‘The everlasting Father.’ Isaiah 9:6
Suggested Further Reading: John 10:30–38
God is called the Father of the fatherless, and Job says of himself that he became a father to the poor. You know what it means, of course, at once; it means that he exercised a father’s part. Now, albeit that the Spirit of adoption teaches us to call God our Father, yet it is not straining truth to say that our Lord Jesus Christ exercises to all his people a Father’s part. According to the old Jewish custom the elder brother was the father of the family in the absence of the father; the firstborn took precedence of all, and took upon himself the father’s position; so the Lord Jesus, the firstborn among many brethren, exercises to us a Father’s office. Is it not so? Has he not succoured us in all time of our need as a father succours his child? Does he not daily protect us? Did he not yield up his life that we his little ones might be preserved? Will he not say at the last, ‘Behold I and the children which God hath given me;’ ‘those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost’? Does he not chastise us by hiding himself from us, as a father chastens his children? Do we not find him instructing us by his Spirit and leading us into all truth? Has he not told us to call no man father upon earth in the sense that he is to be our true guide and instructor, but to sit at his feet and make him our authoritative Teacher? Is he not the head in the household to us on earth, abiding with us, and has he not said, ‘I will not leave you comfortless’ (the Greek word is ‘orphans’): ‘I will come to you,’ as if his coming was the coming of a father?
For meditation: Think on Christ’s fatherly words to his ‘children’ (Mark 10:24; John 13:33; 14:18; 21:5). If he is fatherlike towards us, we should be childlike (not childish) towards him (Matthew 18:1–4).
N.B. Spurgeon had preached on the previous three titles of Christ to be found in Isaiah 9:6 at the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall in 1858–9 (see New Park Street Pulpit nos. 214, 215, 258—all represented in the previous volume of daily readings 365 days with Spurgeon).
Sermon no. 724
9 December (1866)