For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful…
I. THE GIFT ITSELF. Many precious gifts have come from heaven to earth, yea, all we have is Heaven's gift (James 1:17). But this is the great gift.
1. What this gift is.
(1) A Person. Persons are more excellent than things. A soul is more precious than a world. So this gift is more precious than the whole world.
(2) A Divine Person.
(3) The Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Wherein this gift appears and comes to us. Those who send precious gifts to others, wrap them up in something that is less precious. And a treasure sent in earthen vessels is the method of conveyance of the best gifts from heaven to earth. The Son of God, being the gift, was sent veiled and wrapped up in our nature. This veil laid over the gift sent to poor sinners was(1) less precious than the gift itself. The human nature of Christ was a crested thing, His Divine nature uncreated.
(2) However, it was a cleanly thing. The human nature of Christ, though infinitely below the dignity of His Divine nature, yet was a holy thing (Luke 1:35). This gift appeared and was sent to us in the veil of the human nature —
(a) that it might be capable of the treatment it behoved to undergo for our relief — to suffer and die;
(b) that it might be suited to the weakness of the capacity of the receivers. The Son of God in His unveiled glory would have no more been an object for our eyes to have looked on, than the shining sun to the eyes of an owl. A few rays of His glory, breaking out from under me veil, made His enemies fall to the ground.
3. What a gift this is. Singular for(1) the worth of it. If it were laid in the balance with ten thousand worlds, they would be lighter than vanity in comparison of it; nay, balanced with the gift of created graces, and the created heavens, it would down weigh them; as the bridegroom's person is more worth than his jewels and palace.
(2) The suitableness of it (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 5:12).
(3) The seasonableness of it.
(4) The comprehensiveness of it (Romans 8:32; Colossians 2:9, 10; 1 John 5:11).
(5) The unrestricted freeness of it. What is freer than a gift? The joint stock of the whole world could not have purchased this gift.
(a) Beware of slighting this gift.
(b) Take heed ye miss not to perceive this gift. Most men see no further into the mystery of Christ than the outward appearance it makes in the world, as administered in the Word, sacraments, etc.; and they despise it.
(c) Admire the wisdom of God, and His infinite condescension, in the manner of the conveyance of this gift.
(d) See here how you may be enriched for time and eternity.
II. THE GIVER.
1. Who is the Giver? God. And to exalt the Giver's free love and grace herein, observe from the Word three things there marked about it.
(1) It was His own Son that He gave.
(2) It was His beloved Son.
(3) It was His only-begotten Son.
2. What has He given sinners, gifting His Son to them? The tongues of men and angels cannot fully express this.
(1) He has given them Himself.
(2) Eternal life. Here is legal life, moral life, a life of comfort; and all eternal.
(3) All things (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 3:21; Romans 8:17; Revelation 21:7).
III. THE PARTY TO WHOM HE IS GIVEN.
1. To whom He is given. To mankind sinners indefinitely.
2. In what respects Christ is given to them.
(1) In respect of allowance to take Him.
(2) In respect of legal destination (1 John 4:14). If ye had an act of parliament appointing a thing for you, ye would not question its being given you; here ye have more.
(3) In respect of real offer.
(4) In respect of the freeness of the offer.
(5) In respect of exhibition. This gift is held forth as with the hand, God saying, He, sinners, here is My Son, take Him. And God doth not stay the exhibiting of His Son to sinners till they say they will take Him.
3. In what character Christ is given to sinners, A Saviour; a surety; a physician; a light; an atoning sacrifice; a crowned King, mighty to destroy the kingdom of Satan and to rescue mankind sinners, his captives and prisoners.
1. Believe that to us poor sinners the Son of God in man's nature is given.
2. Receive the gift of Christ, at His Father's hand.
(1) Consider ye have an absolute need of this gift.
(2) Them are some who have as much need as you, to whom yet He is not given, namely, the fallen angels.
(3) Ye must either receive or refuse.
(4) Consider the worth of the gift(5) Consider the Hand it comes from.
(6) Consider that others before you have received it, and have been made up by it forever.
(7) Consider that this gift will not always be for the taking as it is now.
(8) Your not receiving will be very heinously taken, as a deepest slight put upon both the Giver and the gift(9) It will set you at greater distance from God than ever.
Parallel VersesKJV: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.