For unto 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. Isaiah 9:6
This is one of the most well-known prophecies about the coming Messiah. If you’ve been to a Christmas Eve Service before you’ve likely heard it read. And while it’s a great reminder during the Christmas season, it’s also a verse we should reflect on year-round.
The meaning of Isaiah 9:6 reveals to us who Jesus is and what he came to do. It’s a verse that speaks to us about the power of the God we serve.
The Context Of Isaiah 9:6
Before we can look at the Isaiah 9:6 meaning we need to briefly look at the context in which these words are written.
The book of Isaiah is one of the most significant books of prophecy and one of the most important books in the Bible. It is regularly quoted throughout the New Testament and also speaks of the coming Messiah and what he will do.
In Isaiah 9 we see a prophecy that talks about a future for Israel that is dark but will be lifted. It’s a restoration to a bright future. Isaiah prophesied that this will come about by a child that God will send who will become king. But this isn’t any ordinary man; rather he will be called Mighty God and Prince of Peace. And his rule will never end.
In Isaiah 9:1-7 we see this incredible promise that the darkness will be replaced by indescribable glory that will never end. All this will be brought about by a baby.
The Meaning of Isaiah 9:6
There are a lot of details packed into this verse. To help you better understand the meaning of Isaiah 9:6 I’ve broken this verse down into three sections.
For Unto Us A Child Is Born To Us A Son Is Given
Remember the context, Isaiah here is describing the future when God will provide a way out of the darkness, and that will come through the birth of a child. This passage is prophesying about Jesus and what he will do for God’s people.
Isaiah uses two terms in this first verse to describe the coming Messiah: “a child is born” and “a son is given.” The child points to the humanity of Jesus; he came in the flesh so that we can experience God in a whole new way. The title of son points to the deity of Jesus; while he came in the flesh he was still fully God.
We tend to think of this verse as a Christmas passage because it predicts the birth of Jesus. And it certainly deserves a spot in our Christmas readings. However the promise of this verse goes far beyond that. It’s a promise that God will restore his people. And Isaiah dives further into that in the coming words.
The Government Will Be On His Shoulders
Isaiah further describes this coming Messiah, and the picture he paints is unique and remarkable. “The government will rest on his shoulders” is further showing that he will be a king.
This is a lavish title that paints a picture. Obviously, he doesn’t mean that the government will literally be on his shoulders; rather that he will hold up the government.
These kinds of lavish titles were common for kings to be given at this time. But what’s interesting is that his titles are going to get more and more elaborate. What Isaiah is doing is showing that this child will be of God himself.
He Will Be Called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince Of Peace
This king will be called “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” and “Prince of Peace.” That’s quite the list of names, and each describes what the king will do. Let’s break down each title.
Wonder Counselor Meaning: Describes a king that is wise. This would cause most Israelites to think of King Solomon, the wisest person to ever live. But this king is far wiser than even Solomon, and he will lead his people with wise counsel that will not lead them astray.
Mighty God Meaning: Isaiah here is telling his readers that this king is divine. While other kings might have some of the attributes in this list, they do not have this one. This king will be divine and will be mighty to save his people.
Everlasting Father Meaning: This king’s reign will never end, but what’s more incredible is how he will rule. He is our father. In other words, he’s not going to rule by demanding subservience; rather he will rule as a loving and caring father.
Prince of Peace Meaning: This is one of Jesus’ main names because it’s what he came to do, bring peace. This peace isn’t just peace on earth, but also peace between us and God. This king is the ultimate peacemaker.
The titles that Isaiah 9:6 gives the messiah depict him as one who has the power to fulfill his plans and promises and deeply cares for his people. He will subdue his enemies and all who live under his rule will enjoy peace and prosperity.
How Isaiah 9:6 Applies To Our Lives
Isaiah 9:6 reminds us of who Jesus is and what he came to do. When these words were written God’s people were in a dark season. This verse is a promise that God was coming to rescue them.
The same is true for us today. Jesus entered into this world as a child to pursue you. Isaiah 9:6 shows us that God is wise, he is mighty, he’s our father, and he is bringing peace to us. When the storms of life come this is a verse we should cling to. God is with us and he will provide for us.
This is a great verse to remind ourselves of every Christmas, but it’s also one that we should commit to memory throughout the rest of the year as well. This verse reminds us of the incredible power of the God we serve.
Take a minute to reflect on this verse and on each of the titles that Jesus holds. How does that impact you in your life right now? What might God be communicating to you through this verse?
Now check out: The Significance Of Emmanuel For Us Today (Emmanuel Meaning)
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