The Nature of Jesus Our Messiah
Dec 1, 2023 · Courtney Jacob
Do you have a nickname or a particular title at work or at home? Titles and nicknames can sometimes be arbitrary, but typically they communicate something about the person to whom they belong. Imagine you meet a writer, or a mother, an electrician, or a grandfather, an accountant, or someone affectionately called Wheels or Junior. While you definitely won’t know everything about that person, you would know a little bit about what they do, how they spend their time, or their relationship to others.
This Bible is filled with such names and titles for Jesus. Four in particular stand out during the Christmas season: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. These come from the well-known and loved passage, Isaiah 9:6:
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.
Join Groundwork as we reflect on Isaiah 9:6 in our series, “The Nature of Jesus Our Messiah,” and dig deeply into Scripture to help us more fully understand the meaning of each title found in Isaiah 9:6 and what it tells us about the nature of Jesus Christ, our Messiah. Together, we’ll also discuss how these titles cultivate our understanding of how we should live as disciples of Jesus today.
Waiting for Christmas
For people around the world, the weeks leading up to Christmas are focused on preparation—decorating, putting up lights, shopping for presents, and planning meals and parties. The feelings of excitement and anticipation can be strong. But during this season, there can also be feelings of deep grief and longing—for healing, for reconciliation, or for the presence of loved ones who are far away or who have died.
As Christians, we call this pre-Christmas season Advent—which means coming or arrival—because we are waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the arrival of the Son of God in human flesh, and also waiting for Jesus’ return. Our preparation involves preparing our hearts by remembering. We look to Scripture to remember the biblical promises that foretold the Messiah’s coming. We study them again to remember what those promises meant to the Israelites and what they mean for us today. We witness how those prophecies came true through the birth of Jesus Christ and we remember God’s faithfulness to his people. However, we also wait like many others with a longing heart. We yearn for God’s restoration to be complete—for Jesus to return and usher in the new heaven and earth.
Knowing the Messiah
As we journey through Advent this year, we can use our time of waiting to better get to know our Messiah. Studying Old Testament scripture passages consistently reveals the nature of our Savior and the book of Isaiah is no exception. Isaiah was a prophet in Jerusalem in the 8th century B.C. God spoke to his people through Isaiah, and the book of Isaiah is a record of those prophecies. Isaiah 9:6 is a breath of hope about the coming Messiah, that sits within a larger section communicating God’s judgment on his disobedient followers. When Isaiah says that the coming Messiah will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, he is both reflecting the needs of God’s people and identifying the ways in which the Messiah would answer those needs.
Studying New Testament passages alongside the titles from Isaiah 9:6 allows us to further witness how Jesus does indeed exude these characteristics and what that means for us as followers of Jesus today.
Follow the Messiah
I invite you to grow in your faith this Advent and Christmas season through our Groundwork series “The Nature of Jesus Our Messiah”:
- Jesus: Our Wonderful Counselor - Isaiah 9:6, Proverbs 1:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:18-24, and Colossians 1:15-19
- Jesus: Our Mighty God - Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 10:21, Acts 1:6-8, and Revelation 5:6,11-14
- Jesus: Our Everlasting Father - Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 63:15-16, John 14:6-14, 1 John 1:1-4, and 1 John 3:1-3
- Jesus: Our Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 137, Isaiah 49:6, Isaiah 53:4-12, Ephesians 2:14-19, and Luke 2:1-21
...and together we’ll prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.