Sunday’s message is talking about one of the names of Jesus from Isaiah 9:6: Everlasting Father. Since I will be talking about how Jesus can be Jesus and be the Everlasting Father, I wanted to share a few extra thoughts that I won’t be able to cover in the message.From the Lead Pastor’s Desk for December 30
1. Isaiah is not confusing Jesus the Messiah with the first person of the Trinity. God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, is not the same person as God the Father. (The early church denounced this idea as the heresy of modalism.)Sunday’s message is talking about one of the names of Jesus from Isaiah 9:6: Everlasting Father. Since I will be talking about how Jesus can be Jesus and be the Everlasting Father, I wanted to share a few extra thoughts that I won’t be able to cover in the message.
It’s unlikely Isaiah has the Trinity in mind at all when he says the Messiah will be called Everlasting Father. It’s not the Messiah’s role within the Godhead, but the Messiah’s character toward us that Isaiah has in mind. Pastor Sam Storms calls it “a descriptive analogy pointing to Christ’s character . . . he is fatherly, father-like, in his treatment of us.”
2. Isaiah is highlighting the divine nature of the Messiah.
More than any other author, Isaiah loves to speak of eternity. He speaks of God as “the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy” (Isa. 57:15). And here in Isaiah 9:6 he uses the same type of language to refer to the Messiah. Rev. 1:8 says about this same Messiah Jesus… “He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end—the one who is and who was and who is to come—the Almighty.”
Isaiah is speaking of a child who will be born some 700 years in the future—yet he makes clear that this child is the author of eternity, the “father of time”! This truly boggles the mind.
3. Jesus the Messiah is the only one who can reveal God’s fatherly character to us, for he is one in nature and essence with the Father.
Isaiah couldn’t have fully seen the light of glory that shone from Jesus when he dwelt among us. But from Jesus’s own lips, words such as these were spoken: “I and the Father are one . . . know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. (John 10:30, 38)
Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? (John 14:9–10a)
If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus is the perfect image of God, and the exact representation of his being. Jesus alone makes the Father known. Indeed, no one can come to the Father except through him (John 14:6).
Herman Bavinck observed that Jesus “takes away our guilt and again opens the way to [God’s] fatherly heart.” Everything you’ve ever dreamed a father could be—everything you’ve ever wanted from your relationship with your earthly father—Jesus is and will be for you.
“There is no un-fathering Christ, and there is no un-childing us,” Charles Spurgeon once said. “He is everlastingly a father to those who trust in him.”
Praise God for our eternal security in Christ, our Everlasting Father.