“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, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
“It’s your birthday? How wonderful!”
“You’ve passed your exams! How wonderful!”
“You just won Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes? How wonderful!”
Today, this word “wonderful” (that which excites or calls forth wonder) has lost its significance due to the fact we use it so often to describe everyday events. However, when Isaiah used it to describe the coming Messiah seven hundred years before His birth, it wasn’t so familiar. It was a momentous word that caught the hearts and hope of a people living in darkness and despair.
The Hebrew word for wonderful that Isaiah penned is “pala.” “Pala” indicates something uncommon or out of the ordinary; something outside the realm of human explanation. This “wonderful” is separated from the normal course of human events.
It makes no difference what language we speak, “wonder” means exactly what it says. It means “filling one with wonder.”
Why is He called Wonderful?
The divine nature of Christ is indeed wonderful.
Christ is the Marvel of marvels, the Miracle of miracles. “His name shall be called Miraculous (Isaiah 9:6c Steph’s translation),” for He is more than a man; He is God’s highest miracle. He is God manifested in the flesh.( John 1:1)
The power of Christ is indeed wonderful.
In Genesis 18, when Sarah was told that she would have a son at the age of ninety, she laughed. God then asked Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The Hebrew word translated “hard” in that verse is the same word translated “wonderful” in Isaiah 9.
When the angel told Mary she would conceive and bear a child, she asked, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” The angel’s response? “For nothing is impossible with God (Lk 1:37).” “Nothing is impossible” is another translation of the Greek word meaning “wonderful.” Therefore, not only is Jesus wonderful because of His divine nature, but also, He is wonderful because He makes all things possible. Nothing is too hard for Him! He enables us to rise above the darkest storm, financial crisis, grief or loneliness because He is “wonderful.”
There is more!
Jesus is wonderful because He knows no limits.
Jesus is wonderful in character.
He is wonderful in love.
He is wonderful in mercy and grace.
Jesus is wonderful in His teachings and His guidance.
When visited by the Angel of the Lord, Manoah asked the angel his name. The Angel of the Lord replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding” (wonderful, pala) (Judges 13:18). He is wonderful because He is beyond our human understanding.
Have we become too familiar with Jesus? Do we no longer look on Him with the wonder and awe He deserves?
Our Messiah should fill us with wonder. It should be like Christmas morning everyday for those of us who have put our hope and trust in the Lord. (2 Cor 9:15)
Lastly, He is called “Wonderful” because He is our Savior.
“Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.” Anon
The historical event of Jesus’ coming is incomplete until He has come personally into your heart as Savior and Lord. Christ was born FOR us that He might be born IN us. Christ does the saving; we do the receiving! (Ephesians 2:8)
Is there room in your heart and life for Jesus this Christmas?
As I ponder over this verse, my mind drifts back to my childhood, where, in a little country church, I learned to sing a chorus called, “His Name is Wonderful.”
It was written one Christmas morning in the 1950s, when a young woman named Audrey Mieir was seated in church, enjoying a children’s performance. She was so enthralled by the beauty and festivity of the day that she was only half listening when the pastor opened his Bible to Isaiah 9:6 and began to read. As the pastor’s voice spoke the words, His Name shall be called Wonderful, the Holy Spirit jumped within Audrey’s heart and she began to hear a melody forming in her mind. She quickly wrote down these four lines on the flyleaf of her Bible:
His Name is Wonderful,
His Name is Wonderful, His Name is Wonderful,
Jesus my Lord
Precious ones, as we go into this Christmas season, may we be reminded of Who it is we celebrate! Let us give Him the awe and the adoration He deserves.
Let it penetrate into your heart and life, reminding you this Christmas Season why He is called… Wonderful. May He “fill you with wonder” this day and every day!
His Name Is Wonderful (click to watch video)