“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…” (Isaiah 9:6)
By itself, the statement above doesn’t really say a whole lot. Children are born every day; maybe half of all children are sons. But taken in context, this is one of the most amazing statements about one of the most amazing events in all of human history, prophesied hundreds of years beforehand. This week, we will consider why Jesus is called a child and a son.
In Isaiah 9:6, in the original language, the word child comes first and is the primary focus. Isaiah wanted to emphasize that all the words that follow refer to an infant. A child, who would command leadership; a child, with all these wonderful titles; a child, whose rule will have no end; a child, who will sit on David’s throne forever! This is the mystery of the incarnation.
The word child is not necessarily a title, but it does describe something about Jesus that is of primary importance in the Bible, the incarnation. Incarnation means that the Word became flesh (John 1:14). Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, took on human nature and became a human being, while not losing his divine nature or mixing his divine nature with his human nature. Jesus was fully God and fully man.
The emphasis in Isaiah 9:6-7 is that all that is said about this child would be true at his birth. At his birth, all the titles in Isaiah 9:6 would be true of him. At his birth, the government would be on his shoulders. As you think about it, that doesn’t seem practical and wise. How could a baby who cannot talk or think be a ruler at his birth? What if he grew up and was a horrible ruler? What if he wasn’t worthy?
That is just what Isaiah is saying. The child is worthy at his birth! Jesus was the ruler from day one. He was king before he began to cry. He was worthy the moment he came out of the womb! That can be said of no one else, only Jesus was worthy while only a child.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Praise God for the gift of the Christ Child, his glory sent to earth as a baby so that we could be born again!