For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
“How complex is the person of our Lord Jesus Christ! Almost in the same breath the prophet calls him a “child,” and a “counsellor,” a “son,” and “the everlasting Father.” This is no contradiction, and to us scarcely a paradox, but it is a mighty marvel that he who was an infant should at the same time be infinite, he who was the Man of Sorrows should also be God over all, blessed forever; and that he who is in the Divine Trinity always called the Son, should nevertheless be correctly called “the everlasting Father.” Charles H. Spurgeon, 1877
I miss my father. He passed over a year ago, and I think of him often. He was not a perfect father (what father is?), but I know he loved me greatly, and I loved him. I miss his bear hugs. I miss how he called me “Cara-belly,” and my sister “Lolly Pop”—long after we were adults with our own children. Even though we didn’t always agree, I would so cherish the opportunity to have one more moment with him! I am grateful that he was around for many years, but it certainly makes me sad to think that while my memories of him will continue, certainly new ones can no longer be created. My relationship with him is all in the past.
But I have a forever Father. My relationship with Jesus—Everlasting Father—is different for the simple fact that He lives. As I researched Isaiah’s proclamation, I have come to understand that Isaiah was not confusing Jesus with the personhood of God the Father within the Trinity. Jesus is continually referred to as “Son.” Rather, Isaiah is referencing the character of Jesus—He is father-like in His relationship with us.
And while our earthly fathers may be flawed, He is perfect in His fatherhood. He is a father who loves unconditionally. He is a father who forgives freely. He is a father who disciplines only out of love. He is a father whose mercy never fails. He is a father who protects. While I love that He is my wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, there is something so tender about His love to me as Father. I think of all the names of Jesus, “Father” is the one that I love the most.
But the most wonderful thing of all is that He never ceases to be Father to me. I am forever His. I can go to Him now, tomorrow and for eternity.
“And this is the best of all, that he is “an everlasting Father” to all those to whom he is a Father at all. If you have entered into this relationship so as to be in union with Christ, and to be covered with the skirts of his garment, you are his child, and you shall forever be. There is no unfathering Christ, and there is no unchilding us. He is everlastingly a Father to those who trust in him, and he never does at any one moment cease to be Father to any one of these.” Charles H. Spurgeon