Summary: A look at the four names of the coming king in Isaiah 9.
Christmas Series - 2014
Sermon # 1
“The Prophecy of the King”
Isaiah 9:1, 6-7
John MacArthur tells the story of “A little girl came home from Sunday-School triumphantly waving a paper. “Mommy!” she said, “My teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she has ever seen!”
The mother studied the picture for a moment and concluded it was indeed a very peculiar Christmas pic-ture. ‘This is wonderfully drawn, but why have you made all these people riding on the back of an airplane?’ the mother gently asked.
‘It’s the flight into Egypt,’ the little girl said, with a hint of disappointment that the picture’s meaning was not immediately obvious. ‘Oh,’ said the mother cautiously. ‘Well, who is this mean looking man at the front?’ ‘That’s Pontius, the pilot,” said the girl, now visibly impatient. ‘I see. And here you have Mary and Joseph and the baby,’ the mother volunteered. Studying the picture silently for a moment, she summoned the courage to ask, ‘But who this fat man sitting behind Mary?” The little girl answered with a sigh. ‘Can’t you tell? That’s Round John Virgin!’
We laugh, but the sad truth is that little girl’s mixed-up perspective of Christmas is not really much more muddled than the notions the average person carries around.” [John MacArthur. “God Is With Us: The Miracle of Christmas.” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989) pp. 13-14.]
The truth is that much of what most people associate with Christmas is a product of a mixture of pagan ideas, myths, and legends derived from culture. But the only reliable source of information about Christmas is the Bible and so for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas we will be examining various aspects of the Christmas story.
The Christmas story in the Bible begins earlier than most people would suspect – hundreds of years earlier. There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies of the birth of the king. In them we are told:
• Where He would be born.
• What He’d do.
• What He’d say.
• How He’d die.
• How He would rise from the dead.
But the centerpiece of all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming king has to be Isaiah chapter nine, beginning in verse one. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned…. (6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (7) Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteous-ness from that time on and forever.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6-9)
About 700 years before Jesus was born the prophet Isaiah introduced the coming king. In the days of Isaiah, the world looked dark, and bleak, and hopeless. The nation of Israel had turned their back on God and God, in turn He had turned His back on them. To punish them, God was bringing a nation from the North (named Assyria) and that nation was going to sweep down upon them like a flood tide and they wash over them in vengeance.
There was something in Isaiah’s words that spoke to His people. There was something in the message of this Child that was to be born, this Son that was given, that gave Israel a reason to hope.
Many in Isaiah’s audience were not godly people.
They were walking in darkness - in the shadow of death - because they’d abandoned God. And it was to this audience (who walked in darkness) that God gave the guarantee
* of a great light
* a child of hope and promise
* a future for their people that would be a wonderful counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, and a prince of peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Verse six, reveals four names of Jesus and each of the four names unlocks an aspect of His character. They teach who He is and How He can help us today!
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
First, He Is The Wonderful Counselor.
A counselor is someone you listen to. Someone you accept advice from. And people will listen to the advice of all kinds of counselors. Some listen to the advice columnist like, Joyce Brothers, Dear Abby, Ann Landers and Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Some people listen to talk show hosts like: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck. Some people listen to famous people like Oprah Winfrey, Dan Rather, Ellen DeGeneres. Folks will listen to political experts, quasi-religious leaders, comedians, actors, singers, and the list goes on and on.