On Sunday 24th November, 2019 Luke was born and Charlotte and I announced the birth of our son. It was a low key birth announcement - we sent a WhatsApp message to family and friends. On Thursday 26th November, 2020 Arlo was born and Kurt and Martha announced the birth of their son. A few days later - on Tuesday 1st December - Jack was born and Andy and Gemma announced the birth of their son. It was another low key birth announcement - I received a WhatsApp message from Andy. There was a picture of the baby and the message simply said: Introducing Jack Edwin Ian Roddy.
When Luke was born, when Arlo was born, when Jack was born, when any baby is born, there’s usually some sort of birth announcement. And in Isaiah 9:6 there’s another birth announcement. Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6 says: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… This is a birth announcement. Isaiah is saying, 'It’s a boy!'
But this isn’t a regular birth announcement. This is a royal birth announcement. This baby boy will be a future King. Isaiah says: …the government will be on his shoulders. And in the next verse he says: He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom…
This is a royal birth announcement, announcing the birth of a future King. But there’s something strange here. Most birth announcements come after the baby is born (you don’t send that WhatsApp message until the baby’s been safely delivered). But this birth announcement comes before the baby is born.
Writing 700 years or so later, Matthew - one of the New Testament authors - refers back to Isaiah. And he says - when Jesus Christ was born - Isaiah 9 was fulfilled. This royal birth announcement in Isaiah 9:6 is announcing the birth of Jesus Christ, 700 years or so before he was safely delivered!
This is an unusual birth announcement, but that’s because the baby to be born will be unique. On the one hand he’ll be like us. He’ll be like any other baby boy - like Luke, like Arlo, like Jack. But on the other hand he’ll be unlike us. Yes, he’ll be truly human, but he’ll also be truly divine. And there’s a hint of that in Isaiah 9:6. He’ll be human: …to us a child is born… But he’ll also be divine: …to us a son is given…
The most famous verse in the Bible is probably John chapter 3 verse 16. John 3:16 says: …God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… Isaiah 9:6 says: …to us a son is given. 700 years or so before Jesus Christ was safely delivered, Isaiah says, God will give the world his one and only Son.
This baby boy will be unique. Not only will he be a King, but he’ll reign on David’s throne - verse 7 - for ever. That’s pretty unique! Queen Elizabeth II has been on her throne for nearly 70 years, but Isaiah says, Jesus Christ will be on his throne for ever. Isaiah’s saying: 'There hasn’t been and there won’t be a monarch in the history of humanity whose reign will last like that of Jesus Christ.' That’s pretty unbelievable!
When Charlotte and I announced Luke’s birth we announced his names - Luke Zachary Herring. Kurt and Martha did the same - Arlo William Stewart Bell. Andy and Gemma did the same - Jack Edwin Ian Roddy. And Isaiah does the same. Isaiah announces that this baby boy will have four names: And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). And this Christmas at the Village Church - especially at our Sunday morning services - we’ll be reflecting on what these names mean.