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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
This verse from Isaiah is one of my very favorites. It’s so beautiful, the names of our Savior, the promise, so much hope in those few words.
For unto us a child is born – Jesus the son of God, God himself, came to earth as a child. A helpless, tiny, precious, sweet, yet heavenly baby boy born to parents who were but a poor couple just starting out. Not to a wealthy family, or a prestigious one, not to a powerful family. But to a carpenter, a man who worked with his hands, who may not of had much but he had love. He had great love for his wife, Mary, as is evidenced in the Gospel of Matthew when he learns she is with child before they had come together in marriage. He was angry at first, not understanding that his beloved wife was carrying the son of God, instead he probably thought she had been unfaithful to him. He was set to divorce her, but because he loved her in spite of his disappointment, hurt and anger he thought to do so privately, discreetly.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
And with that dream Joseph, that humble, loving, carpenter accepted the role God had for him – the role of earthly father to the Son of God. That’s love, folks. …unto us a son is given:
And the government shall be upon his shoulder – yes, that’s right, on the shoulder of that sweet baby boy. I mean think about it that baby boy had a following while he was still in his momma’s womb. Consider this passage from Luke:
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
From the moment of His brith there were those who recognized their king. The shepherds who appeared on the night of his birth after a visit from an angel and the heavenly hosts filled the sky above their flocks, saying:
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
At the same time the three wise men, kings from the east, were beginning their journey bearing gifts for this precious, Wonderful baby boy. Gifts of such significance, silent testimonies of the purpose of this baby boy’s life as their true King. As they reached Jerusalem they ask where they can find this child that is born king of the Jews for they had seen his star and were their to worship Him. Well, when King Herod hears of this baby boy who is born a king, let’s face it folks, he ain’t happy. He fears he will be removed from power, made worthless by this conquering hero of the Jews, this little baby boy toddling around behind his parents not yet two. So, he does what any evil, maniacal tyrant does when threatened – orders the death of all baby boys under the age of two in Jerusalem. But yet again Joseph, that incredible, loving earthly daddy God choose head the words of another midnight visit from the angel of the Lord and takes his little family and flees into Egypt. Skip ahead to that baby boy being all grown up and set about doing His Father’s work, making fisher’s of men of the disciple’s, working miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead, loving those who hated him. Like the Jewish leaders who wanted Him dead. And the Romans didn’t exactly love him either.
But none of this is really what it means by government resting on his shoulder, these are just hints, clues, foreshadows of what is yet to come. Fast forward about 1740 years or so and you have the founding of America a nation that is built on faith in that baby boy and all He stands for – His life, death and resurrection as well as the hope of His triumphant return in glory in the latter day. A government that really was built to rest on His shoulder, the shoulder of the mighty God. But still because it was a government of mere men, imperfect, flawed,it is but a hint still of the final meaning. The glorious appearing of Christ when He will reign as the victorious Prince of Peace during the coming millennial kingdom. For 1000 years peace will reign on earth when Satan that deceiver, liar, adversary is bound in the pit. 1000 years when man will know what it was like in the beginning, before the fall, when the world was “very good.” Consider this from Revelation:
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
During this 1000 years he will truly rule as the Prince of Peace until the time when Satan will be loosed and allowed to roam once more for a short time to deceive the nations, thus giving all who live during that time the chance to choose to follow Christ, with their free will intact. Jesus loves us and wants us to love Him as well and to follow Him but ever the gentleman He won’t force anyone to do so, ever. So at the very last moments of this world, this earth Satan will be freed, only to be defeated and cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. At which point we meet the Everlasting Father – this is the Jesus I believe was referred to in John 1:1 as The Word that was in the beginning with God. The Jesus who spoke those amazing, wonderful words “Let there…” and started this ball spinning and His love story with us, His people. A story that culminates with this:
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
A new heaven and earth, more glorious even than what we will see during the Millennial Kingdom, more perfect than Eden which as we know was very good. More of everything because in it we will be not just with Jesus but with the Father as well for eternity. Imagine all eternity with the one who loved YOU so much he created an entire universe just for you, knit you together in your mother’s womb, laid out a plan for you to prosper you and not harm you, loved you so much He suffered on the cross and died for you while you were yet a sinner, knowing that you might always remain a sinner, might reject His free gift of mercy, grace, salvation from your sins. He died hoping, praying to the Father for YOU! When He cried out Father, forgive them as He was dying on that cross at Calvary it was your name in His mind. He died so that one day you would live and have the opportunity to have the debt of your sin wiped clean, to be set free from the chains of your sin by calling on His name, asking Him to save you, come into your heart and cleanse you, change you make you whole, fill you with His love and peace. Give you the gift of eternal life with Him in the new creation. All because of that Wonderful Counsellor, the Everlasting Father, that baby boy.