On Thursdays during Advent, I’ll post short pieces that explore some Scripture and theology behind our Christian beliefs and practices.
Titles for the Messiah
From the magnificent prophecies of Isaiah, we find just the beginning of a long list of names for the Messiah. In Isaiah 9:6 we read:
“For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NRSV)
These titles give us four different ways to think about the Messiah:
- “wonderful counselor”—the Messiah has wisdom and compassion, is eager to teach and help those who long to follow the ways of God.
- “mighty God”—the Messiah has power and authority, and thus we look to the Messiah for protection and reassurance and for help as we face the difficult tasks of life.
- “everlasting Father”—the Messiah chooses an intimate relationship with us. We are not merely followers or servants, but members of the divine family.
- “prince of peace”—the Messiah brings justice, which leads to serenity across the land and peace in our homes.
What do these names mean to you?