The Child With The Seven Names
(Note: the writer, our Associate-Editor, would like to acknowledge his indebtedness to Dr. E. Schuyler English for the title of this article, for it was from his pen that he first saw these words some nine years ago and they have never left him).
Scriptures: Isaiah 9:6, 7:14
What a mysterious, miraculous, awe-inspiring and joyous event it is when the first baby, the second, and also the third come into the home! The happy question so often asked is, “What shall we call him?” “What name shall we give her?”
Many months before our first child was born my wife and I had decided on our choice of names, although we were somewhat slower in selecting names before the birth of our second and third child.
However, there was one first Child whose name was not selected by a parent or other relative, but by God. Furthermore, He was not given one name or two, but seven, and six of them were announced more than 700 years before His birth. This Child was different from any other who ever entered the world. He had no human father, but was born of a virgin. In His humanity He was perfect, but He was more than human. He was divine, God manifested in flesh, perfect in His deity. He was brought forth by a woman, the virgin Mary; He was given by God; and He is all His names signify and embody.
Let us prayerfully focus our attention, then, on the Christ-Child, carefully considering each of His seven names, and noting first of all
The Old Testament Prophecies.
Five of our Saviour’s names are disclosed in the magnificent and majestic words of Isaiah 9:6 which text, of course, is not complete apart from the words of verse 7.
“His name shall be called Wonderful.” When Christ was born the shepherds marveled at the glorious circumstances. During His earthly ministry all were astounded at the miracles He wrought, and in Luke 11:14 it is recorded, “… and the people wondered.”
This very same name, or title, was used when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah, the father of Samson. When Manoah inquired of the Angel of the Lord what His name was, He answered, “Why asketh thou thus after My name, seeing it is secret” (i.e., wonderful; see Judg. 13:18-19; this account is just one of many O. T. theophanies, the Angel of the Lord being none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ Himself).
“Counsellor.” To all who would hear and heed He gave divine counsel. He who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) spoke with authority (see Matt. 7:29; Mark 1:22). Even the unbelieving officers, returning to the Pharisees who had sent them to arrest Christ, answered their superiors, saying, “Never man sake like this Man” (John 7:46).
In the Hebrew this same word is used in Isaiah 11:2, while the two words — “wonderful” and “counsels” — are found together in Isaiah 25:1.
“The Mighty God.” Christ is God! He was in the bosom of the Father from eternity (John 1:18), and He is revealed as the Jehovah of the Old Testament, for He and the Father are one (John 10:30).
In the Hebrew text, “El” is God, the last syllable of “Immanuel.” “El” is contrasted with man in Isaiah 31:3 and Hosea 11:9, while “mighty” is used of God in Deuteronomy 10:17 and elsewhere in the Scriptures.
“The Everlasting Father.” A better translation of this would, be, “the Father of the Ages.” The Lord Jesus Christ is eternal and before His incarnation all things were created by Him and for Him (John 1:3; Col. 1:16), and by Him the ages were fitted together (Heb. 11:3). He is the Architect of the Ages, the Designer of all created things.
There is a twofold revelation in this name: 1. He inhabits and possesses eternity (Isa. 57:15), and 2, He is loving, tender and compassionate, the all-wise Instructor, Trainer and Provider.
All things find their coherence and continuity in Him (Col. 1:17).
“The Prince of Peace.” A just and lasting peace which so many sincere men seek today will never be realized until “the Prince of Peace” comes to the earth a second time. In that day He will not come as a Child, but in power and great glory (Matt. 25:31; Rev. 19:11-16); not as a Lamb to die (John 1:29; 1 Pet. 1:8-19), but as the Lion of the tribe of Judah to reign in righteousness (Rev. 5:5). Meanwhile, Christ is “the Prince of Peace” in other ways: 1. No one can have “peace with God” except through genuine faith in the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and rose again, thereby freely providing salvation and peace for the believing sinner (Rom. 5:1; Col. 1:20), and 2. No believer can experience the “peace of God” apart from committing everything to Him and thereby trusting Him fully (Phil. 4:4-7).
The eternity of Christ and His provision of peace are combined in the words of Isaiah 57:15-19 (see also Luke 2:14).
By the way, did you take time to look up these references?
The sixth name of our Saviour is disclosed in the familiar words of Isaiah 7:14.
“Immanuel.” This Hebrew name means “God with us.” To those who witnessed Christ’s miracles and heard His gracious words, it was evident that God was indeed among men (e.g., consider John the Baptist’s declaration — John 1:34; Peter’s confession — Matt. 16:16; Nathanael’s words — John 1:49; the Roman centurian’s realization and consequent confession — Matt. 27:54). And those who saw the Lord Jesus also saw the Father (John 14:9).
Though Christ’s physical presence is now in Heaven at the Father’s right hand, He is nonetheless with His own moment by moment (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5), dwelling by faith in the regenerated hearts of His people (Gal. 2:20).
Is the Lord Jesus genuinely at home in your heart?
The New Testament Pronouncement
This seventh name of our Saviour is revealed in Matthew 1:21.
“Jesus.” This is the name associated with Christ’s perfect humanity, the name given to Him at His birth. It is the name that the angel told Joseph, the Child’s foster-father, to give Mary’s divine Son. The heavenly messenger said, “thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” This classic text expresses the purpose for which Christ came to the earth (see Mark 10:45). He was the only baby ever born into the world for the express purpose of dying.
Of the name JESUS, someone has made the following acrostic: “Jesus Exactly Suits Us Sinners.” Admittedly, it is somewhat trite, yet it is nevertheless true. No one could ever have met us in our deep need as sinners but JESUS.
Here, then, is our altogether lovely Saviour, the Child with the seven names. Having accomplished redemption through His death on the cross, He arose, has ascended, is today seated at the Father’s right hand in Heaven, and is soon to come again to receive His own to Himself, to judge, to reign, to be further glorified and confessed as LORD by all created beings.
No day, no season of the year can mean anything apart from Christ, the Child with the seven names, the Holy Son of God. He alone gives true peace, joy and satisfaction, and without Him life is empty and meaningless.
Have you personally looked beyond the crib in Bethlehem’s manger to the Cross of Calvary? Remember, the real reason He was born into this world was to save you from your sins!