Mary reflects on the scripture from Isaiah 9:6 and shares her insights. She discusses the different titles of God given in the scripture and encourages us to call upon Him this season.
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Reflective Study Guide Questions
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us;Isaiah 9:6
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.”
“As a mother delights in taking her child on her knees, in caressing and feeding him, so does our God delight in treating with love and tenderness those souls who give themselves entirely to Him, and place all their hopes in His goodness and bounty.”Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church
- We have to have a willing heart and a willingness to listen to God to be advised and to be counseled by Him. We do that through our prayer life and by having a good relationship with the Lord. What is one thing that you could use God’s guidance in? How have you been willing to listen to Him speak to you about that matter? How have you had an open heart to what He has to say about it?
- It can be easy to forget that God can do amazing, miraculous things in our lives. It can be easy to forget that He is capable of things we could never believe He could do. Have you thought this way before? Have you limited the possibilities for what you believe God can do for you? Take a moment and try to unlearn those thoughts. Try to believe that He is mighty, that He is powerful. If it doesn’t come naturally, ask God in prayer to help you believe it.
- How have you seen the mightiness of God in your life? What has He done that has surprised you, that has moved mountains for you when you needed it?
- God our Father provides and protects. How has He done this for you? How has He fathered you? If you don’t have the experience of having a relationship with Him as your Father, give it a try sometime this Advent. Run to Him with your needs as a child does, and ask for His help.
- Consider writing down these titles of Jesus. Make a list of them. What would you add to the list? Who is God to you? What names or titles do you use for Him?
Text: Isaiah 9:6: the Titles of Jesus
Hi everybody. My name is Mary Lenaburg, and it’s an absolute privilege to be with you today. During this talk, we’re going to look at a piece of scripture, verse and scripture, from Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6. And specifically, we’re going to look at the 4 titles of Jesus that are contained within it. But before we get started, we’re going to ask Our Lady – she’s right here over my shoulder – we’re going to ask her into our time together. We’re going to ask for her intercession, so that whatever words of wisdom and grace the Lord needs you to hear, that your heart might be open to that, and mine as well. Shall we begin?
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for our sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
So if you have a Bible close by, go ahead and get your Bible out and let’s read this verse together. Again, this is Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6. For onto us a child is born. To 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. I love that scripture. I love it. It’s… My husband’s favorite piece of music is Handel’s Messiah. And for those of you that have ever heard that, this scripture is contained within it, and it’s just so powerful and moving when it’s sung. I encourage you this Advent season, if you’ve never listened to Handel’s Messiah to listen to it. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful piece of music, and it contains so many… it’s rich with scripture.
Anyways, let’s go ahead and look at the 4 titles of Jesus that are contained within this scripture, starting with Wonderful Counselor. So, the first thing you hear is Wonderful Counselor. So not angry counselor, not disconnected counselor, not a dispassionate counselor, not a grumpy counselor, but a Wonderful Counselor. And if we break down the words, “wonderful,” the word for “wonderful” in Hebrew is “Pele,” meaning “wonder” or “miracle”. So right away, we have a different understand of what wonderful means: Miraculous, awe-inspiring, unbelievable. Counsel, we look at the biblical understanding of counsel, and this is a little bit different than what we understand in today’s culture, where when you go to a counselor, you speak, the counselor listens, validates, sometimes advises, but mostly listens. The biblical understanding of counsel is a little deeper, and it involves careful listening, and leading, and advising. It’s usually someone filled with deep wisdom who knows how to live life rightly, and is willing to share that wisdom through counsel. Not for their own benefit, but for yours.
So when you look at this title of Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, He is a miraculous advisor. He understands everything that you’re going through, and wishes to be with you in that situation. The key here is we have to have an open heart and a willingness to listen, and to be advised, and to be counseled. And we do that through our prayer life. We do that through having a right relationship with the Lord. It is not impossible. Whatever it is you are needing counsel on this Advent season, I encourage you to call upon Jesus under the title Wonderful Counselor, to allow Him to work through the confusion that you may have, to create miracles within that question, a miracle of understanding, a miracle of grace, and allow Him to accompany you in the struggle. Allow Him to be your Wonderful Counselor, your miracle worker. It’s a beautiful title, and it’s one that I have called upon many, many times in my life.
