The Names Above All Names
By Dr. Robert Jeffress
Today, Christmas Day, we have come to celebrate the birth of the One who is known as the Lord Jesus Christ. What was the baby’s name? The name Jesus was very common in Israel, meaning “Savior.” He was called “Christ,” the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” He is “Lord,” which means kurios or “master.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is how He was known in the New Testament. But in the Old Testament passage, there are four other names for the Son of God that remind us of the significance of His coming for each of us.
There were approximately 109 unique prophecies about the Messiah’s first coming. One of the best-known prophecies is in Isaiah 9:6, which says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
This prophecy was written 700 years before the coming of Christ. The ungodly nations of Samaria and Syria were threatening the southern kingdom of Israel, known as Judah.
Yet, as the country stood on the brink of destruction, God sent this word of reassurance through the prophet Isaiah. As bleak as the world situation looked, one day, God would send His son to save Israel and anyone who trusted in Him.
Isaiah 9:6 tells us that the Messiah, the deliverer, would be a human. He would be born in the flesh. Christ came to die for sinners, but the problem is that since Christ is God, God could never die. That is why Jesus had to come incarnate, in the flesh.
But notice the second phrase, “a Son will be given.” This phrase relates to His deity. Jesus did not come into existence at Bethlehem. He has existed with His heavenly father since the beginning of time. On Christmas day, God gave His son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”
“And the government will rest on His shoulders.” When Christ came the first time, He came as a humble servant who died for our sins. But here is a reference to His second coming as the mighty Savior who will rule the world in perfect justice.
During His first coming, He lived under the boot of the Roman government, but at His second coming, He will rule over all the nations.
“His name will be called…” As you read this, can’t you hear the strains of Handel’s Messiah? I want you to consider the four names Isaiah uses to describe the Lord Jesus Christ.
And His name will be called …
1. Wonderful Counselor
Jesus Christ possesses all the wisdom of God because He is God. He knows everything about the past, the present, and, most importantly, the future. That is why every word He speaks is true and trustworthy. And that is why Jesus Christ and His word are the only reliable guide to help us navigate this life and the life to come.
2. Mighty God
It is foolish to believe that Bethlehem represents the beginning of Jesus Christ. John 1:3 says that Christ existed from the beginning and that all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made.
No, Bethlehem was not the beginning of Christ. It just represented a temporary change of address for 33 years for the One Whom Isaiah called the Mighty God.
3. Eternal Father
The term “father” is one of the relationships. Trusting in Christ as our Savior changes our status with God. No longer are we enemies; we are friends. No longer are we treated as slaves, but we have become sons and daughters. And His love for us is as eternal and steadfast as He Himself is.
4. Prince of Peace
The word “peace” means “freedom from troubling thoughts or emotions.” The angel promised the shepherds Christmas night that Christ’s coming meant peace—not for everyone in the world, but only for those “with whom God is pleased.” We can never experience peace with other people, our circumstances, or even ourselves until we are at peace with God. Christ came to make peace between God and us.
Full Passage: Isaiah 9:6