“He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
It’s not uncommon to see some familiar heroes come back to the silver screen. Sylvester Stallone was back in action as Rambo, reprising his role from over 20 years ago. And Harrison Ford dusted off his fedora and leather jacket, and reintroduced Indiana Jones to a new generation of fans. There’s something about our longing for a powerful figure to solve the problems of the world and to restore justice and harmony to mankind in a way that captures our hearts and imaginations. Of course, getting the job done takes them about two hours on the silver screen, but in real life it’s a different deal.
Thankfully, in real life there is a “real hero.” Not the “two-hour” kind, but the kind of hero that ultimately gets the job done in a way that settles the issue of life finally and forever. I’m sure you’ve guessed it: I’m talking about Jesus. In fact, according to the prophet Isaiah, He has several names, all of which describe His capacity to finish the task and to satisfy the longing of our souls for life as it ought to be.
Among these compelling names, Isaiah includes the name, “Mighty God.” Jesus is the ultimate of heroes, infinitely strong and eternally mighty. But that extends far beyond bulging biceps and quick-trigger fingers. In fact, in the original language this name meant something far more specific. It’s the name El-Gibhor, the warrior God, the hero who will always prevail.
It’s the name for God used in the song of Moses found in Exodus 15. The Israelites have just seen God at war. He has brought a series of 10 miraculous plagues to Pharaoh—plagues that each, by the way, debunked a specific “god” of the Egyptians. To the Egyptians who worshiped a frog god, the warrior God brought hordes of frogs. It’s kind of like He said, “You like frogs? Watch this!” And the Egyptians worshiped the Nile, so the warrior God turned it to blood. And now Moses and the people are singing because this warrior God, El-Gibhor, has allowed His people to cross the Red Sea on dry land before pouring the waters over the pursuing Egyptian army.
What I find staggering about this name being included in the prophecy of the Messiah is that Jesus is the El-Gibhor, the Mighty God in the flesh! Actually dwelling in us, He’s not just some fictional wonder of a movie producer’s imagination. And, as the ultimate hero, He would face the hordes of hell, sin, and death on our behalf and emerge as the victorious champion over our greatest enemy. In fact, the prophecy of Isaiah comes full circle in the book of Hebrews when the author describes Jesus as the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). The original phrase for “author and perfecter” is one word in Greek, it’s the Greek word archēgos, and it means the “ultimate man” or the “champion”—or I guess in street talk it’s “He’s the man.”
So take heart today, He is our Mighty God! He is never at a loss, never overwhelmed, never surprised, never defeated, and never ashamed. You and I may feel powerless, helpless, and even hopeless at times, wondering if there is anyone who can rescue us. But in the midst of it all, Jesus is our ultimate hero! So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).
- Read Exodus 15:1-12. How does the song of Moses trace the miraculous deeds of the Mighty God?
- How do the other names given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 (Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace) fit with His identity as the Mighty God?
- In what areas of your life do your sense a longing for a hero: finances, physical health/safety, emotional health, spiritual battles?