Summary: Sermon one (introduction) of a five sermon series on Isaiah 9:6.
Today we begin a five sermon series on this wonderful passage in which the prophet Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah. In today’s message, we will take a look at the prophet’s proclamation and then we will take a closer look at the four titles he gives to the Savior: “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” and “Prince of Peace.”
At time when Isaiah wrote this passage, the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel which he had foretold in chapter seven of this book had begun. The northern most tribes - Zebulun and Naphtali - had begun to feel the wrath of Assyria.
Isaiah makes a bold declaration in light of this historical event. He tells the people that one day not only would Israel be reunited, but that one day all people would be united under the reign of a coming Savior.
The Savior that Isaiah was speaking of, of course, was Jesus. Matthew confirmed this by quoting from this passage in his Gospel and applying this prophecy to Christ.
“Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali - to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles - the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’” - Matthew 4:13-16 (NIV)
Isaiah declared that with the Savior’s coming, men would receive enlightenment (v. 2), joy (v. 3), deliverance (v. 4), and peace (v. 5). He speaks not only of our Lord’s first coming (v. 6) but of His second coming as well (v. 7)
But as we begin this series with today’s message, I want us to zero in on what Isaiah tells us about the name of the Messiah in verse 6.
In Hebrew culture, a person’s name indicated something about his character. Isaiah, in seeking to declare the name of the coming Savior, seemed to be at a loss to come up with one title alone that could fully reflect the Savior’s character.
We note that while Isaiah speaks in terms of one name, he actually gives us four different titles by which the Savior would be called. In effect, Isaiah is saying that this Savior of whom he speaks is beyond the descriptions commonly given to men. His name must of necessity be above and beyond the names given to ordinary men. Isaiah says, in other words, “A Savior is coming, and what a Savior He will be!”
1. He will be called “Wonderful Counselor.”
That is, He will be the embodiment of all the wisdom and knowledge of God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” - John 1:1;14 (NIV)
I like the way John 1:14 is stated in The Message:
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” - John 1:14 (The Message)
“But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.” - 1 Corinthians 1:24 (Amplified)
“Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.
Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him.
Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world’s
greatest poets were inspired by Him.
Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies and oratories they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth.” - Henry G. Bosch
Whatever wisdom we need, whatever knowledge, whatever guidance, whatever direction, whatever advice, whatever understanding, whatever insight, we can find it in the person of Jesus Christ! His name is the Wonderful Counselor. What a Savior!
2. He will be called “Mighty God.”
Isaiah declared that the coming Savior would be the ultimate revelation of God Almighty, because He would be God in the flesh!
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” - Hebrews 1:1-3a (NIV)