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Summary: Qualities in the Unique Names of Jesus described in Isaiah 9:6

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FRIENDING JESUS

Caitlin Shaw wanted to do what a lot of us have done: set up a profile on the Facebook social network. But since Shaw was her married name, the thought some old friends might not recognize her without her married name. So she decided to include it. Therein began the problem. Facebook rejected her. The reason had to do with her maiden name: Batman.

Same problem happened to Becky Super, and to Bess Pancake, and Keith Kisser, and Jack Money, Mary Stalker. Facebook is based on "real people making real-world connections.” But if your real name doesn’t sound authentic, you’ll be rejected because Facebook does not allow fake profiles. For the record, names like Yoda, Beta, Jelly, Duck, Beer, and Christmas are also banned. Fortunately, most of these folks have eventually made it onto the social network by going through an appeals process even one whose last name is Batman or Super.

Some 700 years before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah tells of a child with unusual names.

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 Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

These are certainly unusual names. You have to wonder: Would Facebook reject them too. But the more important question is Will YOU reject these names or friend them.

Take some time with me this morning to look over Isaiah’s profile of the child to be born with the unusual names and you will find that He is a…

WONDERFUL COUNSELOR

I like a translation that says he is a wonder of a counselor. Look at the gospels and you will see that Jesus always interacted with folks in just the right way. He affirmed the generosity of Zacheaus, confronted the greed of the Rich Young Ruler, asked a crippled man if he wanted to get well, offered grace to the Samaritan woman at the well, and restored the fallen Peter.

In short, Jesus had matchless wisdom with every situation and every person he encountered.

Often, our success in life depends on the quality of our counselors and advisors. We need people who know more about topics than we do. And when our emotions are intense, we need people who can be more objective when your decision-making abilities are hampered.

And adage states: A wise man seeks much counsel. A fool listens to all of it. Let’s confess, we have all followed and given poor counsel during our lives. In contrast, Jesus council is the best, telling us what we need to hear.

He gave council that it is better to love our enemies than to hate them.

He gave council that NOTHING is of greater value than one’s soul.

He gave council that forgiveness is much better than to dwell in hatred.

Let us join the psalmist in saying…I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; (Psalm 16:7a )

Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor the one who knows us most fully and loves us most deeply. He hears our every problem, every anxiety, every fear. The intimate Jesus holds our hand when we are lonely or hurting, offers us his shoulder to cry on when we are sad

MIGHTY GOD

It is ironic that a new born child would be profiled as mighty. The picture of Jesus’ birth is ANYTHING but mighty. A boy is born into a poor family in a barn and laid in a manger. Still, this title emphasizes that the baby whose birth we celebrate is nothing less than the living, true, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, creator and sustainer of humankind.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3 NIV) The Christmas Song, Mary Did You Know? Includes the poetic line, Mary did you know that your baby boy was Lord of all creation.

The miracles of Jesus ministry testify to the source of His might. He could calm the wind and the seas because He was their creator and master over them. He could call on great numbers of fish to be caught in a net, because he was their creator. He made blind eyes see, deaf ears hear, and broken limbs strong because he was their creator and had power over them. Such wonders bore testimony that His power came from above. At the beginning of their conversation Nicodemus says to Jesus, Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him. John 3:2 NIV

It is no coincidence that many of our favorite Christmas stories contain a message of a mighty changed life, even if they fail to give credit to Jesus. Think of A Christmas Carol, which includes the transformation of the miser named Ebenezer Scrooge. In It’s a Wonderful Life George Bailey discovers of what really matters. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch’s heart, which had once been two sizes too small, grows three sizes. All these powerful changes take place, not because of Jesus, but because of Christmas.

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