Summary: Jesus is a wonderful Gift that keeps on giving.
Jesus the Wondrous Gift of God
Did you ever hear of anyone by the name of Wonderful? We meet people daily who have meaningful and sometimes beautiful names, and now and then we hear of names that are strange and unsuitable. But I have never in my life met anyone named Wonderful, and I have never seen in any of the books of history or fiction which I have read a reference to anyone who was called by this name….with one exception. In a very old book written by Isaiah the Prophet, who lived about 2700 years ago, we find the prediction of the coming of a very great king whose name will be "Wonderful". Isaiah writes: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon His is shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful…of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end." (Isaiah 9:6-7).
"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).
HIS INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD IS WONDERFUL
It is remarkable that Jesus Christ did not do many of the things that the great men of the earth have done. He did not write a book, or win a battle, or establish a kingdom, or sit on a throne, or invent some wonderful thin like radio or television. On the contrary, most of his life was spent in the little town of Nazareth working as a humble carpenter, and even his spiritual ministry of saving men from their sins lasted only three and a half years. But in spite of the Jesus Christ is the most beloved person in the world today. The Holy Gospels, written about him by his disciples, have been translated into more than a thousand languages, and have a larger sale than any other book which was ever written. Thousands of men and women have left their native lands and gone into all parts of the earth to tell people about Christ. In almost all the countries of the world there are groups of people who love him, and are proud to call themselves by his name, and would gladly give their lives for him. Thousands of schools and hospitals and orphanages have been established by those who because of their love for Christ desire to help their fellow men, and millions of people have received both physical and spiritual healing through their ministry. In fact, most of the institutions and influences which today are making the world better had their origin in and eerie their power from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. How wonderful is the man who after 2000 years still exercises such an influence in the world!
HIS BIRTH WAS WONDERFUL
In 1993 I saw a news report on T.V. it was about a "Messiah sighting" in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. Twenty thousand Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews live in Crown Heights, and many of them believed the Messiah was dwelling among them in the person of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
Word of the rabbi’s public appearance spread like a flash fire through the streets of Crown Heights, and Lubavitchers in their black coats and curly sidelocks were soon dashing toward the synagogue where the rabbi customarily prayed. The lucky ones connected to a network of beepers got a head start, sprinting toward the synagogue the instant they felt a slight vibration. They jammed by the hundreds into a main hall, elbowing each other and even climbing the pillars to create more room. The hall filled with an air of anticipation and frenzy normally found at a championship sporting event, not a religious service.
The rabbi was 91 years old. He had suffered a stroke the year before and had not been able to speak since. When the curtain finally pulled back, those who had crowded into the synagogue saw a frail old man with a long beard who could do little but wave, tilt his head, and move his eyebrows. No one in the audience seemed to mind, though. "Long live our master, our teacher, and our rabbi, King, Messiah, forever and ever!" they sang in unison, over and over, building in volume until the rabbi made a small gesture with his hand and the curtain closed. They departed slowly, savoring the moment, in a state of ecstasy. (Rabbi Schneerson died in June 1994. Now Lubavitchers are awaiting his bodily resurrection.)
When I was watching this I thought to myself, how can they believe such a thing. Who are these people trying to kid—91 year old mute Messiah in Brooklyn? And then it struck me: I was reacting to Rabbi Schneerson exactly as people in the first century had reacted to Jesus. A Messiah from Galilee? A carpenter’s kid, no less?