by Sharman J. Monroe
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
I first learn this verse in a song when I was in choir in elementary school. I didn’t know then it was a scriptural verse; I just knew it was part of a song in Handel’s Messiah. We sang the first verses twice softly and in a short round. We sang the third verse twice; first the sopranos then the second sopranos and altos. We sang the fourth verse together as one voice. And the last two verses, we belted out in 3-part harmony. The audiences always loved it. I loved it too. Singing the last two verses was my favorite.
Jesus told us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30).
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines yoke as “a bar or frame that is attached to the heads or necks of two work animals so that they can pull a plow or heavy load together.” The two are bound together in such a way that when one moves, the other must move; the two can’t move independently of each other.
When Jesus was born into the world, He took dominion onto His shoulders and yoked us to Him. He took responsibility for us. He took on the responsibility to set us free from not only the penalty, but also the power of sin. (Luke 10:18-19; Romans 3:21-26; 6:5-14). He took responsibility for our salvation so that we wouldn’t die in sin and be separated from God forever (John 3:16). He took the responsibility to teach and show us how to live as children of God.
In Isaiah 9:6, the word, “wonderful” comes from the Greek word pele which means extraordinary, hard to understand thing. Jesus Christ is an extraordinary, hard to understand being. He is hard for us to truly comprehend – He is God who became flesh to be physically with us. (John 1:1-14). And He did a truly extraordinary thing for us – He chose to come and die for our past, present and future sins so we would have eternal life with God. (John 14:14-17; Romans 5:8).
When He walked the earth, Jesus was our counselor. He not only told us how to live but also He showed us how to live. (Luke 4:1-13). He corrected and directed as needed. (Luke 10:17-20; Luke 9:51-56).
Jesus performed miracles in the name of God so we could see the power of God and His love for us. (Mark 3:20-26; John 8:28-29; 11:1-4).
Jesus was a reflection of the Father. Everything He said and did was from God the Father, giving glory to Him. (John 8:19, 28; John 12:50; John 14:9-10; 1 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus taught and showed us that, by focusing foremost on God, we can live a life not filled with worry and fear but with peace that surpasses all understanding. (Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 14:22-31; John 14:27; John 16:33).
As you go about this holiday season, don’t forget you’ve already received the greatest gift you will ever receive in life and you can freely share it with others. Remember, remain yoked to the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace – Jesus.
Very Merry Christmas from AWIC!