by Lois Tverberg
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
The main picture of the Messiah is that of God’s chosen king. The prophecies that predict this begin in the life of King David when God promises David that one of his descendants would have a kingdom without end. It says,
“When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. ” (1 Chronicles. 17:11-13)
One thing that Christians may overlook is that many prophecies about the Messiah do not expressly say that he would be God in the flesh. The term “Son of God” can refer to divinity, but also is occasionally used about angels and even people (see Genesis 6:2, Job 1:6 or Matt 5:9). In the passage above, it could be interpreted to mean that the messianic king would be so close to God that he would be like a son to him. In the life of Jesus we often look at his miracles as proof of divinity. But Moses and Elijah and others had done miracles before him, so even that isn’t conclusive.
An intriguing study is to find the passages in the Old Testament said that the messianic king who was coming would be God himself. One passage is below:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom. (Is 9:6-7)
It is very clear that the passage is talking about the messianic king from David’s line, and also very clear that it refers to him with the words “Mighty God,” and “Everlasting Father.” One other important thing to note is that there are several precedents for God walking on earth in the Old Testament scriptures. It says that God walked in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8), and that he visited Abraham and ate with him (Genesis 18:1-13). To see God walking again on earth as a man should not be a shock if he has done it before. The idea of the Messiah as God in the flesh is consistent with the witness of what the rest of scripture says about God’s ways.
We have hardly scratched the surface of the texts that point to the divinity of Christ, although some are indirect allusions. Jesus refers to many of them and applies them to himself, and his first followers would have recognized them. Jesus used many of them to proclaim himself as Messiah, and even God in the flesh.
Photo: Edal Anton Lefterov