My life feels out of control, especially as Christmas rolls toward us. The things I want to accomplish remain unfinished. I’m interrupted despite my best intentions. Things happen—like my computer losing my blog post last week. Sometimes I wish I could stomp my foot and make it all stop. Sometimes I wish I could conquer my own life.
As the people of Judah packed a few things to carry on their long walk to Babylon, I wonder if they felt the same way. (Except mine are first-world problems and their problems were far more like those of modern-day refugees.) I wonder if they began to question God’s potency. What happened to the Davidic line? And what of Jerusalem, about which God had said, “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:14)? It laid in ruins.
God’s promises remained.
Still, God’s promises remained. (For the first in this series and more on the context of Isaiah, see He Will Be Called: Wonderful Counselor.)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. –Isaiah 9:6
They couldn’t see it yet, but Jesus was and would be their (and our) Mighty God.
This “throne name” (each of the four phrases in Isaiah 9:6 is like a different title for a king) speaks of Jesus’ “divine power as a warrior” (NIV Study Bible notes for Isaiah 9:6). When they heard it, the people probably thought of lines like this one from Psalms:
Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. –Psalm 24:7-8
There was a coming king who would be not only spiritual but also physical. At the time of the exile, God was unseen, but Jesus came to earth in a tangible way. He was Immanuel, that is, God with us (Matthew 1:23).
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. –Hebrews 1:3a
Jesus didn’t act much like a king
when He was here the first time.
Except for riding on a donkey (John 12:12-16), He didn’t act much like a king when He was here the first time, but that was part of God’s plan. When Pilate posted “King of the Jews” above Jesus’ head on the cross (John 19:19-22), he was only partially right. He is actually King of all humanity. Jesus will return in triumphal procession (2 Corinthians 2:14). He will be the King of all kings!
They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. –Revelation 17:14
Jesus may not have acted like a king or god when he walked the streets of a re-built Jerusalem, but there is no one mightier. Jesus knew it, too.
I think of His commission to His disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…” (Matthew 28:18).
All authority. That’s all the power and sovereignty available in the universe.
I think of His power to cast our demons. He said, “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20).
The finger of God. Just a finger evicts demons.
Jesus, our Immanuel, was both mighty and meek, both king and servant, both lion and lamb. Now in the heavenly realms and visibly at the second coming, we will see Jesus as the undefeatable Warrior King!
The battle isn’t through Christmas traffic and Black Friday sales. The real battle is the Lord’s, and He has already won! We follow an undefeatable Warrior King. This #battle is #NotAboutMe via @Carole_Sparks. (click to tweet)
I stand a little taller knowing I have an undefeatable Warrior-King…and I stop to breathe rather than stomping my foot. What about you? How do you feel about Jesus as Conqueror, marching through the victory gates? How have you experienced Him in this way? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
In our next installment of this series (12/14), we’ll consider Jesus as Everlasting Father.
Want something different? Try this previous Christmas-related post. Joseph: Nine Months before Christmas.