Justin Taylor

December 24, 2015

Each Christmas we hear the words from Isaiah 9:6:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Wait—“Everlasting Father”? Isn’t he the “child . . . born,” the “son . . . given”? Isn’t he the Son of Man and the Son of God? Isn’t it God the Father who is, well, God the Father?

My pastor at New Covenant Bible Church, David Sunday, preached on this a couple of weeks ago, and TGC has published an article-version at their site.

Here’s how he begins:

Few words in any language evoke the kind of feelings we have when we hear the word father. Some of us will feel a sense of loss this Christmas season, either because we had fathers who were wonderful but are no longer with us, or because we have unfulfilled longings for the kind of father we’ve never had.

How comforting, then, to read of the birth of a child whose name shall be called “Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6). Under his care, his protection, and his provision, we are safe and will be satisfied for all eternity.

Of all the names attributed to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6, Everlasting Father intrigues me the most because it’s the one I understand the least. How can Jesus the Messiah, the second person of the Godhead, be called Everlasting Father?

And here are three of his key points:

  1. Isaiah is not confusing Jesus the Messiah with the first person of the Trinity.
  2. Isaiah is highlighting the divine nature of the Messiah.
  3. Jesus the Messiah is the only one who can reveal God’s fatherly character to us, for he is one in nature and essence with the Father.

For the rest of the post…

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