Summary: Another in the series on Christ from Isaiah 9:6.
Sunday, December 23, 2001
As I have been preparing my message this week, I feel as though I should have saved this for Father’s Day rather than preaching it at Christmas. Everlasting Father is the name that we find this week in Isaiah 9:6 in referring to the Son who is born. What a dramatic name for a newborn baby.
Now it would be tempting to jump on this name and run with the conclusion that it has the exact same point as the other two names - Jesus is deity - he is God.
Certainly that is an implication of the name. Just as wonderful and Mighty God point to the divine nature of this child who is to be born - so also Everlasting Father cannot be divorced from the fact that one of the most popular pictures of God is as our heavenly Father.
John 14:8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
9 Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ’Show us the Father’?
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
However, I don’t think that is the major point of this name for Christ. So I want us to ask ourselves three questions this morning to draw out the meaning of this name for us today.
1. What did the people of Isaiah’s day associate with the name Father?
You’re probably thinking - we all know what a father is. But we live in the day of Homer Simpson and all the other great father images in the media. Father’s today are irrelevant at best and dangerous at worst. They are either dolts who are always messing up or they are potential abusers of wife and children.
Such a picture of fathers is unheard of in Scripture. There are two nuances that come out of this name
a. The first we can discover by examining what it meant to be fatherless.
The fatherless were those who were without protection and provision. A father was one who provided for and protected his family.
b. The second is one that we don’t see too often anymore.
The king was to be a father to his people = to provide and protect.
Spiritual leader - Elijah and Elisha - both called father
2. What does the term everlasting add to the name?
Think of what it was like in Israel - one good king - a couple of bad. What would it mean to have an everlasting father?
Protection and provision forever. Not just till the next bad king came along.
2 Samuel 7:5 "Go and tell my servant David, ’This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?
6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.
7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?" ’
8 "Now then, tell my servant David, ’This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel.
9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.
10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning
11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. "’The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you:
12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.