Everlasting Father

Bible Book: Isaiah  9 : 6
Subject: Christmas; Jesus; Names of Jesus
Series: Christmas - The Name Above All Names
[Editor's Note: The "Name Above All Names" is a four-part Christmas sermon series from Isaiah 9:6. All four messages can be found in PastorLife.]

We come now to the third in our series of messages for this Christmas season. We are looking at Isaiah 9:6 and considering The Name Above Every Name. Today we give attention to the third name Isaiah ascribed to our Lord – Everlasting Father.

We do not commonly think of Jesus as Father. In fact, the doctrine of the Trinity is difficult for us to understand or explain. Of course, explanation and understanding are not necessary for something to be true or beneficial. Moses did not have to understand the parting of the Red Sea in order to walk on the dry ground. Daniel did not have to understand the sudden loss of appetite among the lions in order to live through a night in their den. The lame man did not have to understand or explain the biological, physiological implications of his healing in order to get up and walk when Jesus told him to. Understanding and explaining God-stuff is simply not necessary in order to enjoy its benefits. But, seeking to grasp the impact upon our lives due to the things God says and does is important. So today we are going to ask what Isaiah intended when under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he told us that Jesus would be called Everlasting Father.

We do know that there is only one God. How God could be Father, Son and Spirit, separate identities but one person, is not fully possible for our finite minds to grasp, but it is important for us to understand that God is not a split personality. When we are looking at Jesus in the New Testament, we are not seeing just a part of God. Jesus is all God. You might say, “Well, how is it that Jesus spoke to His Father in prayer?” That is a good question. One that is not totally answerable in human terms. But suffice it to say that Jesus was all God when He was praying to the Father, who was also all God when He heard the prayer. We also know that the Holy Spirit was upon John the Baptist. So, at one point you have John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River with the Holy Spirit (God) upon him. You have Jesus (God) being baptized by John. Thirdly, you have the Father (God) speaking from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Spirit on John was God. Jesus being baptized was God. The Father speaking from heaven was God. Each person of the Godhead was all God, not just a piece of God.

We can think of this further by thinking about the Spirit of God dwelling in all of us who are saved. The Spirit of God is God. He dwells in all believers. He is not just a piece of God, He is God. Yet, He may not reveal all of Himself or all that can be revealed about Himself to each of us in the same way. The reasons for that our many and we are not addressing that subject at this time, but it is important to know that God can be Himself, all of Himself, without revealing all of Himself. So Jesus is God. He is all God. He even went so far as to say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father (see John 14:9-11).” So, to go forward with our intended subject today, let us be aware that there is nothing incongruous about seeing Jesus as the Everlasting Father. He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. He and the Father are One. Remember the great Hebrew Shema – you find the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4 – states, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

But what are the implications of Jesus being called by Isaiah, "Everlasting Father?" We could look at this from several perspectives. To narrow our approach and keep our focus zeroed in on that which is important, I want us to turn to an Old Testament passage which tells us something of the Father-heart of Christ. Turn with me to Psalm 103. I want us to look at a passage which will describe the nature of Jesus as Everlasting Father.

I. What the Father Does for His Children

A. He Forgives

It is fitting that forgiveness is mentioned as the first benefit of the Father toward His children, for without His forgiveness we cannot have a relationship with God. This Psalm is a Psalm of David. David knew firsthand the need for forgiveness and he also knew the joy that divine forgiveness can bring to the human heart and soul. Look at verse 10 and note that God does not treat us as our sins deserve. He is a forgiving Father.

B. He Heals

The word in Hebrew here means “to mend”. God mends our souls. He is like the potter that takes the clay that is marred and puts it back on the potter’s wheel and reshapes it and makes it new. Of course, we know that He heals us physically as well. But the Spiritual healing is far more important than the physical. He can heal your emotions. He can heal your marriage. He can heal your mind. He can heal you completely.

C. He Redeems

The word redeem means to pluck out of immediate danger. The songwriter penned,

“I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me now safe am I.
Love lifted me. Love lifted.
When nothing else could help, love lifted me!” (James Rowe, 1912)

This redemption did not come cheap. It cost His life at the cross. It cost His blood. It cost His all. But He paid it for His children.

