This powerful passage is Isaiah 9 is not one just for Christmas. It is a promise for all eternity. Isaiah writes about His birth as if He had already arrived. But though as yet unborn, prophetically His arrival was a fact. Two chapters earlier, in 7:14, Isaiah tells how a virgin shall conceive. But His miracle birth should not surprise us. For God’s Son to come to earth, and sacrifice His life for our sins, is the greatest miracle of all (John 3:16).
Verse six promises our world that one day all oppression will cease, for the promised Messiah will be born. When we read the book of Revelation, we find the enemies of righteousness completely vanquished. The arrival of the Messiah guaranteed that one day all injustice will be ended.
When the angels announced His birth, seven centuries after Isaiah’s prophecy, they said, “Peace on earth.” Up to the present hour, our world has had anything but peace. But one day, God will make “a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:13). If the promised Child had not come to earth, no eschatological prophecies could be fulfilled.
Study this verse carefully, for His birth is linked with a future deliverance—one which brings rejoicing to our world. Isaiah’s prophetic promises do not concern a “figurative Messiah”—a pipe dream—but an actual, physical, miracle baby who grew to become God’s greatest miracle.
Isaiah lists five titles and characteristics the Messiah will possess which help to describe His work. But before he does, he portrays Jesus as the One who will carry the responsibility of world governance “upon His shoulders.” As with many other prophecies, the following attributes help to define Jesus is the King of the Universe.
His name shall be called…
The Hebrew term depicts “that which excites amazement; something too high and great to fully describe; full of wonder; something distinguished by being so miraculous; far above the ordinary.” His teachings caused people to wonder (Matthew 7:28). Meditate upon His teachings, humility, self-denial, sacrifice, death on the cross, resurrection, ascension and His love for us today. What is not wonderful about Jesus?
The word means “One of honorable rank; One highly qualified to advise others; One of great wisdom, One with all the qualifications essential to guide people.” After Jesus ascended as He promised, He sent the Holy Spirit to continue to counsel all who will listen to Him.
The term is El Gibbor. El means “God” and gibbor means “mighty.” In 7:14, we are told that the Child’s name will be “Emmanuel,” for El means God and emmanu means “with us.”
But the term gibbor also carries the concept of heroism. The Messiah will be our heroic God and will do mighty works beyond anyone’s imagination.
The Messiah’s rule must be absolute and eternal to be effective. Jesus is referred to as “Father” for He is God and has all the characteristics of the Father. The term can best be understood in light of the fact that one who invents something is said to be the “father” of it. Ben Franklin has been called “the father of electricity.” Abraham is called “the father of the Hebrew race.” So Jesus, as the father of eternity, controls and possesses it. The Messiah is our wise, kind and faithful supplier of all our needs now and throughout eternity. Jesus, who possesses all that is everlasting said, “I give to them eternal life and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).
Prince of Peace
This final title is a summary of all of the previous attributes. As the “Prince of Peace,” He alone can establish eternal peace. Since Messiah has come to our planet, He alone has the power to bring eternal peace to our planet. This phrase shows that Jesus Christ is far above all earthly rulers who attempt to establish peace through conquest by war. Note that the wars in Revelation are not humans fighting other humans, but judgments by God upon a sinful world that has rejected the promised Christ Child. World peace will one day become reality but only because “unto us a Child is born.”
As we accept Him as our Savior, we enjoy His wonderful counsel here on earth and we will have peace throughout eternity with Him.