Last week David began an Advent series looking at the names of Jesus from Isaiah chapter 9 by thinking about him as ‘Wonderful Counsellor’. Today, he continued by focusing on the name ‘Mighty God’.
These words would have given the people of Judah, who were living in dark days under Assyrian power, renewed hope for another king like David who would rule forever. And what excited them most was the nature of this king, which is captured in the names attributed to him in verse 6:
The Hebrew word for ‘Mighty God’ is ‘El Gibbor’ which speaks of God in person or God in power and distinguishes Him from false gods.
El (God) refers to God as the one true God, and here it affirms for us that the child born and son given is Jesus. He is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. This second name is confirmation of Jesus’ deity as fully human and fully God.
The Christmas carol ‘O come all ye faithful’ states that Jesus is ‘God of God’ and, unless we believe this, we run the risk of diluting or diminishing the astounding claim of the Christian faith and the Christmas story that Jesus is God.
What sets Christianity against all other religious belief systems is the claim that this miracle baby was God in the flesh. Anyone who teaches that Jesus was not fully God or denies his deity contradicts Isaiah 9:6, which categorically states that, as ‘Mighty God’, he was fully divine.
Gibbor (Mighty) denotes strength and power, and in scripture refers to the heroic warrior God of his people who possesses all power. As we allow this to register, we begin to realise more who Jesus is. Even as a new-born, helpless baby in a manger he is the all-powerful warrior-like hero who deserves our total devotion.
Did Jesus live up to the name ’Mighty God’? John 1:1-3 declares that the power of Jesus was instrumental at creation, and in Colossians 1:16-17 we learn that not only does Jesus have creative power, but he also has sustaining power as Mighty God because ‘In him all things hold together.”
During his earthly ministry Jesus demonstrated astounding power over all nature, sickness, disease, demons and sin (Mark 2:5). However, he also had power over sin through his death on the Cross where he fought to take away the sin of the world. This Christmas child who became the warrior-like champion God opened the way for us to be intrinsically re-connected to God. He is Mighty God.
Finally, Jesus had power over death itself. By rising from the dead he destroyed our last great enemy. The reason why Jesus is alive and has power over death is to make you and me right with God and to bring us eternal life (John 11:25-26). Do you believe this?
If you can grasp the all-encompassing power of the baby who lay in a manger on that first Christmas, and how he lived up to the name ‘Mighty God’, this will bring you renewed appreciation and joy at what Christmas is about.
- Can the second name of Jesus as Mighty God enhance our appreciation of Christmas?
- Can it transform our approach to Christmas this year?