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Question

What does it mean that Jesus is “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6)?

Mighty God
Answer


About 700 years before Jesus Christ was born, Isaiah announced the birth of Israel’s Messiah. The prophet’s vision stretched forward through the years from Christ’s lowly birth in Bethlehem to His glorious future reign in the New Jerusalem when there will be unspoiled peace under Messiah’s rule: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah deployed a list of titles typically associated with Israel’s kings to illustrate the majestic, kingly character of the coming Messiah. Wonderful Counselor originates from the Davidic line of monarchs, who were known for giving and receiving counsel so wonderful it was beyond human comprehension (see 2 Samuel 16:23). Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace were also divine attributes traditionally used to address earthly sovereigns.

In Psalm 45:6, the Hebrew text refers to the human king as “god.” The language reflects the honor and authority due the king and distinguishes him from other people because of his closeness to the Lord. The word mighty in Isaiah 9:6 relates to the king’s leadership role. In the original Hebrew, the adjective means “having or showing great power in authority or military leadership; heroic, valiant.” As Israel’s Mighty God, the Messiah will be a brave and powerful leader ruling over the armies of God like no other king before Him. He will be the divine hero and champion defender described in Deuteronomy 10:17: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ exhibited a different kind of leadership strength than the Jewish people had come to expect. They were looking for a heroic figure like King David who would deliver them from Roman oppression through valiant military conquests and political might. But the kingdom principles Jesus introduced were based on servant leadership (Matthew 12:17–21; 20:28) and a kingdom “not of this world” (John 6:15; 18:36). Scripture says that, when Jesus came to earth, He voluntarily “gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” (Philippians 2:7, NLT). The “Mighty God” manifestation of Isaiah’s prophecy will only be fully seen in Christ’s second coming. Nevertheless, in every aspect of His life and ministry, from His conception (Luke 1:35, 49) to His ascension (Luke 24:50–51), Jesus operated with divine power and authority.

Jesus began His public ministry “in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside” (Luke 4:14). People testified that Jesus was “a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people” (Luke 24:19, NLT; see also Acts 7:22). His mighty works showed “the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus” (Luke 5:17, NLT). As people touched Jesus, “power came out from him and healed them all” (Luke 6:19, ESV; see also Luke 8:46).

When Jesus cast out demons and unclean spirits, He proved that He is both divine and mighty, operating under God’s complete authority and power (Luke 4:36; Mark 1:32–34). The apostle Paul announced, “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him” (Acts 2:22, NLT). Christ’s supernatural acts confirmed that Jesus is Mighty God.

The resurrection is undoubtedly the most significant proof that Jesus is Israel’s Mighty God, functioning in His Father’s power and authority. Jesus, who had the power to lay down His life and take it up again (John 10:18), humbly submitted to the weakness and humiliation of death on the cross (2 Corinthians 13:4; Philippians 2:5–8). But then God demonstrated His great power—“the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church” (Ephesians 1:19–22, NLT).

As Mighty God, Jesus rose from the dead and now sits at God’s right hand in heaven, high above every other authority, power, and leader. The Bible says God granted Jesus authority over all people to give eternal life to those given Him by the Father (John 17:2; see also John 10:28; 1 John 2:25). At the end of the age, Jesus Christ will come again to earth “with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). When Jesus steps on the world’s stage next time, Isaiah’s vision of a Mighty God and King will come to full fruition. Jesus will hand over the kingdom to His heavenly Father after He has destroyed every enemy of God (1 Corinthians 15:24–25).

As Mighty God, Jesus will judge all the people of the earth (Revelation 18:8, 10). Then He will sit on His eternal throne and reign in great power and authority (Revelation 11:15–17; 12:10). Every creature in heaven and on earth will bow down and worship Him. Heaven will ring with the shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” for He was slain, and He alone is worthy “to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise” forever and ever (Revelation 5:12–13; 19:1).

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What does it mean that Jesus is “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6)?
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This page last updated: January 4, 2023