THE ETERNAL FATHER

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)

Most of us are familiar with this grand prophetic utterance from the prophet Isaiah.  It is one of the great themes of the famous cantata by G.F. Handel called “The Messiah.”  The music is very exciting, remaining a favorite section of that great work.

What I want to consider with you is the sheer scope of that short verse.  The subject of this part of Isaiah’s prophecy is a “child” to be born.  Arguably, the term “son” is exactly equivalent and is used for poetic emphasis.  Hence the child/son is the one to whom the remainder of the passage refers. The rest of the verse contains two kinds of information.  First, the verse refers to His primary labor – He is to carry “the government” on His shoulders.  Second, in performing that labor, several ascriptions are attached to Him.  These ascriptions seem to refer to the quality of His labor in bearing the government.

Jesus’ declaration to His disciples, just before instructing them concerning their own work, was that “all authority” had been given to Him, both “in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18, NASB).  That was certainly compatible with the second line of the prophecy.  If all authority was given to Him, then the government was entirely on His shoulders.


IN THE WOMB

The Gospel of Luke contains the most comprehensive narrative of the coming of Jesus to the womb of Mary of Nazareth (Luke 1:26 – 2:40).  In this blog, I want us to go deeper into the phenomena associated with that unique pregnancy.  The instance of that particular gestation brought about tremendous and irreversible changes for the Creation.  We have already considered together the implications of the three days the body of Jesus lay in the tomb in a blog conveniently labeled, In The Tomb.  In American culture, we use the term “womb to tomb” to refer to the fact that some things last a human “lifetime.”  In fact, in the context of the person of Jesus this is a very important idea.  The Womb phenomenon in His life and the Tomb phenomenon in His life were of vital importance to what He was accomplishing.  These two time periods spent in the dark, so to speak, included enormous transformations inside both the Eternal and the Creation.

Some spectacular things occurred in the earth (the Creation) shortly after the end of the gestation that resulted in the birth of Jesus.  For example, in the passage we find an angel appearing to a group of shepherds to speak to them concerning the birth of this One.  The angel was “suddenly” joined by a large group of colleagues who announced a new era in the relationships of God with men (Luke 2:8-14). 


BIGGER THAN EVERYTHING

The Godhead existed before there was a creation.  This must be so because it was God who created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).  The second reason this is true is that an entity called “The Word” existed with God in the beginning (John 1:1).  He, The Word, existed with God and He was God.  So, there was what we call the Godhead.  As we typically see it, the Godhead consists of the three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.  We usually refer to God the Father using the simple term God to refer to Him, but it is worth our while to know this distinction.

The Word is also referred to as God the Son for our purposes.  We may say “the Son of God” and that is fine.  Either way, we point to something quite specific concerning the nature of the Godhead. 

We use terms like the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God, or simply the Spirit, to refer to God the Spirit.  Again, context dictates which term we will use in specific situations.

It is not offensive in any way, I believe, that we ordinarily speak with such lack of precision concerning the persons in the Godhead.  I shall endeavor to keep these things straight herein, however.  At the same time, there is no offense taken when we are less careful and no harm is done.  Please note also that I used the term “existed” to refer to a timeless phenomenon.  There is just no other way known to me to get that done.  With these disclaimers, let’s get this blog under way.


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