By Tyson Thorne

December 20, 2018

NoG Christmas Large

Every Thursday for the last nearly 30 weeks we've been examining some of the names of God found in Scripture. We've got a ways to go still, but this Christmas seemed like a good time to remind everyone why we're doing this. It's not an exercise in academics, rather it is our hope that you find two or three names that strike a special chord with you, a name of God that encourages you and that can express itself in your prayer life. Due to the season, we thought it best to examine the four names of Jesus expressed by Isaiah.

For a child has been born to us,
a son has been given to us.
He shoulders responsibility
and is called:
Amazing Adviser,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Since Isaiah wrote 800 years before the birth of Christ he didn't know that the Messiah would be named Yeshua, or Jesus to the English speaking world, so he applied a few names that would be meaningful to his Jewish audience.

Amazing Adviser

Traditional translations call him Wonderful Counselor, but the NET version we use at uses the improved translation of Amazing Adviser. The Hebrew word for "amazing" literally means incomprehensible. The meaning of the word for "adviser" is pretty straightforward, a wise and knowledgeable person capable of seeing the way in every situation. Taken individually it is easy to see how each applies to our Lord, but together they might be expressed alternatively as "Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2.2-3). Jesus is full of wonder; his ways are amazing because in him is the hidden treasury of all wisdom and all knowledge.

Mighty God

This name (El Gibbor, a name we discussed previously) is more than a little troubling to our Jewish friends. The Messiah is supposed to be a man from the line of King David, so how can he be called "God" without it being blasphemous? One might say it is incomprehensible. How can a son be born a man and also be God? It was a hidden mystery whose answer was only known to God for nearly 1000 years.

Everlasting Father

To the Jews of Isaiah's day, this name meant he is a "father forever". This is analogous to Abraham who was the father of Israel. To those of us on this side of the crucifixion we can see that it's most basic meaning, father of eternity, also applies. Saint Paul explains it this way, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created in him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him" (Colossians 1.15-16).

Prince of Peace

At the time Isaiah wrote the world was in a state of turmoil. The Assyrians were ascending and conquering the nations around them. Israel would be added to that list and forced to leave their land. The days of peace they knew under King David were long over. Even so, they looked forward to Messiah, one who would rule Israel and bring peace to the land. Modern day Israel is no different; they still look forward to the coming Messiah who will conquer, rule, and bring peace. This hope is shared by the Christian community too, only we see this as the Messiah's second coming rather than his first. Even though this hope is for the future reign of Yeshua, he is the Prince of Peace today. One of my favorite passages of the Bible is Ephesians 2.14-16:

"For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed."

Jesus brought peace between man and God. No longer are we objects of wrath, but through adoption in Jesus we become the children of God.

As God's children we too are responsible for bringing peace into the world. We strive to introduce others to Jesus so that they may know the peace we have, and we try to live in peace with all (Romans 12.18). This holiday season, when you gather around the dinner table with family and friends, remember whom you serve and what your role on earth is.

Learn Biblical Hebrew Online


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