D. He Crowns

This word means to surround, as to protect. It is often translated in that way. He surrounds us with a crown of love and compassion. As a Christian, we are crowned with – surrounded with – His mercy, love, grace, forgiveness, blessings and peace. What a mighty God we serve!

E. He Satisfies

Life can only find its fullest meaning in Him, for without Him life is just not the same. Once a person comes to know Jesus as Savior, one wonders how on earth life was lived without Him. He satisfies the empty place which only His presence can fill. Blaise Pascal, a mathematician and philosopher in the 1600s is often quoted as saying “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator.”

Try as you will to fill the hunger for meaning in this world with the things of this world, but you will find that you are still empty after all your trying. Solomon tried everything in this world to find fulfillment. At the end of it all he said, “All is vanity, all is vanity.” Only Jesus can satisfy the soul. When Jesus is mentioned as the Everlasting Father, part of the meaning substance of that title rests in the fact that only He can satisfy the soul.

The songwriter penned,

“I am satisfied, I am satisfied,
I am satisfied with Jesus,
But the question comes to me,
As I think of Calvary,
Is my Master satisfied with me?” (Satisfied With Jesus, B. B. McKinney, 1926)
F. He Works

He works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He works! In John 5:17 we read, “But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working." So, Jesus is working, and the Father is working, in our behalf.

G. He Makes Knows

He makes Himself known, just like He made Himself known to Moses. He loves us, so He reveals Himself to us. You want to be near the ones you love, and Jesus desires to be near and to have us draw near to Him. He opens up His ways to us and makes known His plans to us. As a little child cannot understand all the ways of his earthly father, we cannot grasp all there is to know about God, but He reveals that which we need to know. From time to time, God will do something in our lives to let us know that He is working in our behalf. When Jesus came to the earth, He was the ultimate proof of God’s love and presence. I believe that most Christians know as much about God as they desire to know. He is willing to make Himself know when we are willing to desire to know Him better.

We cannot know all that God is doing, but we can see from this passage that He has done much for us and that He is working to this day in our behalf. What a blessing to know that. I think of earthly fathers that are preparing special treats and surprises for their children at Christmastime, and it makes me think of the wonderful things God has in store for us.

II. What the Father is like Toward to His Children

We have seen what He does. Now lets us see what He is like. What are His characteristics? What traits cause Him to do what He does? This has to do with who He is, not just what He does.

A. He is  Compassionate

The word comes from a special Hebrew word which is only used in the Bible to speak of God. It has a very tender and special meaning. It comes from a root word which means to pet or touch or treat as a darling child. It is a word used of a parent who strokes a little baby under its chin, or lightly pinches it little cheeks, or lifts it tiny toes to kiss them.

We see this tenderness in Jesus. Look at Matthew 12:20, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.” This passage speaks of the compassion of Jesus toward those who trust Him. A reed that has been bruised is of little purpose whatsoever. A smoking flax is the wick of a candle when it has burned out and is left smoldering. Of what use is either? Good for nothing. Yet, our Lord looks at lives that appear to be good for nothing and extends His love to them. He will not cast them off. He is compassionate and tender in His love toward us.

I cannot help but think of my life as an example. One small human being in a vast Universe, yet Jesus in His love died for me, called me, saved me and allows me to serve Him. What compassion He has shown to me. Has He not done the same for you? Indeed Jesus is a loving Savior – an Everlasting Father!

This should also teach us how to act toward each other. As Jesus is patient with us and compassionate with us, we should act accordingly toward others. You may be disappointed in a brother or sister who fails, especially if it affects you in a negative way; however, let us remember that Jesus does not break a bruised reed, nor does he snuff out a smoking wick. He redeems what is left and shows His compassion and love. That is why He came on that first Christmas night long ago. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to show us the Father. Let us show that same love to others!

B. He is Gracious

This word means to stoop down or to condescend. When Jesus came into this world, He stooped down to become one of us. He condescended to dwell in this sinful world though He knew no sin. He showed His grace by taking our stripes, absorbing our blows, accepting our nails and enduring what should have been our death. He did not do all of that because we deserved it, but because of His grace!

