Summary: In a tight for a Christmas sermon? This sermon is based upon a prophesy of Isaiah some 700 years before Christ, providing insight into His character and purpose
Isaiah 9:6 – What’s in a Name?
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Your name – it says a LOT about you. Those who know it are instantly put in mind of your character and reputation.
Maybe your name garners respect (“Oh yeah, I remember that guy!”)…or maybe it triggers anger (“Oh yeah, I remember THAT guy!”).
Whatever the response, we do a lot to protect our names – because, as Solomon said,
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”
Your name, you see, says a lot about WHO you ARE, WHAT you’ve DONE, and the MARK you’ve made on others.
“Jesus” – the name which is above every name. It doesn’t matter where you go – or WHO is gathered – the name of Jesus elicits a response. For SOME, the name of Jesus means nothing…. but to US, THAT name means EVERYTHING.
It puts us in mind of the love of God – that great, sacrificial display of grace toward an unworthy human race – as the precious Son of God was born, suffered, bled, and died in order to redeem man from his sins.
The angel Gabriel told Joseph in Matthew chapter 1, “thou shalt call his name ‘JESUS’: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The name of Jesus reminds us that we are benefactors of ANOTHER’S righteousness – that we can now stand before a holy God forgiven and free on the basis of HIS merits and not our own.
Did you know that there are over 100 names for Jesus in the NT and that each name reveals some unique aspect of His character?
In Revelation ALONE we find 20 different names of Jesus.
He is called, the Almighty (Rev. 1:8), the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 22:13), the Amen (Rev. 3:14), the Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13) the Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14), and the First and Last (Rev. 1:17). He is called the Firstborn from the Dead (Rev. 1:5), the Holy and True (Rev. 3:7), the King of kings (Rev. 19:16) and the King of all Ages (Rev. 15:3). He is the Lamb (Rev. 13:8), the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5), and the Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16). He is called the Morning Star (Rev. 22:16) and the Word of God in Revelation 19:13. And according to chapter 3 and verse 14, He is the Ruler of God’s Creation – and the Judge of all mankind.
Every book of the Bible, points us to Him. Every writer provides us with some insight into His character… Even here, in just ONE VERSE, Isaiah offers 4 different names – four different attributes of His character. 750 years before the Lord was even born – Isaiah wanted us to know how SPECIAL this Baby would be.
This morning, we are going to examine those four names – in the hopes that, in the very least – we will all join in worship of that name which is above every name. But even more importantly, it is my hope that if you have never received Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, that you WILL by the end of this service.
1. First, Isaiah wanted us to KNOW – His Wisdom As the prophet looked into the future, he wanted us to know that this baby born in a Bethlehem cattle stall, would be NO ordinary baby – in fact, He would be the embodiment of heaven’s wisdom.
So Isaiah pulls back the swaddling clothes surrounding that tender face, and tells us that we are beholding the face of “Wonderful Counselor!”
Why does a person visit a counselor? As a pastor, I have spent hundreds of hours talking with folks – and usually people seek counsel for one of two reasons – they are either in pain - OR - they need help with a problem.
Those suffering pain often turn to a counselor for comfort.
- Maybe they had a traumatic childhood experience
- maybe they’ve made bad decisions
- maybe they are going through a divorce
- or suffered the loss of a loved one
- Maybe their doctor has told them to get their affairs in order because they have a terminal disease
…whatever the situation, they are in pain – so they turn to a counselor for comfort… they are hoping for some insight, some word of wisdom that will help them sort through this mess.