What’s in a name?

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6

In William Shakespeare’s most famous play, Juliet asks the question, “What’s in a name?”

She was trying to convey to her star-crossed lover Romeo that his last name “Montague” didn’t matter to her. It didn’t matter that he was from a family that was a sworn enemy of her own. Regardless of what he was called, she was nevertheless captivated by him.

In that sense, names don’t really mean too much, do they?

But in today’s reading we find a name that matters very much indeed. And to answer Juliet’s question, there’s a WHOLE LOT in this one name.

Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah, Jesus. In this short verse he gives us four of the names by which this Messiah was to be known: Counselor, God, Father, Prince of Peace.

As our counselor, Jesus gives us comfort. He is mighty God in the flesh. As our everlasting Father, He welcomes us into His eternal family. And as the Prince of Peace, Jesus puts to death the enmity between God and humanity.

The name of Jesus, in fact, means everything!

As you prepare your heart for Christmas this Advent season, remember that the child whose birth we celebrate is the living, eternal, almighty God, and that He came to give you comfort and peace.

Prayer Challenge

Ask God today to give you insight into what each of these names of Jesus means to you.

Questions for thought

What are some names or attributes that come to mind when you think of Jesus?

Which of the four names listed in Isaiah 9:6 is most meaningful to you at this time in your life?