Key Verses: Isaiah 9:2, 6
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
…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, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The border between Zebulon and Naphtali (Isaiah 9:1) is exactly at the town of Capernaum, the place where Jesus lived, taught, and did many miracles for most of the years of His public ministry. Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew lived there. Truly these people saw “a great light!” (read Matthew 4:12-17).
Consider the names of Mary and Joseph’s Child and God’s Son. (1) “Wonderful!” In the Hebrew language this name means, “That which is miraculously accomplished by God.” (2) “Counsellor!” His counsel reveals the heart, mind and will of God. (3) “Mighty God!” No wonder that thousands of Jews, including some of the priests and rulers who believed Isaiah’s prophesies, believed that Jesus is fully God. (4) “Everlasting Father!” Jesus is the Giver of eternal life and is One with the Father (John 10:27-38). (5) “Prince of Peace!” Paul writes of Jesus, “He, Himself is our Peace!” (read Ephesians 2:14-17). Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). And in Isaiah 10:17, in the midst of prophesies of judgement, Isaiah declares that there is hope in “The Light of Israel!”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I thank You for the Child, and thank You for the gift of Your only begotten Son! All glory to You for the One who is 100% human and 100% God! Grant me, I pray, all the grace I need in order to enter more fully into His provisions for me, so that I will glorify You all the more. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Here, on the day after Christmas, it’s good to reflect on Jesus’ birth. Some of our blog partners have mentioned that December 25 is probably not the correct date of His birthday. However, I believe that it’s still a great celebration day. The world does pay attention, in spite of all the trappings of a traditional Christmas, to the fact that Jesus did come to live on the earth. There’s got to be an influence when we hear, as I did in a local mall, the words being sung, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come…born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.” I read that Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, was in the line of Abijah, one of the priestly families who served in the Temple for the month of March (approximately). If Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant immediately after Zechariah’s return home from the Temple, and we know that she was six months along when Mary arrived, then adding Mary’s nine months to Elizabeth’s six months, it would mean that Jesus was born 15 months later. The Shepherds did not pass on the date, neither did Mary and Joseph. The world’s most popular song, “Happy Birthday” had not yet been composed. I think that the message to us is not the date, but the fact that He was “born” and “given!” Let us rejoice and keep celebrating for the next 365 days. That way we’ll be sure to hit the right date. By the way, our friends from the Orthodox Churches celebrate January 6th, and the Armenian Church celebrates January 9th. I’ve just turned to Philippians 4:4 and read, “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS! AGAIN I WILL SAY, REJOICE!” I refuse to dampen my celebration in any way because of a confusion over dates.
Yours for celebration anyway and just because!