By Tim Sullivan


It is in the joyous season of Christmastime that people everywhere are brought into remembrance of the greatest gift of all, the gift of God’s only begotten Son.

Isaiah 9:6a:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given....

God’s gift to the world was a gift of love and a gift of life.

John 3:16:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son ...

God gave his Son, knowing that his Son would one day give himself for us all.

Galatians 2:20b:
... the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Such a marvelous, unspeakable gift. Yet what makes this gift even more fantastic is that is was given “unto us.” This precious gift was not reserved for a people that loved and honored God as he deserves to be loved and honored. No, unto us, such ungodly sinners, a child is born. Unto us, a people so utterly without merit, a Son is given.

This is a great reality, a cornerstone of truth. God did not give us his gift because we were good. We were everything but good. God gave us his gift because he is good. This is what Christmas is all about.

Isaiah’s prophesy, declared some 700 years prior to the birth of Christ, revealed great things about God’s wonderful Son:

Isaiah 9:6b:
... and the government shall be upon his shoulder:

The government is upon his shoulders because Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. Even as the head rests upon the shoulders, everything rests upon him.

Colossians 1:18:
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Jesus is the foundation of truth.

1 Corinthians 3:11:
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Knowing Jesus Christ is the key to understanding all of God’s wondrous works. Jesus is more than “the reason for the season.” Jesus is the reason for all Creation.

Ephesians 3:9:
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

This prophesy of Isaiah concerns the name of the Son of God:

Isaiah 9:6c:
... and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

His name is wonderful because the Lord is wonderful in all His ways, and in all His works.

Psalm 40:5:
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

His name is wonderful because God has given him a name that is above every name.

Philippians 2:9-11:
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

His name is wonderful because in his name, God is magnified.

Psalm 34:3:
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

It is by the Lord’s counsel that he directs our paths into the doing of his Will. It is never expected of the sheep that they lead themselves. Sheep are led by the Master’s voice.

John 10:27:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Even as he leads us by his voice, his name shall be called Counselor.

Psalm 16:7:
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Psalm 73:24:
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

Isaiah prophesied that his name would be called the mighty God. The name “Jesus” means “Jehovah our Saviour.” Like the name “Emmanuel,” his name makes known that God would dwell among his people.

Matthew 1:23:
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The Son bears the name of the Father, who is the mighty God, our Saviour.

Psalm 50:1:
The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Jude 1:25:
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

As Jesus Christ said, no man has seen God at any time.

John 1:18:
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

To see Christ is to see God. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God.

Colossians 1:15:
Who [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Some acknowledge the existence of God, even reverence him as the Creator. Others crane their necks to see around or beyond Christ. But no one will ever see God until he sees Christ. One may only see God by looking unto Christ.

Jude 1:21:
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. He is the personification of God, as inseparable from God as breath is from life.

John 1:14:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

One will never know the God of grace and truth until he knows the Son, the literal embodiment of grace and truth.

John 1:17:
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

This is the great mystery of godliness. Jesus Christ is God Almighty made manifest in the flesh. All the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwells in him.

1 Timothy 3:16:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Colossians 2:9:
For in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

This was a wonderful revelation that opened the eyes of “doubting” Thomas.

John 20:28:
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

When we walk in the love of Christ, we too make manifest the invisible God who dwells in us.

1 John 4:12:
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Isaiah prophesied that the Son would be called the Everlasting Father. No man can be called a father until he has children. Jesus Christ the Son came to make known God the Father. No man can know the Father unless the Son reveals Him.

Matthew 11:27:
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

No man can come unto the Father but by him.

John 14:6:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Even as God is the God of peace and the author of peace, Isaiah prophesied that the Son of God would be called the prince of peace. The heavenly angels announced his birth with a proclamation of peace.

Luke 2:13-14:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Jesus Christ came to bring peace between man and God. He is our peace.

Ephesians 2:14:
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

The peace that Jesus Christ gives is not the peace of this world. Like the song says, this is a peace “that the world never gave, a peace it cannot take away.”

John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Therefore, in all seasons of the year, and under every circumstance and condition, we can be of good cheer.

John 16:33:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Isaiah concludes this portion of Scripture with the glorious proclamation of the everlasting kingdom of his Royal Majesty, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 9:7:
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given. May we glorify the God of heaven and earth this season and always for giving us such a gift.

Psalm 20:5:
We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.



From the December 2000 issue of The Vine & Branches