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. We are led to inquire, HOW OUR SAVIOUR BECAME INCARNATE AND TOOK OUR MORTAL NATURE UPON HIM. Before Christ could become incarnate, He would have to lay aside His glory — the glory, Christ took a human soul, took our humanity upon Him, together with our form, and was made in the likeness of man. Nevertheless, Christ is not, and was not, two persons, but one.
II. We have now to inquire WHY CHRIST BECAME INCARNATE. To say that Christ died to save sinners is true enough, but it is not the whole truth. The question we have to answer is this: Why Christ became a man? He came to nave, but why not in another form?
1. To take away the consequences of the fall, to raise man to a higher estate even than he originally possessed, to save him from eternal ruin, and vindicate the love and wisdom which made man originally righteous, but not immaculate or impeccable, it was necessary for the Son of God to become the Son of Man, and to acknowledge a human parent; to "bear our griefs and carry our sorrows" (Hebrews 2:9-18). For only as a man could He undo the evil which man had brought upon himself; only as one of those He came to save, could Christ perform what man had left undone.
2. Moreover, Christ came to fulfil God's law, and that for us, though not to supersede our obedience. That law was designed for man, and alone in the form of man could Christ obey it. And having fulfilled His own broken law on their behalf to whom He had given it, He is enabled to help them to observe and do it. By His perfect obedience He has become our Pattern, and has procured and purchased for us the strength to enable us to walk in the steps of His most holy life.
3. In the next place, by assuming our nature, Christ is enabled to sympathise with us.
4. Again, it was necessary for Christ to become man in order to reveal His Father to us. Men, untaught by the Spirit of God, are apt to think that God is altogether such as themselves. Such we find was the case with the heathen philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome; if they taught otherwise, they taught in vain.
5. Christ also became man to make us love God, for to know Him is to love Him.
6. Christ became man to unite man to God.
(G. E. Watkins.)
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.