There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.
One snowy eve, his wife was taking their children to a service in the farm community in which they lived.
So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.
When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm.
So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on.
Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. "Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?"
He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn--and one-by-one, the other geese followed it to safety.
He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!" Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese--blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us.
As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm.” (faith-and-worship.blogspot.com/2009/12/good-illustration-about-incarnation)
Isaiah 9:6 is an early prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ. This Christmas season, each Sunday, we are focusing on one of the names of Christ. Each of these names is a testimony of the difference Jesus makes. Today, we focus on Jesus: Mighty God.
My sister and husband, Rita & Tom, were travelling in Europe not too long ago, and they spotted an advertisement. Clearly, the writers did not quite understand the nuances of English: for sale: Genuine Fake Rolex Watches. Some ideas, when you stop to think about it, don’t quite go together: Diet ice-cream, plastic glasses, new and improved, Jumbo shrimp, Black light, Numb sensation, Stand down, Virtual reality, Half full, Uninvited guest, Recent History, Constant change, act naturally.
And the one from our scripture today: baby/mighty God.
Jesus is The Mighty God. The Powerful God. The contrast of Jesus as a baby, surely is given to us, the Christmas story, so we can touch and feel, comprehend, grasp, the birth of a baby is a miracle in itself, yet it is a miracle that happens everyday, a miracle that visits human kind. God starts us with something lesser, amazing in itself, so we can grasp that which is greater: the greatness of God. The power of Christ. I am amazed at the high expectations God has of us – to be able to grasp the awesomeness of God as he leads us to an awareness of his power, his all surpassing love, his incredible magnificent nature….
The mighty God, a baby named Jesus, born to a virgin, Mary. The second name in Isaiah’s four names is Mighty God – all power – you are going to be amazed by this baby, this supernaturally conceived child, the Mighty God. And what do we see that is so amazing? Jesus Christ never sinned, as a young boy he awed the scribes and educated men of the temple, he grew into a man and taught as no man before him through parables, through mind bending sayings, through sermons, women and men came to him to be healed, cast out demons, caused the blind to see, raised the dead, brought hope and life to the people, touched the leper and outcasts, affirmed those who were rejected, turned water into wine, miraculously fed thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread. Jesus slept through a storm, calmed the storm, walked on the water. The powerful of this world cowered before him, plotted against him, conspired to kill him, and the weak, sick and powerless were drawn into his arms of love, like the children that he used as an example of what we are to become. Jesus went up a mountain with a few of his disciples and was transfigured/changed revealing his glorious nature. Jesus prayed, he wept, he had compassion on the weak and words of indignation for the arrogant know it alls. He forgave sins, pointed sinners to the way of righteousness, testified of the father, washed the feet of the disciples, was hailed by the crowds, cleared the temple courts of merchants, abandoned by his friends. In the garden of Gethsemane, he poured out his heart to the father, and when the soldiers came to take him away, he went. Jesus was tried and convicted for crimes he did not commit, abandoned, abused. “A Mighty God” indeed. A crown of thorns thrust on his head, he was forced to carry his own cross to the place where his hands and feet were nailed, left for dead, helpless.
And the ancient prophecy echos, “For to us a child is born…and he will be called…Mighty God…” Some ideas just don’t seem to go together. A baby… mighty God. Jesus is helpless, on a cross, between two thieves. And Jesus dies. For to us a child is born…and he will be called…Mighty God…”
Joseph of Arimethea took the body of Jesus, and laid him in a tomb. Soldiers were stationed. /// and the earth was hushed. And the disciples holed up, hidden, stunned. The women, weeping, ventured out. Jesus, a great man, a great friend, incredible teacher, yes, but only a man? Or. Was Jesus the promised one described by Isaiah? It was early in the morning when the women went to honor this man that they loved. The stone was rolled away. The earth moved. Angels announced that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He is alive! A mighty God, raised from the dead! Jesus appeared to the disciples and many other witnesses, he walked on earth for a brief time and then ascended into heaven with the promise “I will be with you, and I will send the Holy Spirit.” The promise is complete for all to see: “For to us a child is born…and he will be called…Mighty God…”
Jesus Christ makes a difference because he is The Mighty God! The one who died and is now raised from the dead. Jesus is he who has come to save us from our sins.
In the time remaining, one application of what it means for us that Jesus is the Mighty God. Jesus it the Mighty God, all powerful, which means Jesus has the ability to do whatever he desires. There are a lot of things I would love to do for everyone of you, but I am not capable. If I could make all of you millionaires, that may be a nice thought, but I simply don’t have the ability. The wonderful difference making phrase that describes Jesus all-encompassing power: He is Able. As the Mighty God, He is Able _______. The Confidence we can embrace because God is able.
One of my favorite scriptures that uses this phrase is the Daniel passage, Dan. 3:17: If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. God is able.
Romans 11:23 says God is able to restore you once again: And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
Rom 14:4 proclaims that with God’s help we can stand firm: And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
2 Cor. 9:8 is a tremendous promise of blessings: And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Even though Jesus is the Mighty God, with all power, according to Heb. 5:2, He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray” That’s good news. And Heb. 2:18 says “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” There is a promise to hold onto and proclaim, “For to us a child is born…and he will be called…Mighty God” able to help you when tempted.
“He is able to save completely” Heb. 7:25. He is able to keep you from stumbling (Jude 24).
And perhaps the greatest word declaring Jesus is able from Eph. 3:19-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Jesus is the mighty God! Jesus is the Mighty God means He is able to help us where we need that help right now. turn to Him. He is able...
To restore you.
To give you confidence.
To bless you abundantly.
To deal with you gently.
To help you when you are tempted.
To save you.
To do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.
Whatever your need, God is able to meet that need. There are times in life when we feel very helpless. Ten years ago when we watched the World Trade Center towers crumble before our eyes, we felt helpless. When we watch a loved one dying of cancer, we feel helpless. When we watch our own lives crumble away, we feel helpless. The message of these two words “Mighty God” is simple. We may feel helpless but our Lord is able to help. The one who healed the lepers and raised the dead is the Lord who has offered you salvation. The Lord who created and sustains all there is, is the same Lord who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. Baby. Mighty God. They go together, for Jesus became human, yet attains all the qualities of divinity, the Mighty God. He is able!