater that Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:4-2). His counsels perhaps reducible to come (Matt. 11:28) and go (John 8:11).
3. The mighty God – His deity was attested by demons (Mark 1:24), by men (Matt. 27:54), by His Father (Matt. 3:17; 17:5) and also by Himself (John 9:35-37; 10:36).
4. The everlasting Father – Basically He is called by this name, because He is one with His Father (John 10:30), but also because, as the ascended second man, He fathers, i.e. brings into being, a new human family, His church. And is it not true as well that He everlastingly fathers, and cares for, those to whom He imparts His life? A beautiful example of this is Jairus’ daughter. He gave her life (Mark 5:41, 42) and then “commanded that something should be given her to eat” (verse 43). Yes, He is the father-provider to all His children. And how He stands up always for their defence! Also see Mark 2:18, 19 and 24-28).
5. The Prince of Peace – Yes, He shall reign, and His Kingdom shall be a Kingdom of peace; blessed thought indeed! But there is a further sense in which our Saviour bears that Name. Christ is called Prince three times in the New Testament (Acts.3:15; Acts 5:31; Rev.1:5) and in the first two of these the Greek word ‘archegos’ is employed, signifying particularly a file-leader. (See also Captain in Heb. 2:10). How true it is that that true inward peace (John 14:27) can only be found by following in His steps, as He leads us in the way He took, the way of Calvary. We read that, “There remaineth a rest to the people of God” (Heb. 4:9) and we believe that Christians may know that rest by following in His train. As the hymn-writer puts it: “Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine; living with Jesus a new life divine”. And as we live that life, in resurrection-union with the Lord, we find we have a, “Peace which passeth understanding” (Phil. 4:7); a peace which is not of this world (John 14:27). Our great Archegos of Peace has led us into it. All praise to His Name!