Isaiah is very concerned with the importance of names. We have seen that he named his two sons with the future of Israel in mind, and they were both types of Immanuel. And Matthew tells that the Messiah was named Jesus because He was named Immanuel. And now we come to a glorious pinnacle of naming.
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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Is. 9:6-7).
We are are still in the same section of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry (Is. 7:14), and the New Testament tells us clearly that this passage is also about the Messiah, the Christ of God. This is why Jesus taught in Capernaum (Matt. 4:12-17). And it also shows that the enemies did not know the Scriptures as well as they thought. “Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. And every man went unto his own house” (John 7:50-53).
Remember the importance of names for Isaiah. He has already named the coming Messiah as one who is swift to the plunder. He is also the remnant that will return. He is also God with us. And because of all this, He is also Jesus, the one who saves us from our sins. But Isaiah is not done. He tells us the name of the one who will arise in Galilee of the Gentiles.
WHAT IS THAT NAME?
Of course, given the nature of the case, the name of God cannot be understood by us without considering the names of God. We have the same thing with the word Elohim, which carries the plural ending. Using the word Elohim is like saying that we believe in “only one Gods.” This reality reflects both the triune nature of God, as well as His infinite majesty. Even with the words of sacred Scripture, the best we can do is point helplessly, and with great glory.
Isaiah gives Him a five-fold name. His first name is Wonderful. We cannot reckon how marvelous God’s plan for us in the Incarnation actually is. The second is Counselor. God does not just leave us to be staggered by what He has done—He counsels us. The third name is Mighty God—remember this is the same God as the God with us. The Deity of the Messiah is firmly stated centuries before He comes. The fourth name is Everlasting Father. God the Son is not to be confused with God the Father, but at the same time, the Son of God is a Father. He is the bridegroom, married to the bride of Christ, the Church. In our corporate capacity, Christ is our husband. As individuals, the Church is our Mother and Christ our Father. He is an Everlasting Father. The last name is Prince of Peace. Though His coming has been the occasion of war as the darkness has sought to extinguish His light, in order to keep it from spreading, the long-term result of His coming is necessarily the Peace of God.
THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT
When this son arrives, after He is born, He will be given the government and peace. The government will be upon His shoulder, we are told. He will bear the nations of the world. But this government of His will be no static thing. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end. This accords with what we are told in the New Testament, about how the kingdom of God grows like yeast in a loaf of bread—but it constantly grows. Like a mustard seed, it grows to great size.
This will be the result of Christ sitting on the throne of David. He will rule over His kingdom, and as a result, judgment and justice will be established forever and ever. This throne of David is at the right hand of God the Father, where Christ will reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet (Ps. 110:1).
THE ZEAL OF THE LORD
This is all of grace; it is not the work of autonomous man. The Lord of hosts, the God of battles, He will accomplish this. More than this, His zeal will accomplish this. The salvation of the world is not something that He does half-heartedly. This will be done through His zeal which, given the nature of the case, must be an unflagging zeal. God did not set out to save the world through the government of His Son, only to get tired of the project later on. What He has begun, He will finish.
SHORT CATECHISM FOR LITTLE SAINTS
The throne of Jesus is the throne of David, and Jesus rules over the whole earth.
What does Jesus mean?
The name Jesus means that He will save us from our sins.
How does Jesus carry the government of the world?
He carries it on His shoulder.