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…
Our Lord Christ is beyond the creature's comprehension. So that this is fitly made the first syllable of His name, that men may know that whatever they know of His excellencies, there is still more behind; and though they may apprehend, they cannot comprehend what He is. I shall inquire —
I. UNDER WHAT NOTION CHRIST IS HELD FORTH AS A MIRACLE, a miraculous person.
1. Not in respect of His being a miracle worker. It is Himself, and not His work, that is here called a miracle.
2. Nor in respect of His Divine nature simply.
3. Nor in respect of His human nature simply.
4. Christ is held forth as a miraculous personage as God-man in one person.
II. WHAT IS THE IMPORT OF CHRIST AS GOD-MAN BEING AND APPEARING TO BE A MIRACULOUS, MOST WONDERFUL ONE?
1. The excellency of His person as God-man.
2. The fulness of excellencies in Him, our incarnate Redeemer. Some excel in one thing, some in another., but none but Christ in all (Colossians 1:19).
3. The uncommonness and singularity of His excellencies. Every excellency in Christ is beyond that excellency in another.
4. The absolute matchlessness of His person, for excellency and glory.
5. The shining forth of His excellencies, fit to draw all eyes upon Him.
(1) His Father's eyes are fixed on Him, as the object of His good pleasure (Matthew 3:17).
(2) The eyes of the angels are drawn after Him, as a most wonderful sight (1 Peter 1:12).
(3) The eyes of all the saints are drawn after Him, as the object of their admiration and affection.
6. The incomprehensibleness of Him to any creature.
III. IN WHAT RESPECTS IS OUR INCARNATE REDEEMER A MIRACULOUS ONE? He is wonderful —
1. In His person and natures.
2. In His perfections and qualifications.
3. All along His duration. Some are wonderful in one part of their life, some in another; but He is miracle all over His duration.
(1) In His eternal generation of the Father.
(2) In His birth.
(3) In His life; a wonderful infant; a wonderful child; a wonderful youth, etc.
(4) In His death; betrayed by one of His own; forsaken by them all, acquitted by His judge as innocent, yet condemned to a most cruel death. Astonishing wonder! God dying in man's nature; the beloved Son of God hanging on a cross.
(5) In His burial. The Lord of life lying dead in a grave; the spotless Jesus making His grave with the wicked; the great Deliverer from death carried prisoner to its dark regions — is a wonder that may hold us in admiration forever!
(6) In His resurrection.
(7) In His ascension into heaven.
(8) In His sitting at God's right hand.
(9) In His coming again to judge the world.
(10) In His continuing forever to be the eternal baud of union and means of communion, between God and the saints (Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:23).
4. In His offices.
(1) Prophetical. The Spirit came at times on the prophets, but He rested on Him. They had their foreknowledge of future events at secondhand; but it is His privilege to look with His own eyes into the sealed book.
(2) Priestly. He is Priest, Altar, and Sacrifice all in one. All the sacrifices before His were but as handwritings to own the debt of sin, but could pay none. His sacrifice was truly expiatory.
(3) Kingly. Zion's King is most wonderful in His victories, rescuing men from the power of the devil, subduing their hearts to Him, and conquering their wills; in His defence of His subjects from the devil, the world, lusts, frowns, and flatteries of the world; in ruining His enemies totally, and completing the happiness of His friends. Christ's kingdom is the most ancient kingdom; the most extensive kingdom, embracing both heaven and earth. Never a kingdom had so many enemies and so potent; yet has it stood through all ages, and will stand forever and ever, without end.
5. In His relations.
(1) He is nearly related to the house of heaven, and so has the highest possible relation. The angels are the servants of the house of heaven; but Christ is the Son of that house (Hebrews 1:5).
(2) He is nearly related to the house of Adam. He is the top branch of it (Luke 3:38). He has a common relation to them all — the Saviour of the world. He has a nearer relation to believers — Brother, Head, etc.
(3) He is the centre of union to the two (John 17:23). The Son of God married our nature to Himself, and so brings together the two houses, making peace through the body of His flesh.
6. In His love (Ephesians 3:19). Consider —
(1) The subject of it — the party loving us. That ever there should have been an eye of love cast from heaven on us, not from among the courtiers, but from the throne, the King Himself, is wonderful.
(2) The objects of it. Sinful men.
(3) The effect, force, and energy of this love. It is absolutely matchless.
(4) The qualities of it. Free; sovereign; preventing; tender; unchangeable; everlasting.
(1) The greatness of the Father's love in giving to us such a wonderful One for our Prince.
(2) The reasonableness of the believer's superlative love to Christ.
(3) The reasonableness of the Gospel demand of all to receive and submit to Christ as their Prince and Governor. His transcendent excellency entitles Him to the principality and government over the sons of men. His merit requires our absolute resignation to Him. He is the Father's choice, and in making that choice He has acted like Himself, having chosen for us this most wonderful personage.
(4) The dreadful sin and danger of slighting Christ. The more wonderful and excellent He is, the deeper will be the guilt of refusing Him; the deeper the guilt, the more fearful will be the vengeance for rejecting Him (Hebrews 2:3).
(1) Make Him the choice of your soul.
(2) Part with all for Him — your lust and idols; renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh, resting on Christ for all, for time and eternity.
(3) Dwell in the contemplation of His matchless excellencies. Let it be the substance of your religion to love Him, to admire Him, to be swallowed up in His love.
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.