Messiah: For unto us a child is born

Post date: 14-Nov-2018 15:57:42


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Every show has its "big tunes" - showstoppers that get feet tapping and audiences humming along. One of the "big tunes" in the first part of the Messiah is "For unto us a child is born." It is sung by the whole choir, joyfully accompanied by the orchestra. And what more joyful subject is there?

The birth of a baby is an extraordinary time - the proud parents often have such high hopes for their tiny screaming bundle of joy. And yet whether we imagine the new-born as one day being president, or playing for Ireland, or playing sell-out concerts at Croke Park, these hopes pale into insignificance compared to the expectations raised here.

The words come again from Isaiah, who wrote them 700 years before the birth of Jesus. He looks forward to that birth but makes extraordinary claims: this child will be a ruler, a wonderful ruler; and he will be a "Counseller", someone incredibly wise. Then he goes off the scales, claiming that this baby will be no less than "Mighty God"! A claim so astounding that it could get you put to death in Jesus' day. And yet he continues, calling him "everlasting Father" and "Prince of Peace". This baby will be more than great, he will be God himself in the flesh.

Jesus' friend John walked the dusty roads with him for three years, and yet became convinced that Isaiah was right. This man was indeed God. When he came to write his account down, he described his friend like this:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1,14

As you hum along, ask yourself, "is this really true? is Jesus really God?" Because if it is true, then Jesus is more important than we can imagine.