For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful…
I. CHRIST THE KING OF ALL THINGS GREAT. There is nothing so great as to be above the government of Jesus. Things great belong to each of the two great provinces into which the universe is divided, namely, the province of matter and the province of mind; yet, Christ is King of all.
1. Greatness in the physical creation. The earth is very great, as we count greatness. The sun is greater than the earth, and many a star which appears only as a glittering point of diamond, is greater than the sun: yet, Jesus makes the earth bring forth, commands the sun to shine, and moves the stars in silent harmony. Jesus can rule the sea. Its billows rise and fall according to His will; and when they leap along, then, amid the roar of tempest and the cries of men for aid, the gentle voice of Jesus speaks "Peace be still, and winds and waves obey Him, for there is a great calm. The government is upon His shoulder."
2. The greatness of death. Of all the forces of nature, none is feared more than death. Even death is in the hand of Jesus; it never comes without asking His permission, and in every case He could forbid its coming, and no doubt He would forbid it, if that were for the best, for He has the keys of death and of Hades.
3. Greatness in the spirit world. Material forces, however, form but an insignificant part of the forces of creation. There is a world of spirit within, as well as above and beyond the world of matter, and yet, of this nearest world of matter we know but little. The spirit world is under the rule of Jesus; He is its only King; His word its only law; His presence its only bliss. He reveals to the eye of faith the home of heaven. He brings "life and immortality to light."
4. Greatness in moral government. God has promised for us — and thereby has guaranteed — results which can never be effected by any mere force, though that force should be even infinite. The difficulty in the Saviour's government of moral beings lies here, — that He has guaranteed and foretold the final issues of that government; that He has foreseen the course of life pursued by every moral agent, though that life is in many points independent of all external forces Neither Scripture nor reason may explain the difficulty, but it is pleasing to think of my text, — "The government shall he upon His shoulder, — for Jesus is "Kings of kings, and Lord of lords."
II. CHRIST THE KING OF ALL THINGS SMALL. There is nothing so small as to escape the notice of Jesus. When on earth He observed the poor as well as the rich, and commended each according to his fidelity. Think not that you are forgotten by the Saviour, or that your work or suffering is overlooked because you are poor, obscure, and feeble, and therefore, forgotten and overlooked by men. What men despise through ignorance may be most highly prized in another form. Filthy soot and the brilliant diamond are formed of the same material. The Saviour sees, not merely what we are, but what we may become, and as fidelity is the highest element of moral worth, He estimates the value of men, not by what they do, but by their fidelity — by the proportion which exists between their power and their performance. The lisping prayer of a little child may thus be of greater value in God's estimation, than the highest song which ever rose from an angel's heart.
III. CHRIST THE KING OF ALL THINGS GOOD. There is nothing so good that it can exist apart from the rule of Jesus. The day is no more dependent on the sun, the rain upon the clouds, the stream upon the fountain, than happiness is dependent upon Christ.
IV. CHRIST THE KING CONTROLLING EVIL. There is nothing so bad but Jesus can make it the means of good. In all we suffer, as well as in all we enjoy; in the dark and dreary night of trouble, as well as in the bright day of prosperous life, it is equally true that Jesus Christ is King of all.
(Evan Lewis, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.