Isaiah prophesied that a Great Light that would come to the people of Zebulun and Naphtali. This area was singled out over all others as the future home of the coming Messiah.
The area of Zebulun likely contained the city of Nazareth, where Jesus was raised after returning from Egypt. Joseph had taken Jesus and Mary there to escape the wrath of Herod in Bethlehem, having been warned by God in a dream.
The tribe of Naphtali lived immediately west and northwest of the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus was rejected in His hometown of Nazareth, He set up His ministry headquarters there, in the town of Capernaum.
Isaiah went on to prophesy about the nature of this coming Messiah:
6 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
When He returns to earth in glory, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will bear the government of the whole world upon His shoulders. His character and divine nature are clearly spelled out by the five descriptors of this prophecy.
In the time before Israel’s first king, the land was ruled by God through judges. These judges were called by God to serve as spiritual leaders for the nation, usually to help get them back on track after they had fallen away into sin.
When the future parents of one of these, Samson, were visited by God in the form of the Angel of the Lord, they asked His name. He responded:
18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?” Judges 13:18 NKJV
This Angel of the Lord is believed to be God Himself, with many also believing that He is the person of Christ in pre-incarnate form.
The Holy Spirit is a gift given to men to live within them as Helper, Comforter and Counselor. He is God and is sometimes referred to as the Spirit of Jesus.
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which came upon them during the Feast of Pentecost. Through this gift, believers around the world are all able to welcome God into their hearts, bearing the fruits of the Spirit and building up the global temple of God as Living Stones (1 Peter 2).
- Mighty God
Several times throughout His ministry and before His accusers, Jesus admitted to being God. He was both 100% God and 100% human at the same time. A human Child is born, a divine, eternal Son is given.
- Everlasting Father
Through the mystery of the Trinity, Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are together One God. The Trinity was seen when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to identify with sinful man, although He had no sin within Him. Upon coming up out of the water, the Father spoke approving words to Jesus from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove.
Jesus also spoke to His disciples as He was getting ready to return to heaven before His death, resurrection, and ascension:
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me… John 14:11a NKJV
- Prince of Peace
14 For He Himself is our peace… Ephesians 2:14a NKJV
Jesus is the source of our peace. Peace is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5.
When Jesus came upon His disciples, if they were in fear or awe, He would often gently tell them, “Peace be with you”.
These five prophetic characteristics of the Great Light, the coming Messiah, all point to the wonder, power and majesty of Jesus Christ. Do you know His peace in your heart?
Where do you need peace in your life today?
Oh, Prince of Peace, grant that we may all know Your comforting presence in our hearts today. Cleanse us from all sin and fill us with Your Holy Spirit. May we bear the good fruit that you bring – peace, love, goodness and joy. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.