What’s in a Name?

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Jesus’ is known by many names: Immanuel (or ‘God with us’), Yeshua (or essentially ‘Salvation’), the Christ (or the Messiah, the Anointed One), Sun of Righteousness (we’ll talk about that one later in the week), and more. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14, 19:16). Describing his humble and voluntary incarnation (becoming flesh), Paul tells us,

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, emphasis mine)

So it makes sense that God would foreshadow the great name of Jesus — his identity — in his prophetic message through Isaiah. God gives his Son four important designations:

  • Wonderful Counselor – literally “a Wonder of a Counselor” or a wonderful or even miraculous adviser
  • Mighty God – a truly divine ruler, the Holy One of Israel
  • Everlasting Father – the Eternal One, filled with tenderness and compassion
  • Prince of Peace – the Sovereign of Shalom; ending war and conflict while bringing health, wholeness and peace to society1

What do these names mean for you personally? How does this prophecy about our Savior bring you hope?

You can watch the Sunday message again here.

1You can learn more about these names in Interpreting Isaiah: The Suffering and Glory of the Messiah by Herbert M. Wolf, Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1985, pp. 97-98.