Summary: Isaiah said that God was going to give us the gift of child... but why a child, and why would He come?
OPEN: A Sunday School teacher asked her class “What is Christmas - a time for?”
She got the usual answers—Jesus’ birthday, a time of joy, a time to worship God… but then one child raised their hand and answered: "a time for sportsmanship, because you don’t always get everything you want."
APPLY: "What do you want for Christmas?" That is a question a lot of people are asked this time of year. Some people are easier to buy for than others.
ILLUS: In the December issue of Biography magazine last year several people answered that question: "What do you want for Christmas?"
Jennifer Aniston said (for Christmas) she wanted to learn to play the guitar, so she’d like a guitar.
That wouldn’t be so hard a gift to get…
Jennie Garth said she wanted "diamonds - what else?"
Even that wouldn’t be a difficult gift to purchase… depending on how big the diamond was.
Tony Danza wasn’t asking for much, just a "big, luxurious jet plane."
And Kirstie Alley – for her there would be nothing quite like a vacation to Italy.
… so some people are easier to buy for than others.
When we buy gifts for our loved ones we try very hard to get presents they either want or need.
The problem of course (with many of the presents people get for each other) is that those gifts often end up in closets or toy boxes and eventually get sold in garage sales or down at “Good Will Store.”
The ultimate gift (the Holy Grail of Christmas giving) is give a gift that will last… a gift that will meet such a deep felt need that it is not boxed up and put aside.
In Isaiah, God says: I’m going to give you a gift like that. I’m going to give you a gift that will last for a long, long time.
Let’s look at it again: Isaiah 9:6-7
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. Of the increase 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 righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
I. This is a very unique kind of a gift
God is saying He’s going to give us a child, a son
And this boy will have a government placed upon His shoulders
And this boy will be so filled with wisdom and power and righteousness that when people speak of Him… they don’t just say His name. They speak of Him, describing Him in words filled with awe:
· Wonderful counselor
· Mighty God
· Everlasting Father
· Prince of Peace
And this boy will come to establish a Kingdom that will last forever
II. Now, why would God give us a child as a gift?
That does seem like an unusual kind of gift.
As I thought about today’s sermon, I came across some very good answers to that question:
1. God gave us Jesus as a child so that we would understand one of the principle teachings of the church… that is, that we all are called to be humble as a child in our walk as Christians.
2. Or, Jesus came as a child so that we would understand that through Jesus, God would now be accessible to us. In coming as a child, Jesus gave the image of being approachable and loving.
Now, those are both good answers… but I believe there may be an even deeper reason as to why God sent us a child: Because that was the present He had promised.
Back in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had sinned by taking of the forbidden fruit, they lost their closeness with God, and all of the blessings that God had given them.
And as a result of their sin, from that day until this, mankind has lived in a constant fear of death, and has struggled with the hardships of life.
But God promised Adam and Eve that this curse would not last forever. Addressing the Serpent, God said: "I will put enmity (hatred) between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15
In other words God promised that one day, Satan would be crushed. And he would be crushed by the offspring of a woman…. A child… a son.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” Isaiah 9:6
When Jesus died on the Cross, Satan believed he had struck Jesus down with a mortal blow. He had struck at Jesus’ heel and believed this so-called messiah was destroyed. But, instead, it was through that death on the cross and His ultimate resurrection, Jesus crushed Satan’s head and has defeated him for all time.