The title of my Christmas message this year is “The Child with Four Amazing titles”.
Now in the Bible we see that Jesus is given many names. All of these names refer to some aspect of who He is and what He does. He is given names like the King of kings, the Lord of all lords, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lamb of God, the Bread of Life. He is also called the way, the truth and the life.
In today’s Christmas message I want to look at one verse from the Old Testament in the book of Isaiah. This verse was written some 700 years before the first Christmas, but it was written about Jesus. The verse comes from Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6.
It says, “For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
In this verse the baby Jesus is given four amazing titles. Today, I want to look briefly at these titles.
1) Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor
Wonderful Counselor – what a great title. I don’t know about you, but sometimes in this life I need a wonderful counselor. Like most of us, sometimes I just don’t know what to do and I need help.
One of my favourite memory verses comes from Proverbs 3.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 also says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
It is great to know that I can pray to Jesus and ask for His wisdom and His guidance. It is great to know I can call on someone whose thoughts are higher than my thoughts. When I do call on Him in prayer, I find that before long the right path to take opens up.
Not only is prayer a great way to find guidance, but also are Jesus’ words in the Bible. In His famous sermon on the mount we see there are so many great truths contained for everyday life.
A quick scan of the Sermon on the Mount shows us how to have the right attitude to life, how to pray, how to respond when people wrong us, how to live in a marriage relationship, how to use our money and possessions, how to be generous, and how to be a true follower of Jesus.
These are timeless truth for how to live, how to relate to each other and how to relate to God. In fact, when He finished His sermon people were amazed. Matthew 7:28-29 tells us, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, 29 for He taught with real authority–quite unlike their teachers of religious law”.
So not only can we pray and receive direction from our wonderful counselor Jesus, but we can also read His words in the Bible.
2) Jesus is our Mighty God
The second amazing title in this passage is mighty God. In His time on earth Jesus showed His power and glory in the way He lived and interacted with those around Him. Shortly after the sermon on the mount, Jesus moved out into the world and did a number of amazing miracles.
As we saw a few weeks ago, Jesus performed a number of miracles including…
The healing of the man with leprosy (Matthew 8:1-4), healing the Centurion’s slave (Matthew 8:5-13), the calming of the storm (Matthew 8:23-27), healing the Paralytic man who was brought by his friends (Matthew 9:1-8), Jesus raised the Dead Girl to life (Matthew 9:18-26), Jesus healed the Sick Woman who touched His cloak (Matthew 9:20-22), He healed the Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31), and He drove the demon out of the Mute Man (Matthew 9:32-33).
In performing these miracles Jesus showed that mighty God is a title that sits well on Him. He healed the sick, drove out demons, calmed the storm and He even raised the dead. Jesus showed that He had power that is not of this world. He did things that no mortal man could do. He did things that only God could do.
At times in life when we feel weak and we don’t think we can do the things we need to do, it is great to know that we have Jesus we can call on for help and strength. The Bible tells is we can do all things through Christ who is our strength (Philippians 4:13).
This Christmas we know that help from “Mighty God” is just a prayer away.
3) Jesus is our Everlasting Father
The third title is “Everlasting Father”. This title shows that Jesus is eternal.
John 1:1-4 reminds us that Jesus is eternal. “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone.
When I first got interested in reading the Bible in my early 20s, I thought that Jesus came into existence when He was born at Christmas time to Mary.
Before long I realise that Jesus was there at the creation of the world. He was there when Adam and Eve were created. He was around when Noah build his ark, He was around when Moses led the people of Egypt to freedom, He was around the great kings and prophets walked the earth in Old Testament times. Then 2000 years ago He walked the earth to show us what God is like, to show us how to live, and ultimately to show us how much He loves us by dying on the cross for our sin. Now He has returned to heaven and He promises to come back for us one day. This is the great hope for all who trust in Jesus for their salvation.
Again, everlasting father is a wonderful title. It helps us to know that when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, we are not just trusting in a baby who grew into a man who walked the earth some 2000 years ago, but we are putting our faith in someone who is eternal and everlasting. And as Colossians 2:9 tells us, “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body”.
Everlasting Father is a title that sits well on Jesus.
4) Jesus is our Prince of Peace
The final title in this verse is “Prince of peace”. Another great title that was given to Jesus.
It doesn’t take much to see that the world desperately needs a prince of peace. When we read the newspaper in the morning or watch the nightly news we see peace is needed. At times it is easy to get overwhelmed by it all.
However, when I get troubled by world events like terrorism, wars, floods, earthquakes, famine and the like, I close my eyes prayerfully and think about the prince of peace. The one who came from eternity, was born in a manger at Christmas, lived amongst us and gives us His peace.
There are two great verses that still my heart and mind when I am worried…
In John 14:27 Jesus said these words to His troubled followers when they were afraid, “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.”
And in Philippians 4:7, the Apostle Paul who was one of the leaders in the early church said, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Story of Peace
Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally, the great day of judging arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered.
The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled.
As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd.
A mirror-smooth lake reflected a perfect scenery of rolling hills with a perfectly blue sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.
The man with the vision uncovered the final painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?
A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky cliff; the crowd could almost feel it’s cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-grey clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a tiny tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls.
A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her chicks. With her eyes closed and her wings covering her little ones who were oblivious to the storms, she manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil.
This picture was declared the unanimous winner.
Jesus, as the prince of peace, can give us peace. A true and lasting peace that is not of this world. It is the peace of heaven. If you want to experience true and lasting peace this Christmas, it is found in the prince of peace.
So, as I close, I want to wish you all a wonderfully happy, safe and blessed Christmas. It is my hope and prayer that this Christmas you will experience the love of the child who grew up to be a Saviour with four amazing titles – the wonderful counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting father and the prince of peace.
If you have not made your connection with God, I would encourage you to click on the “Peace with God” link to find true and lasting peace this Christmas.
Merry Christ everyone.