284 - Five Names for the Coming Messiah (Isaiah 9)
Isaiah’s prophecy not only tells us of the power and work of the coming Messiah, Jesus; it describes His very nature. He is the eternal God in the flesh who brings peace with God and ultimately peace to the world. What a blessing it is to have Him as our faithful Counselor.
Five Names for the Coming Messiah
In our last session, as Isaiah chapter 8 came to a close, the prophet delivered a grim picture of what it means to reject the Word of God. He wrote this in verse 22:
They will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
Let me tell you, that is the perfect description of the world then—and the world today—darkness, confusion, anguish. So, is there any hope?
Well, now as chapter 9 opens, Isaiah delivers several prophecies that give the nation of Israel—and you and me today—wonderful hope in our Messiah. Isaiah says here in verse 1:
But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.
The tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, in the Galilean region of Israel, would have been the first tribes captured by Assyria, but Isaiah goes on to say here, “In the latter time, he has made glorious the way of the sea . . . [in] Galilee.” And Galilee is where Nazareth is located.
Isaiah is saying that something glorious is going to happen there in Galilee. And of course, that’s where the Lord lived and carried on most of His earthly ministry. Isaiah puts it this way in verse 2:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
Seven hundred years after Isaiah wrote this prophecy, Matthew declared its fulfillment in Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The dawning of the light on this old, dark earth had begun.
Later in His ministry, Jesus stood and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus was simply applying the prophecy of Isaiah to His life and ministry.
Isaiah describes the birth of the Messiah in verse 6, where he writes: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” Now, we can look back and see that this has already taken place in the birth of Jesus. “For to us a child is born” relates to His humanity; “to us a son is given” relates to His deity. From eternity past, He was God the Son. But now, through His miraculous conception and human birth, He has taken on flesh and joined the human race in order to redeem us.
Now with that, Isaiah gives us five different descriptions of—five different names for—the Lord Jesus. Look at verse 6: “His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
These names are more related to His nature than His signature. His signature was Jesus, but here we have a prophetic description of His nature.
The first name is “Wonderful.” I believe a comma should come after this first descriptive name. “Wonderful” is not an adjective, but a noun. Isaiah is not saying here that the Lord does wonderful things (which He does) or that belonging to Him is a wonderful thing (which it is); he is telling us that the Lord is—simply put—wonderful.
I have talked to young women planning their wedding ceremony over which I would preside as the pastor. And more than one of them have described their husband-to-be with gushing and sighing, saying, “He’s just so wonderful.” I can’t help but think, Just give it a few months! Of course, I don’t say that out loud.
I am sure he will be wonderful—at times. He will do some wonderful things every so often—and I hope often! But Isaiah says here that our Lord is altogether, consistently, unchangeably wonderful!
Second, He is also named “Counselor.” I am going to say something that might surprise you: I believe every woman today needs counseling. If you are a man, you are probably saying, “Amen.” Well, I’m not finished. Every man needs counseling too—probably even more so. And now all the women can say, “Amen to that!” Listen, every human being on the planet needs counseling.
Go to the one here who is described as the divine Counselor. He will never give you bad advice. He will never have to say, “I’m so sorry; I gave you the wrong direction to take in life.” No, His word—His counsel—is perfect. And by the way, the Lord is the only Counselor you will ever go to who does not need counseling Himself! He will never need our advice.
Now, the Lord Jesus also is called here, by Isaiah, the “Mighty God.”
This is another description of Jesus Christ’s deity; the Messiah is the Mighty El. El (God) is at the beginning of Elohim, the name of our sovereign God. El is at the end of Emmanuel, “God with us.”
The Messiah Jesus is not just like God; He is the physical embodiment of the triune God. He is God in the flesh. One day when you stand there in heaven, looking at God, you are going to be looking into the face of Jesus.
Isaiah then calls Him the “Everlasting Father.” That might sound somewhat strange when applied to Jesus. But in the Hebrew mind, the “father” of something was its originator, its source. In both Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1, Jesus is declared to be the Creator, the one who spoke all things into existence. He is the originator of all things. This is another strong declaration of the deity of Jesus.
I had a man in my office some time ago who had taught Sunday school in a Protestant church for decades, but he said to me, “I just can’t think of Jesus being anything more than a Jewish rabbi.” Well, he is not listening to Isaiah.
Last in this list is the name “Prince of Peace.” Because of Jesus Christ, we can have peace with God (Romans 1:7; 5:1). No more battling God. We have surrendered and taken a pen and signed the peace treaty with God; the ink in that pen is the blood of Christ. We have peace with God, but we also have the peace of God, as we walk with Him in obedience (Philippians 4:7).
Isaiah calls Him the Prince of Peace, and this description is prophetic. Yet the birth of Christ did not bring peace to Planet Earth, did it? There have been eight major world wars since the seventeenth century alone. There are more than 150 wars taking place somewhere in our world today. There is no peace on earth, beloved, and there won’t be until this prophecy is fulfilled when the Prince of Peace returns to take His place on the throne of David.
But until then, peace can be found on Planet Earth, the peace you can have in your heart and life with God.
Isaiah prophesies of a future world peace when Jesus reigns in His earthly kingdom. Go back earlier in verse 6: “And the government shall be upon his shoulder.”
Isaiah is referring to a Jewish wedding custom in which the groom would remove the veil from his bride and lay it upon his shoulder. This signified that the responsibility for her protection and provision was now on his shoulder. You, beloved, are the responsibility of the Lord. He is going to take care of you, His bride. This prophecy can come true spiritually in your life today.
So, why don’t you lay the veil of your circumstances upon His shoulder? Say to Him, “Lord, my protection, my provision, my direction—everything about my life, Lord—the veil of my life is on Your shoulder. One day You will rule the nations, but right now—today—Lord Jesus, rule as King in my life.”
Add a Comment