C. He is Patient

Aren’t you glad that God is patient with you? He is slow to anger. What if the blast of His anger were released in a moment, at the first sign of your weakness and rebellion? No, He does not flare His nostrils or raise His arm of punishment quickly. He is patient. Even when He must punish us, it is always as a discipline to help us not to hurt us - it is to develop us, not to destroy us. God is patient toward the sinner.

D. He is Loving

A story is told in the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul” that illustrates the love of God. A man writes about a Christmas when he was just a boy. His mother was very poor and his father was deceased. The mother had to wash windows for any income and even then the money was a paltry sum. One day she had no where to leave him and he had to go with her. For nine hours she washed windows while he tried to find ways to entertain himself. She got her small amount of pay and they started home in the dark toward their cold apartment. They passed a Christmas tree lot and he troubled his mother to buy a Christmas tree. She, of course, explained the best she could that they had no money for a tree. She did reach down and pick up some loose branches which had fallen or been cut from the trees. The boy thought they were for the fireplace in the apartment, since that was the only way they had to keep warm. That Christmas Eve night he went to sleep under five or six blankets trying to stay warm. In the night, he heard a noise. He wondered if it might be Santa Claus. He slipped out from under the heavy covers and tip toed across the extremely cold floor. Peeping through the doorway he saw his mother with a broom stick she had cut off. She had a knife in her hands and she was poking holes in that broom stick and placing those Christmas tree clippings into the holes. She had a blanket draped around her because it was so cold. Her breath could be seen each time she breathed. In the corner were some broken toys she had tried to repair and which she had repainted. The boy slipped back to bed without his mother seeing him. But after he was grown, he never forgot that night. He remembered his mother making a homemade Christmas tree in that bitterly cold apartment just so she could try to make her son have a happy Christmas. The boy who had become a man said, “After that night, I never had to ask my mother if she loved me. I had see her love in action.” (Chicken Soup For The Soul, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen)

Friend, if you and I look back to Calvary, we will never have to ask if God loves us. He does it. He had proved it when he was born into this world with a virgin mother, lived a perfect life, died a vicarious death, rose a victorious Lord, ascended to intercede for us, and is coming to take us to live with Him in eternity. What a Savior!

III. What the Father Deserves from His Children

David begins and ends this Psalm with praise. He does so, no doubt, because he can do no other when he thinks of how good God really is. Note three things in the first two verses which we need to remember during this Christmas season.

A. The Blessing to be Presented

We are to bless the Lord. The word bless means to kneel and honor. We must honor the Lord but bowing before Him. We bless Him in song and faithful worship, but it is when we humble ourselves before Him that we present Him with the honor He is due.

B. The Best to be Offered

Note, that our blessing of the Lord must be from all that is within us. We must not give the Lord our leftover energies and interests. No, He must be first in our hearts and minds. Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength. Offer Him only the best of that which is within you.

C. The Benefits to be Remembered

We can all bless Him properly and remember Him correctly, when we stop to recall all His benefits. We are told, yes even warned, not to forget all His benefits. When this is done properly, we will know that we were chosen to be His, even though we were completely and totally unworthy!


Leonard Sweet, in his book “Strong in the Broken Places: A Theological Reverie on the Ministry of George Everett Ross,” relates a story from Mary Ann Bird. Sweet states that Mary Ann told this story in her own memoir entitled, “The Whisper Test.” In her story Mary Ann Bird writes: “I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech. When schoolmates asked, "What happened to your lip?" I'd tell them I'd fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me. There was, however, a teacher in the second grade whom we all adored. Her name was Mrs. Leonard. She was a short, round, happy, sparkling lady. Every year we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and one year I went last. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back - things like "The sky is blue" or "Do you have new shoes?" I waited there and listened and heard words that God must have put into her mouth, seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, "I wish you were my little girl." Those words changed Mary Ann's life. She was loved and that brought her out of her shell. She went on to be a teacher herself.

Yes, God loves us, as misshapen as we are. He is whispering that to you today. Can you hear Him? There is a song we sing at Christmastime: Do You Hear What I Hear? Can you hear God telling you that He loves you? Those that can hear, ought to respond. In 1 John 3:1 we read, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” Indeed, you can be called the child of God today. Come to Him, receive Him. Receive the gift of His Son and receive life abundant and life everlasting. And those that know Him, come bow before Him. Give to Him that which He deserves from us!