Names are important to God. In the Bible one’s name often reflected some characteristic of the person or event at their birth.
For instance, Isaac’s name means “laughing.” Jacob means “deceiver.” Moses, “drawn out.”
Names may reflect some aspect of one’s life or character such as “Simon the Zealot,” “John the Baptist, or “Herod the Great.”
Jesus name means “saves.” However, God has given him many names, titles and designations to describe his ministry, mission, message and magnificence. In fact, there are over 200 names and titles ascribed to Jesus.
In Isaiah 9:6 the prophet predicted Jesus’ birth and wrote:
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The Hebrew word translated “wonderful” means “Marvelous.” Incomprehensible.” “Extraordinary.” W. E. Vine says “it expresses actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations.”
The word is used by the Psalmist to speak of the “marvelous things” God did in Egypt through the miracles performed by Moses (Ps 78:12ff). “Wonderful” is the infinite knowledge of God that it beyond human comprehension. (PS. 139:6). The testimony of God’s word is called “wonderful” (Ps 119:129).
How fitting it is that Jesus’ name is “Wonderful.”
His birth was a wonderful entrance into a wicked world. Roman culture was very secular. The rich and powerful were spoiled by sports, amusement, and creature comforts of that day. The Emperors were corrupt and depraved in their lifestyle
Yet, his wonderful birth caused the angelic host to sing, “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Lk. 2:14). What a wonderful scene, a wonderful tribute, to an extraordinary child born of the virgin Mary.
His teaching was wonderful! He taught with simplicity. Clarity. And passion. His lessons were punctuated with parables and illustrations to make his points penetrating and unforgettable. Wonderful!
The Bible says “the common people heard him gladly” (Mk. 12:37). Because his lessons spoke to their needs. Their life. Their heart. It was wonderful.
His sinless life serves a wonderful example to us. What a wonderful character was exhibited by Christ. No one, before or since, has ever approached its perfection.
To come from the obscurity of a tiny little village held in disrepute and disdain, and rise to the heights of Divine honor was nothing short of wonderful.
H, G. Wells wrote, “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
His mission and ministry was wonderful! His ministry was without prejudice, partiality, or partisanship. While we see Jesus holding an audience with the Doctors of the law, and spending time with rulers like Nicodemus, and powerful centurion soldiers, we more often see him with the poor, the lowly, and downtrodden of society.
He was criticized for mixing and eating with publicans and sinners. But he retorted, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick….For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matt 9:12-13). Wonderful!
His love for a lost world exceeds our human comprehension and can only be called “Wonderful”! The Bible records his compassion for the weary and scattered masses of “the lost sheep of Israel” who had no Shepherd.
We see his love for Lazarus, Mary and Martha. His interactions with the rich young ruler, the Samaritan woman at the well, and the woman caught in adultery by the Pharisees all demonstrate his love for sinners.
Yet, all of those incredible good deeds would mean nothing to you and I today, without his sacrificial death for our sins.
On the worse Friday of Jesus’ human existence, He was betrayed. Denied. Demeaned. Mocked. Misrepresented. Bruised. Beaten. And battered. And finally executed to die a criminal’s death on the cross. But the irony of that awful day is that he became our Wonderful Savior.
And then three days later, something wonderful happened! Something incredible! Beyond human comprehension or belief. Jesus arose from the grave. He conquered death. He defeated the devil. He became our risen and Wonderful Redeemer!
Wonderful is His name!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman