Wonderful

Written by Rev Reggor Galarpe

Of the titles of Christ mentioned in Isaiah 9:6, let us consider the very first – “Wonderful”. The word “wonderful” is often used as an expression to describe something that is beyond the common or the ordinary. It speaks of something that is altogether unlike anything else. It describes something or someone too marvellous even to comprehend, and is synonymous with words like magnificent, amazing, fantastic and astonishing. Indeed, everything about Him is wonderful! Let us briefly consider a few wonderful truths about Him:

1. Wonderful in His person – The truth about Christ’s nature being 100% God and 100% Man is a thing beyond comprehension. It is simply amazing that He that is to be born a “child” and to be given as a “son”, is also “The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father”. In His being “a child” and “a son”, Christ’s perfect humanity is portrayed; and in His being “The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father, His absolute deity, complete with His omnipotence and eternity, is manifested.

Another aspect of His person to take note of is the wonderful truth about His birth, which is His virgin birth. Isaiah 7:14 declares: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (cf. Matthew 1:23). Even Mary herself, when she was told by the angel Gabriel, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS”, could only say, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:30-31, 34). Simply, His birth is too wonderful and beyond comprehension!

2. Wonderful in His prophesied coming – Shortly after the fall, we are given a glimpse of the Messiah’s coming when God said to the serpent in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The woman and her seed were further revealed in Isaiah 7:14, where the woman was identified as “a virgin” and her seed “a son” whose name shall be called Immanuel (whom we would know more about as revealed in Isaiah 9:6!).

These, as with all other Old Testament prophecies of Christ’s coming, were plainly proclaimed in the following New Testament passages: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:21-23); “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11); “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). All the wonderful prophecies of the coming Messiah were fulfilled in this “child”!

3. Wonderful in His preaching and teaching – During His earthly ministry, we often find the Lord Jesus engaged in the ministry of teaching and preaching that always left His listeners in awe. We read in Mark 6:1-2 – “And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?” (cf. Matthew 7:28-29; Luke 4:31-32).

Even when He was young, at the age of twelve, Jesus was found in the temple having a discussion with the experts of the Law as recorded in Luke 2:46-47 – “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” In John’s Gospel, we read of the chief priests and Pharisees sending officers to arrest Jesus. Instead of taking Him captive, they were captivated by His words as they paused to listen to His preaching (John 7:32-44)! When the officers were asked why they had not brought Jesus with them, they replied, “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). All His listeners were held in awe, being astonished at His teaching and amazed by His preaching.

4. Wonderful in His power – While He was on earth, Jesus performed many miracles, signs and wonders that would authenticate His Messiahship and, in a way, affirm His omnipotence. In the gospels, we read of His power to heal sickness and diseases, even bringing the dead to life again; His power over nature (walking on water, calming the winds and the waves, etc.); and His power over unclean and evil spirits. We read in Matthew 4:23-24 – “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them” (cf. Matthew 12:22; Mark 1:25-27, 32-34; Luke 4:40). John the beloved apostle, attesting to the great and mighty works of His Master, wrote in John 21:25 – “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” Above all, Jesus has the power to forgive sins! In one account, we read of one paralytic brought to Jesus by his four friends: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5; cf. Matthew 9:2; Luke 5:20).

5. Wonderful in His purpose – We can think of many verses that tell us of the purpose of Jesus’ coming but these two verses would suffice: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21); “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). His name speaks well of the purpose of His coming, for Jesus Christ means the “Anointed Saviour”.And speaking of His name, Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” One may ask, “How did Jesus accomplish His purpose?” Jesus accomplished salvation for us by His perfect obedience as seen in His willingness to offer Himself as a sacrifice without blemish and without spot to be the propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:24-25; 1 John 2:2, 4:10; 1 Peter 3:18). Jesus sacrificed Himself for sinners like us as He is our Wonderful Saviour!

There is no other person who is willing to do it as much as there is no one else who is able to accomplish such a great purpose. Romans 5:6-8 – “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Just as He is wonderful in His person, prophecies, preaching and power, Christ is also wonderful in His purpose – for He is our Wonderful Saviour! The thought of Jesus as the Wonderful Saviour has been the favourite theme of many hymn-writers. Oh how we love to sing them! So wonderful is Jesus that the apostle Paul can only say, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15)! Truly, everything about Jesus is wonderful, just as the prophet Isaiah has declared, “…his name shall be called Wonderful.”

Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy, 25 November, 2018