Let’s continue on to Mighty God. Now, this particular title of Jesus has kind of been argued about for 2,000 years. Basically, during my research for this piece, I could not find a specific definition that everyone could agree on. All sides of theology could agree on. Basically what it comes down to is God cannot be contained in one word, okay. And we all know that, because He is God. He is outside time, and outside sometimes our own understanding. There is a mystery to Him. We will never fully understand who He is until we are with Him. So let’s break down the words “Mighty God.” Mighty: possessing tremendous power. Well, God does that. Who is God? He’s omniscient, He’s omnipotent, He’s all- knowing and all-seeing. So He is a mountain-mover, He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has come in throughout salvation history and mightily moved among the people. He parted the Red Sea, He took down the Wall of Jericho. He, I mean, Jesus himself, through the miracle oat Cana, the water into wine, He rose Lazarus from the dead. He is a mighty God.
So what mountain do you need moved this Advent? What is it that you’re struggling with that you need a Mighty God to come in and to part that sea for you? There are so many things in my life. I’m just amazed at God’s mightiness, and awesomeness, and power. He always surprises me. There are times where I see nothing but a mountain, and not only is there a mountain standing in front of me; I can’t even see my way on how I’m going to climb the mountain, how I’m going to get around it, do I have to go up over? I mean, how much pain and suffering is going to be involved in this mountain? And so I bring that need to my Mighty God, and I say to Him “I can’t do this. I… I don’t know how to get up that mountain. I… I don’t know how to go across that sea. You have to part it for me. I can’t do it on my own.” And if it be His will, number 1, and if it be for your good, number 2, then stand back and watch the mightiness of God.
Those 2 points though are key. If it be His will, and if it be for your good. There are many things in my life that I see as mountains that really aren’t. They’re mine. I have put those obstacles in my own way. And by going to my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, He shows me through scripture, through prayer, through other people that those are obstacles that are not His, they’re my own. And therefore I’m able to take them out of the way, because they don’t need to be there. They’re just how I see things. My perspective is changed because of the wise counsel I’ve received, because I’ve relied on the mightiness of God to create that miracle in my life, that miracle of understanding. So, what mountain do you need moved? Allow God to move it with His mightiness, in His awesomeness.
The next title we have in front of us in this scripture is Everlasting Father. Now, father sometimes is a hard word for some of us. Some of us, some of you have experienced very difficult relationships with your earthly father. You’ve either been deeply wounded by them, abandoned by them, they’ve been apathetic towards you, there is deep sorrow within that father-daughter, father-son relationship. And under the title of Everlasting Father, God can heal that. He can restore right relationship, because He is our Everlasting Father. So what does that mean?
Well, the actual Hebrew translation, the direct translation means “Father of Eternity.” Wow. Father of Eternity. That means His fatherhood will never end. It goes on for eternity. So what does a father do? A father provides, a father protects. Well, even if your earthly father failed in those things, your Heavenly Father, your Everlasting Father never fails. Not only that, but His fatherhood is eternal, thereby His provision and His protection never end. You never age out of fatherhood. He will always be there for you. It doesn’t end with death. He continues to protect, He continues to provide for an eternity. So what is it you need? What is it that you need? I know I repeated myself, but really our needs are both physical, emotional, and spiritual. What exists for you that you need your Everlasting Father to open His arms wide and love you through?
Think of the prodigal son. No matter how many times, we are all the prodigal son. Sometimes we’re the prodigal son’s brother, standing in judgment, but we’ve done everything right, and then somebody comes along who screwed up and they get more than we do. But they don’t with the Everlasting Father. We all get what we need. His arms are open wide to you. Even if you have turned away from Him in the past, restore that relationship through reconciliation and confession. Run to His arms, and allow Him to love you, to protect you, to provide for you in all of your needs, no matter what they are. Call upon Him this Advent season as the Everlasting Father. He will not disappoint you. It’s not possible for God.
