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The Mighty God / The Everlasting Father

December 14, 2017

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Wednesday of Advent 2                       Trinity Lutheran Church

13 December 2017                                 Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

 

Isaiah 9:1-7

 

Again, Isaiah gives the birth announcement of Baby Jesus centuries before He was born. We’re focusing on the titles. Last week: Wonder of a Counselor. Tonight: the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father.

 

Better get going. Loads to preach tonight with these titles. Here goes.

 

Baby Jesus is “the Mighty God.” The Hebrew literally is El Gibbor. That’s the Conquering Hero God. Emphasis is on His divine power and might. Big things come in tiny packages! The power of the infinite and almighty God comes down to you in the weakness of the little Baby. There is more power in the tip of this Baby’s little finger than in all the nuclear bombs and armies of this world.

 

However, here is the kicker. The biggie. How does God exercise His power and might. Well, look nowhere than little, helpless Baby Jesus. From infant Jesus you learn something about “the Mighty God.” His power and might are made perfect in weakness. The manger and the cross that consists of poverty and persecution are His twin thrones in this world. As a tiny Baby He has no place to lay His head except for a feeding trough for barn animals. As a man nailed to the cross He is forsaken by His very own.

 

This is the power of “the Mighty God” in action. “The Mighty God” of manger and cross is God FOR YOU!   FOR YOU He does battle with Satan. FOR YOU He conquers death by dying. When He appears the least powerful – soundly sleeping in the manger, hanging stone cold dead on the cross – here is God most powerful and mighty FOR YOU. To save you.

 

There is no other God than this Baby Jesus! “The Mighty God” is this Child. God is born. The Word became flesh. This is what God does to save you. It is what Christmas is all about – the enfleshment or incarnation of God. God born into the world. All the fullness of God dwells bodily in the finite body of this little Infant. Behold: the Mighty God is swaddled in diapers. He drools, cries, burps and needs a diaper change. Nothing and no one more mighty and powerful than Him!

 

The next title is “the Everlasting Father.” This is the title of royalty. Kings in the ancient world claimed to be “fathers” to their people. Even to their captives. But their fatherhood was temporary and at times quite oppressive. You have personally seen and experienced distortions of fatherhood in your lives. Some of you perhaps have experienced the enormous and bitter pain of being betrayed, lied to, or hurt by your father. Yet here in this little Child of God’s promise is true, everlasting fatherhood. Jesus is “the Everlasting Father.”

 

Now, please don’t misunderstand. Isaiah is not speaking about God according to His Persons, the way you speak in the Apostles’ Creed of the holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the Creed we reserve the term “Father” for the First Person of the Trinity. The Son is not the Father in that way of speaking. However, here in Isaiah 9 the word “Father” is used differently. Isaiah is talking about the relationship that Messiah-Savior Jesus will have with His people. In other words, Baby Jesus is not God the Father but as the Messiah-Savior He will be like an everlasting Father to God’s people.

 

So, not only is Baby Jesus a wise and wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God and Divine Conqueror, but His is also an eternal Father to His people. Again, this is the vocabulary of family. Under the gracious rule of Jesus you are not slaves or oppressed citizens but free people, members of God’s family. Jesus does not come to be a harsh judge or a whip-cracking tyrant but as a kind and loving Parent / Father who protects, cares and jealously guards His hangers on of faith-ers in Him.

 

This is quite humbling for all of us to hear. Think of it. This little Baby Jesus is Everlasting Father for us. Many stumble over this. It’s just too outrageous and foolish. How can we dare to call a little Child “the Everlasting Father”? Isaiah did! Through Jesus of the manger all things were made. He upholds everything and orders all things. Jesus is the Word through whom light and life entered the darkness and chaos of creation. Jesus is the God who gathers you as a Shepherd gathers His little lambs into His sheep pen, or as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, or as a Father embraces the children to His arms.

 

The epitome of Jesus being “the Everlasting Father” FOR YOU is that He lays down His life for His family. Jesus loved you so much that He gave His life FOR YOU on the cross. Consequently, through faith in Him you have the right to be called the children of God.

 

You have know heroic fathers. Like George Washington, John Adam, Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln – fathers of our country. No doubt, your own father was quite heroic – who gave up so much / everything to provide for and protect your family. That’s the meaning of Isaiah’s birth announcement title “the Everlasting Father.” Jesus is the eternal King who defends and protects you. Under His Good Friday death and His Easter resurrection you have life in abundance – ETERNAL LIFE.

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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