Celebrating the Arrival: Mighty God | Part 3


Celebrating the Arrival: God with us Part 1 | Wonderful Counselor Part 2

We’ve already looked at the name Immanuel (God with us) and then started on Isaiah 9:6 with wonderful Counselor. Now we look at the title Mighty God. This title compliments wonderful counselor. Not only will Immanuel have the miraculous ability to change lives, he will have the power to save. This idea of power and authority is emphasized doubly in the Hebrew. The Hebrew el (God) references someone who is a mighty warrior or of high rank and then you have the reemphasis with mighty. This title affirms the deity of Christ. He will be fully God with all the power and authority that comes along with being God. Charles Spurgeon elaborates

The term here used for God, El, is taken from a Hebrew or root, which, as I take it, signifies strength; and perhaps a literal translation even of that title might be, "The Strong one," the strong God. But there is added to this an adjective in the Hebrew, expressive of mightiness, and the two taken together express the omnipotence of Christ, his real deity and his omnipotence, as standing first and foremost among the attributes which the prophet beheld. "The mighty God." . . .

The question has sometimes been proposed to me, how it is that those of us who hold the divinity of Christ manifest what is called uncharitableness towards those who deny him. We do continually affirm that an error, with regard to the divinity of Christ, is absolutely fatal, and that a man cannot be right in his judgment upon any part of the gospel unless he think rightly of him who is personally the very center of all the purposes of heaven, and the foundation of all the hopes of earth. ("His Name--Mighty God" A Sermon No. 258)

Mighty does suggest raw strength and ability but it’s other usages (Nehemiah 9:32 and Jeremiah 32:18) are in the context of ability to faithfully fulfill his covenant:

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

There is then an allusion in my estimation that this child will not only be God with respect to strength but his power and authority will be used to once and for all fulfill the terms of this wonderful covenant refrain that’s so prominent in the Old Testament.

Jesus’s incarnation embodies and demonstrates for us what “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” looks like in human flesh. So as you celebrate the arrival of Jesus, when you stare into the manager and see the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, see the faithfulness of God to save everyone who believes.