Saturday, December 26, 2009

JESUS, NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES -- Devotional for Christmas Day, December 25, from "Good Seeds"

For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

In America we choose our children’s names primarily by the way they sound to us, but in other cultures names are assigned for what they mean. An old gospel song says, “Jesus: O how sweet the name!” There’s no denying the very sound of His name brings joy and comfort to hearts, but could this be because it is associated with the most wonderful personage of all human history? Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, both meaning “one who saves.” This name for our Savior is not the only one that is as beautiful in sound as it is in meaning. Take a look at the names given Him through the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before He was born into the human family: WONDERFUL – When we sing, “His name is wonderful,” we tend to think of this word as an adjective describing the name Jesus. But if the songwriter was contemplating Isaiah’s prophecy, then I suspect he was using the word as a noun, which we remember from our English grammar as meaning “the name of a person, place or thing.” Another noun-name for Jesus, then, is Wonderful. The next time you pray, try addressing Him this way and see how it opens your eyes to the spectrum of beauty and wonder that is our Savior. COUNSELOR – This would be a favorite name of Jesus used by anyone needing guidance on how to think or where to turn. Don’t let it bother you that this is part of the job description of the third person of the trinity. Jesus had walked and talked with His disciples for three years, but the time came for Him to leave them, and leave the continuation of His work in their hands, as He approached “the cross, the grave, and the skies.” In order not to leave them “as orphans” (John 14:18), He promised to give them “another Comforter,” the Paraclete (“called alongside to help” – verse 7). The Spirit of God possesses all the attributes of God, but no more so than the Son of God – so we can call Jesus THE MIGHTY GOD. The next name Isaiah gives Christ comes straight from the first member of the godhead – THE EVERLASTING FATHER. This cannot be explained any better than to say Jesus "always did the things that pleased His Father" (John 8:29). They are truly, “Like Father, like Son.” We long for peace, and work for it, even thinking we can achieve it by our own efforts. When will we learn that peace will never exist between men until first the PRINCE OF PEACE has landed in the hearts of men! Someday Jesus will establish an eternal reign of peace over the universe, but peace is available right now to all “with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

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