Prince of Peace
The last title within this scripture is Prince of Peace. So if we look at the Hebrew meaning of peace, “Shalom,” it’s a calm tranquility among individuals, peoples, nations. The Hebrew word for peace is “Eirene,” which means… Well, Saint Paul used it. It means unity and accord. That’s what his objective was for the New Testament Church. He wanted unity and accord among the Christians. But the definition we’re going to use for our purposes today is more foundational I guess is the right way to say it. We’re going to look at the spiritual harmony brought about by restoration of relationship with God. God is our Prince of Peace. If we are in right relationship with Him, then no matter what trial or tribulation we are facing, we may call upon the Prince of Peace and He will enter into that situation. And maybe the trial will continue, the tribulation will go on, but our hearts, our souls will be at peace with what needs to be done, with what needs to happen. We will be at peace.
So, the Prince of Peace is also kind of… it’s the fullness of who The Messiah is. Not only is He God of flesh, but He’s the second person in The Trinity. And through the cross, through His sufferings on the cross, through His death and resurrection, He leaves with us the Holy Spirit, who is the great encourager. If Satan is the great discourager, the Holy Spirit is the great encourager, and he cancels out anything that Satan can do. He destroys him. All that chaos, all that confusion, the Holy Spirit comes in and peace descends. So what is it that you’re going through? What struggle are you facing right now? Where do you need peace in your life? Call upon the Prince of Peace.
He never promised, Jesus never promised us that things would be easy. My life has not always been easy. I have struggled in my marriage, I have struggled in my faith, I have buried a child. These are not easy things. But there is peace and even joy in my life, because when I struggle and when I enter into those times of anxiety and confusion, I call upon the Prince of Peace, and calm descends in the midst of the storm. A calm that is beyond my own understanding and my own strength, because it comes straight from God.
So, my friends, this Advent season, I encourage you to call upon Jesus in these 4 ways. To call upon the Wonderful Counselor to minister to you, to counsel to you, to accompany you on the journey; to call upon a Mighty God to move the mountains and bring about a path for you, to let Him show you His awesomeness and His glory; To call upon the Everlasting Father, to enter into restoration and right relationship with the Lord, to allow Him to provide for your every need; And finally, to ask the Prince of Peace into your heart, that no matter the trial or tribulation you may be facing, that God’s peace, that surpasses all understanding, will rule the day. It is an amazing piece of scripture, Isaiah 9:6, that contains 4 titles of Jesus, that if we ask Him in under those titles, our hearts can be transformed this Advent, and we… our relationship with the Lord can be made stronger. Isn’t that what we all want? It’s what I want for you, it’s what I pray for you this Advent season. And in that vein, as we end this time together, let’s pray the prayer that Jesus taught us. The Our Father. Shall we pray it together?
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
My friends, I wish you, I pray for you a happy and holy Advent season and a most blessed Christmas.
About Mary Lenaburg
Mary Lenaburg is a writer, speaker, wife and mother sharing her witness and testimony about God’s Redeeming love. After suffering a miscarriage, she gave birth to her son Jonathan in 1989. After another miscarriage, her daughter Courtney arrived August 1992. On September 27, 1992, while being baptized, Courtney had the first of many grand-mal seizures. Going from the church to the emergency room, Mary’s world changed forever. For the next twenty-two years Mary and her family took a spiritual journey that led them to Lourdes, France, numerous hospitals and specialists with their daughter and finally to home-based hospice. Courtney took her last breath this side of heaven on December 27, 2014, the feast of St. John the Beloved, while in her mother’s arms. She is now her parents and big brothers most powerful intercessor. Mary lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of 28 years and her grown son. She continues to embrace her father’s advice: Never quit, never give up, never lose your faith. It’s the one reason you walk this earth. For God just this time and place just for you, so make the most of it. Mary can be found on-line at www.marylenaburg.com