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. The first description that is here given of the Redeemer is in these words — UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN. This may denote either the infancy of His state, when He appeared in our world, or the reality of His human nature.
1. With regard to the infancy of His state, the apostle says, it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren.
2. With regard to the reality of His human nature, the Scripture assures us, that it was of the same kind with ours, consisting of a human body and a human soul.
II. The next description of our Redeemer is in these words — UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN. is spoken of His Divine nature. He is often called in Scripture the Son of God, His own Son, His only-begotten and well-beloved Son, and as such is said to be given to us. A son always means one, not of an inferior, but of the same nature as his father.
III. It is added, THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER. Taken in its most extensive sense, the government of our Lord extends over all The whole universe is under His dominion. But what we are chiefly to understand here is the kingdom of grace, the administration of mercy, the government of which in a peculiar manner is intrusted to Him. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven were phrases familiar to the Jews, by which they always understood the Messiah's kingdom. The immediate design of erecting this kingdom on earth is the salvation of believers, of the guilty race of men. All parts of the universe are concerned in this glorious design. The angels of heaven rejoice in it, and are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation. The powers of darkness unite their force to disappoint the hopes of the heirs of this kingdom, but in vain; the King of Zion has bound them in chains of darkness, and will turn their malicious designs to their greater condemnation. All men do not indeed submit to the laws of this government, but all are nevertheless the lawful subjects of it. But the Redeemer has also many voluntary subjects. The right of Jesus to His mediatorial kingdom is founded upon promise, conquest, and purchase, even the price of His own precious blood; and we have the utmost assurances in His Word, which cannot fail, that He will one day take to Himself His great power and reign in a more illustrious and extensive manner than He has yet done.
IV. The next thing asserted of the Redeemer is, HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL. And the Redeemer is indeed Wonderful.
1. In the constitution of His person, as Immanuel, God in our nature.
2. The preparations for His birth, and the manner and circumstances of it, were also wonderful.
3. Jesus was also wonderful in His life.
4. And in His death.
5. And in His rising from the grave, and in His ascension to heaven.
V. The next title which the Redeemer has, is that of COUNSELLOR. He is fully instructed in the counsels of God the Father, for He lay in His bosom from eternity; and as the execution of the plans of the Divine administration is committed to Him, He cannot but be well acquainted with them. Besides, our Lord, by His office and appointment, is the great Counsellor or Prophet of the Church.
VI. He is also THE MIGHTY God. The same expression is used in chap. 10:21 concerning Jehovah, the God of Israel. All the perfections of the Mighty God are ascribed to the Redeemer in Scripture. And worship, which only belongs to the Mighty God, is given to Christ.
VII. The next thing asserted of our Redeemer is, that He is THE EVERLASTING FATHER. The LXX renders these words, the Father of the world to come, or final dispensation of mercy and grace, as the Gospel is often called. And Christ may be called so —
1. As He has chosen His people, in His eternal purpose, that they might be sharers in His bliss and glory.
2. Christ is the Father of all true believers, in a spiritual sense. They are all His spiritual seed. The great outlines of His features are drawn upon them, and when they arrive at heaven, they shall attain to the likeness of Jesus in an eminent degree.
VIII. The last thing asserted of the Redeemer is, that He is THE PRINCE OF PEACE. Melchisedec was an eminent type of the Son of God, in this respect. He was King of Salem, which is by interpretation, King of Peace. And peace is the disposition for which the Saviour was renowned; the blessing which He died to purchase, and lives to bestow. Conclusion:
1. What an honour did the great and mighty God, our Saviour, put upon our nature by taking it into a personal union with His own Divine nature!
2. We may see from hence, how well the Redeemer was qualified for His office. What arm so powerful to save as that of the Mighty God?
3. What a fund of consolation does this passage of Scripture exhibit!
4. This subject speaks terror to the wicked.
5. We ought to entertain adoring and admiring thoughts of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
(J. Ross, D. D.)
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.