Friday, October 17, 2014

And His Name Will Be Called

Sometimes when I think about Biblical prophecy about Jesus, I think in terms of a completed checklist.   Born of a Virgin? Check.  Born in Bethlehem? Check. Died a cruel death? Check.  I can see clearly that God shaped events so that Jesus fulfilled every prediction made about Him. Rarely, though, have I thought of the prophecies of Jesus to be directly applicable in my own life, other than as an evangelical tool.  However, Isaiah 9:6 is a good reminder that Jesus is still fulfilling prophecy today in a deeply personal way.

Jesus himself told us that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), and Paul explains that God has already made Jesus the ruler of His church (Ephesians 1:19-23).  In other words, the government already rests on his shoulders, and we can benefit directly from the promises that Jesus is a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Eternal Father, and a Prince of Peace.

I've been guilty of thinking of a counselor in modern terms, some of which are unfair to counselors!  The image of talk therapy, where a stuffy old man listens to someone on a couch tell him about their troubles is particularly intrusive.  But in Biblical terms, a counselor was an adviser, someone with wisdom and experience who helped kings make important decisions.  Like kings, we make our own decisions, but we also have the benefit of an adviser, Jesus.  Not only that, but his advice is supernaturally perfect, or wonderful. 
that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3).
Lest we think of Jesus as a frail sage, though, the next image we have is that of a Mighty God.  Both of these words in the Hebrew have the image of a heroic warrior, a mighty, strong man.  This image would have meant much to the Israelite surrounded by powerful nations.  What about for me?  The truth is, we are just as much at war as Israel was, though the battle is a spiritual one instead of a physical one (Ephesians 6:12).  We are all soldiers of Christ, and our strength comes from our mighty God as much today as it ever did (Ephesians 6:10).  So the next time I'm battling temptation or fighting to win a soul, I'll remember that Jesus is the mighty God who fights for and with me.

It seems strange that a mighty warrior hero can also be a Prince of Peace, but that is exactly what Isaiah tells us. In fact, it is exactly because  He fights in our battles against spiritual forces that we can have peace. 
Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."(John 16:32-33)
No matter what ISIS does, no matter how bad the ebola epidemic becomes, Jesus has overcome it all.

Isaiah also says that Jesus is our Eternal Father.  Now, I know that in the Trinity, God is Father and Jesus is Son, but remember that Jesus and the Father are one, and we can view Jesus as a Father too. 
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE." And again, "I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM." And again, "BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME." Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:11-14).
Here we have a beautiful picture of Jesus as Father and brother rolled into one, protecting his children from the power of death.  As an everlasting Father, Jesus is continually providing this merciful protection for me.

Jesus continues to fulfill prophecy today, taking on the roles of adviser, protector, hero, and peace-giver.  Sometimes I see these roles as very generic, applicable to the world at large, but I forget that he advises ME and gives ME peace.  My challenge to myself is to count the ways this week that Jesus has been MY Wonderful Counselor, MY Mighty God, MY Eternal Father, and MY Prince of Peace.   I'd also love to hear what roles Jesus has played in your life!


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

No comments:

Post a Comment