For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
As we stroll through the bible we learn that in ancient times a person’s name was often a reflection of a physical feature or personality trait. This was certainly true of Jesus, the child and son spoken of by Isaiah, especially when it came to Jesus’ purpose for being born.
Before Jesus was born Joseph, who was about to divorce Jesus’ mother, was visited by an angel and told to take Mary as his wife. The angel said that Mary would bear a son and they were to call his name Jesus for he would save his people from their sins. The name Jesus actually means “God saves” or “the Lord is salvation.” The gospel writer goes on to say that all this took place to fulfill what the prophet spoke, that they would call his name Immanuel. The name Immanuel means “God with us” (Matthew 1:18-23). Isaiah makes it very clear that the child was “God with us.” He prophesies by the Spirit that the child’s name would be called Mighty God and Everlasting Father.
The Hebrew word used for name in Isaiah 9:6 carries with it the idea of definite and conspicuous position. This name is more than just an ordinary name. It is a name that carries weight and portrays essential characteristics. It connotes honor, authority, character and renown. The night of Jesus’ birth an angel appeared to shepherds and declared, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 ESV) The name Savior here means deliverer. The name Christ means anointed i.e. Messiah. And the name Lord means supreme in authority, controller and master.
Just how majestic is the name of the child that was born, the son who was given? The apostle Paul wrote that God has seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21 ESV) Because Jesus humbled himself to the point of death on the cross, Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11 ESV)
No other person in history can claim a name more glorious than Jesus. As we wonder at his words and marvel at his wondrous works we are compelled to believe that only the Jesus of the bible could be the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Isaiah. Believers in Jesus were baptized in his name (Acts 2:38, 8:12). People were healed in his name (Acts 3:16, 4:30). People risked their lives for his name (Acts 9:16, 15:26). Believers in Jesus were and are justified in his name and receive forgiveness of sin (1 Corinthians 6:11; John 1:12, 20:31). The Holy Spirit was sent in his name (John 14:26). His name is so great that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 ESV)
John saw Jesus returning to earth riding a white horse to rule the nations with a rod of iron. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16 ESV)
Have you called upon the name of Jesus for salvation? What judgment will you receive?
Scriptures for meditation: