More music has been written about Jesus Christ than about any other person who has ever lived. Of all those songs, most of them have focused on our Lord’s birth. Even more interestingly, many of these songs focus less on the birth of the child and more on His status as a king.
Although we know the child was born a king, He didn't have, by human definition, a kingly birth—spending His first night on earth in a feed trough, in an obscure little village. The story of Jesus Christ is incomplete if all we see is the manger scene. We only grasp the full story when we understand that He is a king. And not just any king, but the King of all kings.
The Promised Messiah
The prophet Isaiah lived 700 years before Jesus was born, and God enabled him to look into the future in order to write his prophecy. It's an incredible book—sixty-six chapters long—and much of it focuses on the coming of Messiah. The Jewish people were asking, “How do we know when Messiah comes? How do we know when the Redeemer arrives? How do we know when the Savior is born?” And in the seventh chapter of his prophecy, Isaiah makes it clear: you will know when Messiah comes because the Lord Himself will give you a sign.
And here is the sign: a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son (Isa 7:14). This is a miracle. Virgins don't have children. But it happened once in human history, in the person of Jesus Christ. That's the fulfillment of the divine sign.
That Son, God says to Isaiah, will be called “Emmanuel” which means “God with us.” He will be born as a human, from a human mother, but He will be God with us. He will be both God and man.
But then the prophet Isaiah goes on to say something very important. This son who will be given to us will have the government upon His shoulders (Isa 9:6). He will be crowned the ruler of everything. He is the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Isaiah goes on to say this: “Of the increase of His kingdom there will be no end” (Isa 9:7). His kingdom will be inaugurated, and it will grow and expand until it fills the entire universe.
Right now, He rules over an invisible kingdom. He doesn't sit on a throne. He's not known and seen by the world, but He rules over the hearts of those who are His subjects—those who have confessed Him as Lord and Savior and sovereign King. He is our King, those of us who are true Christians, but in the future, His kingdom will become visible when He returns to reign on the earth.
At the end of that earthly kingdom, He will create a new heaven and a new earth. It will be a new universe, free from the stain of sin, in which He will reign forever. His kingdom will be established, says Isaiah, and sustained with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The obscurity of Jesus’ birth—Joseph and Mary, the lowly manger, the humble shepherds—would never for a moment have suggested that the child who was born would rule the entire universe. But that's the story the Bible tells.
Sometimes you hear of kings being referred to as “His Majesty” or “His Eminence” or some other kind of elevated, noble title. In ancient times when kings were coronated, they were given enthronement names like these as a way for the people who were crowning them to officially give them honor. God told Isaiah that when Jesus is enthroned, He will be given four enthronement names.
He will be called Wonderful Counselor: a wonder of a counselor or an amazing or astonishing counselor. In other words, He will be marked by wisdom that is beyond our comprehension. If He is to have an everlasting kingdom, He can only perpetuate His everlasting rule by making wise decisions. Here is the infinitely wise, omniscient King who knows everything, makes every decision in perfect wisdom, and never has to alter a decision because He is the Wonderful Counselor. He will rule with perfect knowledge and perfect wisdom.
He will be given another name: Mighty God. That is to say, He is God and He is mighty or all-powerful. He is not only omniscient; He is omnipotent. For a king to perpetuate his kingdom, he must have more power than anyone who assaults his kingdom. There is no one who can assault the kingdom of our King. There is no one who can vanquish our King. There is no one who can overthrow our King. He is the Mighty God.
They will give him another name: Eternal Father. This means father in every sense of the word. A father is a protector. A father is the guardian of his family. A father is the provider. A father is the source of all that the family has. He's the caretaker of the family.
This ruler, this glorious King, will also be to us a guardian, a protector, and a provider who has in His eternal storehouse everything we will ever need, forever. He has already begun to dispense those treasures to those who are part of His spiritual kingdom, even now. No matter how much He gives us—and He gives us mercies every morning that are new, extending us grace upon grace out of the richness of His treasury—His treasury is never diminished.
Prince of Peace
They give Him a fourth name: Prince of Peace. When you think of a prince, you probably think about someone who isn't really important. He's the king in waiting, superfluous until his father dies. But that's not the idea of the word used here. This word means ruler. They will call Him the Ruler of Peace. In other words, His kingdom will be marked by infinite peace. There will be no conflict, no hostility, no warfare in His kingdom. It is a kingdom defined by peace.
Can you imagine a ruler like this? A King with perfect knowledge and absolute, invincible power who is the guardian of His people. This King is a protector and provider, with endless, eternal sources, and He provides perfect, lasting peace for all in His kingdom. And out of that peace comes bliss, joy, gratitude, praise, and worship forever and ever.
The world could use a ruler like that. There is only one who can fill that role, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why Has God Given Us Such a King?
In Isaiah 9:7, the prophet says, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this." The Lord God has determined to give us this King because of His zeal—because of His passion. This is all based on this great truth, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). God the Father gives us this King out of His great love.
God gave us not just a baby in a manger. He gave us a great King—the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father, the Prince of Peace—to rule over us, forever and ever.
This kingdom is offered to you if you will but confess Jesus as Savior and Lord—if you will acknowledge that He died on the cross as a substitute for sinners and that He rose again, having justified those who put their faith in Him. If you will confess Him as your Lord and your King, you will now today be in His kingdom. And you will experience all that His spiritual kingdom dispenses to those who belong to Him. You will one day participate in the glory of that earthly rule and then spend forever and ever in the bliss and joy of eternal heaven.
The question is, is He your King? The message of Christmas is not just sentimental. It is a profound message of salvation. The King has come. Will you bend your knee and bow low? Will you acknowledge His royal majesty, confess Him as your King, and receive the eternal blessings He offers?