“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
Isaiah 9:6 tells us that God’s promised child, the Prince of Peace, has other titles, including “Everlasting Father”. This made me ponder – just what does everlasting mean to us? It is certainly far more than just a long period of time! And then there are other words associated with God: awesome (Psalm 145:6), magnificent (Isaiah 28:29), splendour (1 Chronicles 16:29), wise (Romans 16:27)…the list goes on and on.
However, we are only getting a limited look at the One who allows humans existence, which can cause us to worry—surely being in God’s presence would be too much for us mortal creatures. Perhaps the instruction given to Old Testament Israel, in front of Mount Sinai, is eminently sensible: “Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death” (Exodus 19:12). Can we come into the presence of God without perishing?
Christians do believe that the Prince of Peace did walk the earth; we know him as Jesus. And Jesus is not God in limited form, Colossians 1:19 tells us something quite staggering about him: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” Such a claim would seem to suggest that Jesus would be too holy to approach, that to survive, we would all need to keep our distance.
Yet, the Bible clearly shows Jesus interacting with all those around him. He eats with people in their homes and accepts invitations to parties and weddings! There were no commands from Jesus like “do not come any closer” or “take off your sandals” (Exodus 3:5), as faced by Moses at the burning bush.
Yes, the Son of God, Jesus, did walk this earth. And the amazing truth is that he came to be with humanity—yes, to be with us! All of us. Our God is a wonderful God who has outgoing concern for us all. This he demonstrated by bringing his Son into the world, so that God can dwell with us – for all eternity.
Dear Holy Father, you who love us because you are Love, please help us to realise this love in our lives. We ask this for us all, in Jesus’ holy name.
Study by John Merchant, of Grace Communion Nottingham
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