A Child Is Born (Isaiah 9)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (v2). On that silent, dark December night, a great Light shone from the most unlikely place. A manger in a stable. Not the place where you'd expect the Light of the world to be born (John 8:12). The Light in which there can be no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). This is the Child who was born. The Son that was given.
But given to whom? “To us” (v6). Christ the Child was born. The Son of God was given. To us. Our flesh and blood. He took it upon Himself. Took it to make atonement for us. Jesus became like us so He could redeem us.
Why do we need to be redeemed? “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Jesus says, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Without the Truth inside us, we are lost and condemned persons. We walk around with darkened souls. Souls lacking any source of Light. Souls completely darkened by the perversity of our own sinfulness.
We need to be redeemed. Bought back. Taken away from God's wrath. Brought into God's righteousness and justice. The Child is born for that. The Son is given for that. The Son of God is given so that we might receive God's righteousness and justice. Righteousness and justice which establish and uphold the government headed by the newborn baby lying in the manger.
“The government shall be on His shoulder,” Isaiah prophesies (v6). Not given when He grows up. The government is already there. “A little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). The King of Kings is reigning even as He is lying in the manger! With newborn skin and abilities, Jesus reigns over His creation. “Why lies He in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christian, fear; for sinners here the silent Word is pleading” (LSB #370.2).
Even from the manger, Jesus is pleading for sinners to believe in Him. He sends the angels to tell the story to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20). He sends the star to tell the Magi from the East (Matthew 2:1- 12). He wants everyone to know that salvation has come. That all men may come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). That Jesus is ruling where God wants Him to rule. “The LORD sends forth from Zion Your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” (Psalm 110:2).
Jesus rules from the manger in the midst of His enemies. He rules over His enemies to bring them into His family. “Of the increase of His government and of peace,” Isaiah says, “there will be no end” (v7). There will be no end to Jesus' reign over creation. No end because He is Immanuel. God with us (Matthew 1:23). He is the Savior of the world, as the angels declared to the shepherds (Luke 2:11). The King of the Jews as the star declared to the Magi (Matthew 2:2). The Son given to take away our sins. The Child born to lead us to everlasting life. Amen.