JESUS MADE no command, nor even implied that His followers should celebrate His birthday, however, Christians throughout the world have traditionally recognized December 25th as the day to specially commemorate the birth of the Savior of the world. Although we do not agree that December 25th was the day that Jesus was born,1 we are thankful that a day has been set aside to specially reflect upon His birth, including the exchanging of gifts, etc.
In our text, the word “gift” is translated from the Greek word “dorea” which is derived from the word “doron,” meaning free will offering, or sacrifice; and the word “unspeakable” gives the thought of indescribable. A few other versions render the last part of our text as: “for his inestimable gift,” “for his incomparable gift,” for his inexpressible gift” and “for his gift beyond words.” Of course, God’s unspeakable gift is Jesus Christ.
A Remarkable Messianic Prophecy
Jesus is the center and focus of the Bible. He is also its heart, who gives life to its every part. Every book, chapter and verse of the Bible is directly or indirectly related to Him. The Messianic prophecies, 120 in number, are the Divinely inspired Old Testament predictions which find their fulfillment in Jesus during either His First or His Second Advent. Let us consider one of the greatest of these – Isaiah 9: 2-7:
V. 2: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”
Although this passage reads as though it was in the past, it is clearly future, and consists of two applications:
(1.) The Jews in Galilee lived a humble life and were somewhat separated from their more prosperous brethren. They were viewed as being in greater darkness, yet it was in Galilee where Jesus performed most of His works (Matthew 4: 14-16).
(2.) The greater application applies to the world during Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. The expression “shadow of death” (compare Psalm 23: 4) refers to the rigors of the curse that bring mankind into the death state, especially Fleshly Israel, who are also under the condemnation of their Law Covenant. The “light” is Jesus and His Church, who will shine upon Fleshly Israel and the world during Christ’s Mediatorial Reign.
Simeon prophesied of Jesus in Luke 2: 32: “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” This verse speaks of the salvation of the Church and of the world. And St. John states that Jesus will ultimately enlighten all men (John 1: 9).
V. 3: “Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.”
Please note that the word “not” does not appear in the oldest manuscripts. This passage also has two applications:
(1.) Fleshly Israel, who have been, and will continue to be multiplied as the Lord gathers them to their homeland from all the nations. Their numbers will continue to increase as the Ancient Worthies and those Jews in the death state are raised from the dead. They will all rejoice together in the future “restitution of all things.”
(2.) The greater application applies to the world, who will be multiplied in numbers by the resurrection process, and who will rejoice in all the Kingdom blessings.
V. 4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.”
The word “For” indicates that the cause for the rejoicing follows. The two applications are:
(1.) Fleshly Israel, who will be delivered from the oppression and the persecutions that they have suffered at the hands of the Gentiles.
(2.) The world, who will be delivered from sin, pain, sorrow, error, death and Satan.
The deliverance of fleshly Israel and the world will be “as in the day of Midian.” This expression refers to the great victory of Gideon and his band of three hundred over the Midianites. Likewise, Jesus and His Church will gain a great victory over Satan’s present order by the power of God.
V. 5: “For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.”
This verse gives a brief, but graphic description of the Time of Trouble. The first part of the verse describes an ordinary battle, but the second part indicates that the Time of Trouble will be much more catastrophic in comparison, especially the destructive forces of anarchy toward the end of the Time of Trouble.
V. 6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Again, the word “For” indicates that the explanation of the process by which this prophecy of blessing shall be accomplished follows:
“Unto us a child is born.” This expression refers to Jesus’ birth as if the prophet was present when He was born, and it was fulfilled in the angel’s announcement to the shepherds (Luke 2: 10, 11). This describes the first step in man’s recovery from condemnation and death – the Logos (our Lord in His pre-human nature) was made flesh (became human).
“Unto us a son is given” – God’s unspeakable gift (see also John 3: 16).
This prophecy passes over Jesus’ earthy ministry, His death as the Ransom sacrifice and His Gospel Age ministry, all of which are explained in other Scriptures. We then read, “the government shall be upon his shoulder.” This clause states Jesus’ right to govern the world, which right He received at His resurrection (Matthew 28: 18).
Five Titles of Jesus
“His name shall be called.” Now follows five of Jesus’ titles, each one describing a feature of His greatness in His Kingdom:
“Wonderful” – Jesus has, and will have the most wonderful career and character of all God’s creatures. He left the glory of a high spiritual nature to become a man, to suffer and die for Father Adam and his race. As a reward for His faithfulness, He was raised to the Divine nature, and is the express image of God’s character.
“Counsellor” – Jesus will be a wise and highly esteemed Teacher and Guide to the world, providing the people with instructions in righteousness.
“Mighty God” – The word “God” here means “mighty one,” so this expression literally means “mighty, mighty One,” though not the Almighty One, whose Representative He is.
“everlasting Father” – When Jesus was raised from the dead He became the Second Adam,2 and as such, will be the Life-Giver to the world during His Millennial Kingdom. He earned that right by becoming the Ransom sacrifice for Father Adam and all his descendants. During His Kingdom, He will give His human merit to the world, and the obedient will be brought up to human perfection. Please note from this title that He will be a “father forever” to the perfected human family.
“Prince of Peace” – Although Jesus will not be recognized as the Prince of Peace at the beginning of His Reign, once He has overthrown “this present evil world,” He will proceed to establish a sure and lasting peace between God and man and between man and man.
V. 7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
The first part of this passage indicates that Jesus’ Kingdom will be spreading during the entire Millennium, and that it will never come to an end. In the phrase “throne of David,” please note that the name David signifies “beloved.” King David sat on the “throne of the kingdom of the LORD,” but that kingdom was only typical. Furthermore, he only sat on it until his death, at which time it was passed on to Solomon, and so on, until Zedekiah, its last king. The authority to sit on the “throne” was then removed until the rightful one should inherit it (Ezekiel 21: 27). Our Lord in the flesh was a descendant of David, and therefore became the legitimate heir through His mother Mary. Our Lord is therefore the antitypical David, who during the Millennial Age Kingdom, will establish it on a just basis. The last part of this passage indicates that God will accomplish all of this through Messiah.
1 Please see Birth of Jesus in our Question section.
2 Please see Last or Second Adam in our Question section.