For a child is born to us,Isaiah 9:6-7
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, [El Gibbor],
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!
El Gibbor: Mighty God
It’s passages like this that make me really flounder to understand those who crucified Jesus for claiming to be God. All Hebrew boys were made to memorize the book of Isaiah before they were 13 years old; Pharisees and Sadducees and other religious leaders dedicated themselves to memorizing even more. Here it is, not ten chapters in, the declaration that the Messiah is both a descendant of David and Mighty God Himself. So what were they expecting? I suppose that’s what I cannot wrap my mind around. Were they not looking eagerly for this exact man, a man who would claim to be God incarnate? If not, why not? And if they were, was it not that a man claimed to be God that offended them, but rather that this man claimed to be God?
Imagine looking into the face of Mighty God and being disappointed by what you see.
But so, so many did. So, so many do.
The Pharisees wanted Him to be an enforcer of the Law, not only the Law of Moses, but also the laws they had built around the Law, like moats and trenches and fences around a castle wall to protect it even further. They wanted someone who told them they were right – they wanted the Messiah to look and think and act just like them. So – did they really want a Savior, or did they want to be the savior?
The zealots and the oppressed wanted Him to be a revolutionary, a king who marched in and broke the bodies of their enemies and scattered the people who had wronged them, someone who told them their anger and vengeance were just – they wanted the Messiah to look and think and act… just… like… them.
The Romans wanted no Messiah at all – he sounded like nothing but trouble and certainly not a Prince of Peace.
And here we sit, the Republicans who want a Jesus who says their politics are righteous but turns a blind eye to their hearts, the Democrats who want a Jesus who champions their causes, and the rest who just want to be left well enough alone by this troublemaker.
But He comes, and His agenda looks nothing like ours.
He comes, and He is not like the princes and rulers of this world – He is not concerned by the squabbles of learned men. He comes, and He is not like the champions of self-righteous causes – He is not concerned about weighing wrongs against wrongs to see which is heavier in the end. He comes, and with the eyes of Mighty God from Heaven, He looks straight through all of the world’s surface symptoms and straight into the heart.
If we could see like the Everlasting sees, He would be exactly what we expect.
Because He is a man, a son of David, but 700 years before He was born, we were also prepped to meet more than a man – El Gibbor. He is Mighty God, a man with ways much higher than our own. He looks like us, but He does not think like us.
Are you disappointed?