Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7

Sermon Series: Names for the Messiah

Sermon Title: Mighty God

The third liturgical title assigned to the newly coronated king in Isaiah 9:6 is “Everlasting Father.” At the outset it is clear that the oracle is situated in a patriarchal society in which the father is at the head of the family, clan, or tribe; exercises the most power; and has the most responsibility. To designate the king as “father” is to transfer the imagery of the family to the state, which of course suggests a hierarchical, patriarchal notion of power and authority. The modifier “everlasting” signifies a reliable steadfastness through time and over the generations so that the phrase anticipates a reliable oversight of care, protection, and leadership. (Brueggemann, Walter. Names for the Messiah: An Advent StudyWestminster John Knox Press.)