Job Description of the Messiah
Help us this year to enlarge our view of the coming King and to rejoice that is everything we need, whatever we face. Amen
Read Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7
1Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
6For 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.
7Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
MeditationHave you thought about the names for Jesus in Isaiah?
Between Genesis and Isaiah there are hints about the coming child (1). This passage fills out the story. Into darkness, light will come, coming from Galilee where Jesus grew up and began his public ministry. As light of the world he dispels the darkness of ignorance and evil.
Verses 6-7 is His job description. The Messiah (Anointed One) unlike us, who shrink from taking responsibility, has broad shoulders and the buck stops with Him. He is up to the task. He will bring leadership to the drifting, wisdom to the uncertain and justice to the exploited. He will give direction to the drifting, forgiveness to the failing and clarity to the confused. Let Handel’s Messiah play, as you reflect on the Coming One. (2)
He is a “Wonderful Counsellor.” Jesus was never wrong-footed, stuck for an answer or tempted to be “economical with the truth.” His answers were powerful, penetrating and still have the ring of truth about them. His questions and teaching laid bare the human heart. He unerringly diagnosed the needs of those He met, providing wise counsel. Nothing we face leaves Him uncertain or indecisive. He should be first port of call, not the last.
He is “Mighty God.” We see His power whether stilling of the storm, feeding the 5000, healing the sick or raising the dead. As the disciples travelled with him they had to constantly revise their opinion, until they confess “You are the Christ (or Messiah), the son of the Living God” (3) or as Thomas said “My Lord and my God” (4). He can make all the difference to our lives and transform situations and people.
He is “Everlasting Father”. Philip once asked Jesus “Show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” (5) Jesus replied, “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. Here is God at ground level, God with skin on, able to be seen and touched. Moreover, it was Jesus who taught His followers to call God “Father,” even using the intimate word “Abba,” or “Daddy.” For 2000 years Christians have learned to pray using the words Jesus taught “Our Father…” (6)
He is “Prince of Peace.” In Hebrew, “peace” or “shalom” means right relationships. Jesus sorts out our dysfunctional relationships. We lose peace with ourselves and study psychology. We get into tension with others and study sociology. We spoil the world around us and study ecology. Supremely we are distanced from God and so study theology. Jesus came to reconcile us to God and bring peace. Then He wants us to be at peace with our world, with others and in ourselves. Rejoice as you reflect on Who the baby born at Bethlehem really is.
- g. Gen 49:10; Numbers 24:17; 2 Samuel 7:13; Isaiah 7:14
- Handel’s Messiah, an oratoria written in 1741.
- Matthew 16:16
- John 20:28
- John 14:8, 9
- Matthew 6:9-13
Watch this video of Colin Sinclair offering further thoughts on Week 2.
Download the All Age Family Guide to the Advent Reflections for use throughout the week.