For our Sunday Services this Christmas, I have been led to focus the messages on the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the names that would be given to the coming ruler of Israel as found in Isaiah 9:6 and 7. It says there that a child would be born, a son given, upon whose shoulders the government of the whole world will rest. He would be called, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. It says His government and its peace would never end and that he would rule with justice from the throne of David (presumably in Jerusalem), forever.
Last Sunday, I was especially focussed on the meaning of his name as, Mighty God. This is an astounding title for the little fellow born in Bethlehem so many years ago. No wonder Christmas has become such a huge celebration for the whole world — and He hasn’t even begun to rule yet, in the way that this prophecy anticipates — except so in the hearts of those who put their trust in Him.
The title has two major parts — a reference to His deity, and then a reference to His might, or omnipotence. In the first instance, it is evident that Jesus was no ordinary man. Though He identified himself fully with humanity, He was different in that He was divine. This is shown to us again and again throughout the Scriptures and, of course, fully in the New Testament. Jesus’ divinity is evident in the words that were said concerning Him by the angels even before He was born — first to Mary and then to Joseph. The angel Gabriel said of Him that he would be called, the Son of the Most High! Joseph learns that His name would be called, Jesus, for He would save His people from their sins. Matthew comments on this in chapter 1, that this was in fulfillment of the prophecy (again in Isaiah) that he would be called, Immanuel, which means, “God with us.”
But the fact of Jesus divinity is also well-established through the things that He spoke and the miracles that He did. But especially, His divine person is spoken of in the confession of the disciples, and various individuals — Peter (Matthew 16:16), the woman at the well (John 4), Thomas (John 20), and others. Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” The woman went into the city and said, “Is not this the Christ?” And Thomas, when he saw the nail prints in His hands and the wound in His side, said, “My Lord, and My God.” And Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
But then also there were the miracles — amazing demonstrations of His deity and divine power. There were the miracles of nature — His calming of the storm in a word, His walking on the water, and His turning the water into wine (John 2). There were the many physical healings, as well as the multiple resurrections of various individuals — including His own. He likewise demonstrated His great power over the powers of darkness, the demons. His very words brought life and miracles of grace and power to many.
In Revelation, the last book of the Bible that speaks of Jesus’ final victory over sin and evil, we read of His arrival on a great white horse. In that Scripture (Revelation 2:11-16), it describes the rider on the horse as one whose “eyes are like blazing fire,” and on whose head “are many crowns.” He goes on to say, “He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself,” and that, “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood.” The amazing description in this passage ends with a reference to His name — written on His robe and on His thigh which says, “King of kings and Lord of Lords.” What’s so interesting about this description of His name, is that it is exactly the name which describes God in 1 Timothy 6:15 and 16.
But as I thought about the power of God as reflected in the life of Jesus Christ, I came to the conclusion that the greatest expression of Jesus as the Mighty God, is presented to us in the expression of His meekness. This quality (meekness) is often misunderstood. To most of us it suggests littleness or smallness in some way. When we think of meekness we are inclined to think of powerlessness. But actually, the word means the very opposite. Properly understood, meekness is represented best by a figure who has great power, but chooses to refrain from using it.
This Christmas, I can’t think of a greater description of Jesus as Mighty God than this expression of His power — that He chooses to curtail His great power for the sake of His Father’s love, and for the sake of a world that can only be saved by His death. And so, instead of destroying the world, as He could and might have done, He willingly lays down His life as a sacrifice for sin by submitting Himself to a Roman trial and death by crucifixion.
This then is why, we can truly speak of Jesus as, the Mighty God!