One of the most interesting inclusions in this list of the names of Jesus is the phrase “the government will rest on His shoulders”.
This is a very specific claim that Jesus came to set all things right. It is one bookend for the life of Jesus. His earthly adventure begins in a humble shepherd’s cave. Its counterpart is found at the end of his journey on Earth when He leaves the disciples with The Great Commision, which begins with the assertion: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…“
The disciples understandably asked Jesus if He was going to use all that power and authority to accomplish what they were expecting the Messiah of Israel to do all along. In Acts 1:6 they inquired “Is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus’ reply is incredible. He says that it is not for them to know when that prophecy will be fulfilled. It will happen when it happens.
Then Jesus tells the disciples to go wait for power – the indwelling Holy Spirit, who He sent as our Helper.
The Kingdom of God is not of this world. Our job is to exercise Jesus’ authority by living and speaking in a manner that encourages others to obey His commands. To serve, to love, to speak truth with grace, seeking the best for others.
Jesus’ advent was the beginning. The end is yet to come. In the meanwhile, Jesus has delegated to us His power and authority to serve. The fullest expression of the Christmas spirit is to pursue the true perspective of His Kingdom – on earth as it is in heaven. As Scrooge pledged to “honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year,” so can we take the Christmas season as an opportunity to reflect on the incredible opportunity and responsibility Jesus has delegated to us.