Who Is This Child Born Unto Us?

 Part 2 of Zion Lutheran's Midweek Advent Series

Isaiah: 9:2-7

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

In last week’s midweek Advent message, we took a moment and leaned forward towards Christmas Eve, in order to gaze into the manger and see the child that was born unto humanity. 

As we gazed into the manger, we acknowledged that not everyone sees the babe in the manger the same.  That is to say, as the church and as the culture lean forward and peer into the manger this coming Christmas Season, many will not see the genuine Jesus.  Sure they will see a child lying in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, but they will see Him with all sorts of misconceptions and misunderstandings.  They will not see the Christ-child for whom He was and is, but will see Him the way that they want Him to be for themselves. 

Regardless how the world sees the baby in the manger, we believe, teach, and confess that Jesus was not born to be our Christian Mascot.  He was not born to be a good moral example.  He was not born to make us healthy and wealthy – full of money and material possessions.  He was not born to bring us new laws of God.  He was not born to be a political figure.  He was not born to be a mamby pamby Savior.  He was not born to avoid the cross of Calvary.  He was not born unto us for any of these reasons, but as the prophet Isaiah said, He was born unto us as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

Indeed, there is only one Jesus who was laid in the manger, who was born unto us.   If we gaze into the manger and do not see the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, we do not see Christ correctly; we do not see the genuine Christ. 

Do not fear though, for in tonight’s reading from the prophet Isaiah we heard about the genuine Christ-child.  More specifically, we heard these majestic names spoken of the child in the manger.  In other words, the prophet Isaiah shares the genuine identity of this child in the manger.    Isaiah shares this not by leaning forward towards Christmas to see for himself, but He reveals this through a prophetic word.  Isaiah’s prophecy gives you and me a clear and complete picture of the Savior and His work, even though Isaiah recorded these words some 700 years before the birth of Christ.

So who is this child born unto us? 

First, Isaiah says that “the child will have the government on his shoulders.  He will have all power in heaven and earth in order to govern, protect, sustain, and control all things [for you and for me].  . . . Clearly this is not a reference to the worldly power one might find in the Roman Empire at the time of Christ. . . . [but rather] Isaiah’s description here asserts the deity of the child.”[1]  Isaiah’s description reveals to us that despite the circumstances of life, the powers of the world and even the powers of hell cannot overcome and will not overcome the Christ-child born unto us. 

Secondly, Isaiah says that “the child will also be a wonder.  He will be extraordinary, a marvel, a miracle beyond what any human might think or imagine.  He will exceed what is possible for any human child.  This child is God and man in one special extraordinary person – a wonder, a miracle!  We cannot fathom the mystery of the child who is almighty God and at the same time a little child born of a virgin.  We can only stand in awe of the miracle of God in human flesh with us and among us [and for us].”[2]

Thirdly, this child is a wonderful counselor.  “He does not need to surround himself with advisors as every human ruler does.  He already knows all things.  His counsel, or advice, is the grace of God, the plan by which God would rescue all the world from sin, death, and the devil.”[3]

“The child is also ‘Everlasting Father,’ which refers to the work and business of this king, not his person.  . . . He leads more and more people to believe in him. [This child born in the manger has] the heart of a father toward his own people.  He cares for his followers [- He cares for you -] tenderly, faithfully, and wisely.”[4]

“Finally, the child is the ‘Prince of Peace.’ . . . Humanity has longed for peace through the ages!  Peace, in human terms, will always be [vague and unattainable].  As long as the world endures, there will be war, rumors of wars, discord, and strife.  The messiah [though,] came to give a different kind of Peace.  Jesus said, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’”[5]

What Isaiah said about the Christ-child born unto us and laid in the manger, is true.  Regardless how people view the Christ-child, we must keep in mind that Jesus is not easily defined by the opinions of mankind.  Jesus does not act according to our own sinful definitions of who we think He is, or who we think He ought to be.  This Advent and Christmas Season, even though we see a babe in the manger, we mustn’t forget that He is Lord and we are not.  Our opinions, hopes, and dreams of who we think the Christ-child should be, as we look into the manger, do not matter.  He is not handcuffed to our religious undertakings, our hopes, and our aspirations of Him.  Like the Lion Aslan in C.S. Lewis’ books, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord that lay in the manger is not tame or safe, but He is good.  Indeed, He will not be tied down by our definitions, ambitions, and desires; He must not be pressed for He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. 

As your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace who was laid in the manger, you and I believe, teach, and confess that Jesus Christ is true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary.  You and I believe, teach, and confess that the babe in the manger is our Lord, who goes from the cradle to the cross in order to redeem you and me, lost and condemned persons.  At the cross, He purchased and won you and me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.  Yes, He went from the cradle to the cross so that he could purchase and win you and me in order that we may be His own and that we may live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.[6]

For unto us a child is born, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. 

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

[1] John A. Braun, People’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah 1 (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2002), 128.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 128-129.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid, 129-130.

[6] Martin Luther, Luther’s Small Catechism, (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1986), Explanation of The Second Article of the Apostle’s Creed.

CLICK HERE to 'Like' on Facebook
CLICK HERE to 'Follow' on Twitter
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on iTunes
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on Podbean