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…
His name shall be called Wonderful. And well may he have been named Wonderful, whose words, whose works, and whose love were such as those of Jesus Christ. We look at -
I. THE MARVEL OF HIS TEACHING.
1. It struck his contemporaries with awe and with astonishment (see Matthew 5:28, 29; Matthew 13:54; Matthew 22:22).
2. It strikes us with wonder still. That a Jew, brought up at Nazareth, receiving a very slight education, having no intercourse with men of other nations, acted upon by the narrowing and stiffening influences which were prevalent and powerful in his land and time, should teach as he taught about
(1) the fatherhood of God;
(2) the spirituality of Divine worship and sacred service;
(3) the openness of the outcast and the abandoned to return to the favor and likeness of God;
(4) the spiritual and universal character of the kingdom of God;
(5) the needfulness of the child-spirit and of humility for entrance into the kingdom of truth and righteousness;
(6) the attainment of life through death, etc.; - all this is not only surprising, marvelous; it is positively unaccountable on any other theory than that God dwelt in him and he in God.
II. THE WONDER OF HIS POWER.
1. This also excited the astonishment of his contemporaries (see Matthew 7:27; Mark 1:27; Mark 7:37; Luke 5:26, etc.).
2. It calls forth our reverent admiration still. We wonder and adore as we realize that
(1) he compelled the earnest attention of his countrymen;
(2) he has commanded the attention of all the ages and of most of the peoples ever since;
(3) he has been, and is regarded as the Savior, the Lord, the Friend of millions of individual souls, and has brightened, comforted, transformed innumerable human lives;
(4) he has produced a manifest change - often amounting to a revolution - in the sentiment, the principles, and the institutions of mankind.
III. HIS KNOWLEDGE-PASSING LOVE. (See Ephesians 3:19.)
1. On one occasion, at least, the people were powerfully impressed with the fervor of his love (John 11:36; see also John 13:1).
2. The love of Christ is far more astonishing to us who can better recognize its greatness. Now that the facts of the Incarnation and the purpose of his sufferings and his death have been illumined by the teaching of the Divine Spirit, we know how surpassingly great, how wonderful, were
(1) his sacrificial love to our race - not sparing himself, but delivering himself up for us all, and pursuing that path of sacrifice even to the very end;
(2) his distinguishing love to the individual soul. So that, with Paul, every one may say, "He loved me;" may, indeed, say, "He loves me" - is seeking my salvation, has borne with my sin and shortcoming, extends to me his pardoning love, is dealing patiently and tenderly with me, is leading me by the right and wise way to the heavenly city. - C.
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.