6 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. — Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
The last title given to the Messiah-child of Isaiah 9:6 is Prince of Peace. This name, packed with all kinds of connotations of what a prince is and what peace is, gives great clues to what this child is all about. Somehow this child will settle the score between God and a world that is full of trouble, sin, and angst against God and his people.
There are clues in the surrounding verses as to what the child is up against: a land of deep darkness (9:2) and the ruling governments of the day that are burdensome and oppressive (9:4). The Messiah comes into a world that is full of angst and despair. The Prince of Peace has arrived and established his rule overturning the oppressive nature of governments and the dark hearts of men. Jesus is the Prince spoken of.
Luke 2:14 records what angels proclaimed at Jesus’ birth:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Jesus arrives when the world needs him the most. He comes to invite people into his Kingdom, not by force, but with the everlasting appeal of salvation.
God interrupts the world and establishes a Prince through whom the angels testify that peace has arrived! At the right time, Jesus arrives when the world needs him the most. He comes to invite people into his Kingdom, not by force, but with the everlasting appeal of salvation. Salvation from themselves—their darkened hearts, their sin. He invites them to be citizens of a greater Kingdom that provides an everlasting citizenship, one where anger and strife and frustration are supplanted by peace and joy.
Isaiah 9:7 will go on to say,
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 world is still a frustrating place to live. It is bent against its own good. It wants to thwart Jesus’ rule and righteousness, and impose its own way of peace through wars and cultural drifts of the hearts of men.
But we can have hope, knowing that even in the midst of our own troubled world, we can believe and trust that Jesus’ Kingdom is everlasting. The joy that we have in the Christmas season is wrapped up in this: the Prince of Peace has come, his throne is established, and he is ruling right now. We can light our trees and homes, give gifts to one another because of the great gift that has been given to us—citizenship in the greater Kingdom, and peace with God through Christ!
We cry out this Christmas to our Prince of Peace!
For our world is in need of a holy order in ways we’ve never seen.
What a mess we have made of the gifts given to us.
A holy created order: oft-neglected.
Righteous foundations for government, health, family,
and marriage: all perverted.
And though a way has been made for us to have true
peace, we reject it for the counterfeit version.
We are being marketed manufactured serenity
everywhere we look. The world wants us to believe that
peace is made by chasing after modern ideals, keeping
up with the Joneses, and validating all “personal truths.”
Release us from the bondage of these lies! And usher us
into the true peace that only the Redeemer can offer.
Oh how we marvel at the cross.
All that it cost.
All that was purchased.
A peace so perfect that he who has it needs nothing else,
And he who lacks it has nothing else.
Remind us, Oh Lord, that we don’t have to wait for peace.
When we dwell in Christ, we dwell in rest.
There is no despair, no bitterness, no pain or loss,
that true peace cannot heal and reclaim.
May this blood-bought peace wash over us like a
refreshing dip in a cool river, reaching every corner of
our heart. Let our lives be shaped by a true contentment.
So much so, that the aroma of our homes is flavored with
rest so palpably that our neighbors can feel the difference
when they visit. Oh that this theology would form how we
celebrate the birth of the King!
Teach us to long for nothing but the peace of our Author and
Perfecter of faith as we journey through this broken world.