In this verse from Isaiah 9:6, we learn that the Messiah will not only be a human being when He arrives, but He will also come to us as a child. We would imagine that when God chose to reveal Himself to mankind, He would come to us in regal splendor, with a great host of heavily warriors. No one could imagine that God would choose to reveal Himself in the form of a child. This is one of the remarkable facts of Jesus’ story that lends great credibility to its authenticity. God was showing Himself to us in great humility—seeking to serve us and save us by love, not force.
The Messiah will come to earth as “a child.”
Isaiah 9:6b For unto us a Child is born…
New Testament Fulfillment:
- His Announcement: Luke 1:30-32 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”
- His Origin: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- His Humanity: John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
- His Method: Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds…
- His Uniqueness: Hebrews 1:5-8 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
- His Mystery: 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
An Infant King
While the previous chapter, from Isaiah 9:6a, describes the Messiah as a human being, this prophecy from Isaiah 9:6b informs us of a further detail: When the Savior comes to earth, He will be an infant.
One of the mysteries of salvation is why our Savior would come to us as a child. Why didn’t God send the Messiah to us as a mature human being? We see manifestations of Jesus, in the Old Testament, as the Angel of the Lord in the form of a man. Why send the Son of God to earth and necessitate that He must be born as a helpless baby?
Place yourself now in Nazareth. You are standing beside the road across the way from where Mary and Joseph live. A toddler is wobbling back and forth as he takes his first steps. He stumbles and falls to the ground. His mother runs to his side and picks him up, dusting off the dirt and comforting him. Suddenly, you realize that this is the Son of God—the One who made all things that exists. He has not always been a human being. He has not always been a tiny boy. He was and is the King of the Universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
He walked the halls of heaven for eternity, but now He must learn to walk. He has spoken the universe into existence, but now He must learn to speak. He lived in glory and perfection, but now He must endure every human difficulty.
The greatest question that man should ask is not why we are here, but why God would choose to come here. Why did He arrive in such humility and simplicity, revealing Himself to the world as a helpless infant?
In order for the Son of God to become the Savior of all men, He would experience every difficulty that all men experience.
From normal birth, infancy, into the teen years and adulthood, our Savior would understand what it was like to be one of us. Jesus felt every pain, suffering, and heartache that all men feel. He observed poverty, sickness, and death. He was tempted in every area that all men are tempted. In all of His life, He never sinned; nor did He fail to be perfect in every regard.
This is why Jesus could die for us, because He was one of us. He can perfectly sympathize with all of our struggles and weaknesses, and comprehend what it is like to be human. He did this so that every person—even those in the lowest state of life—could come to Jesus, knowing that He understands.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The Savior is called Immanuel (God living with us) for good reason. Not just so that God would come to live among us, but also that He could convey to us His understanding of what it is like to be one of us. The Savior came as a tiny helpless baby, who had to learn everything from the beginning.
Because our Messiah came to us as a child, we should have great confidence in the fact that God truly understands us. From His vantage point as God, it is certain that He already knew all about what it is like to be you and me. His coming to earth as a baby was for our benefit, not His. Everything Jesus said and did was for us.
Psalms 139:1-4 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
In verse 2 of the original Hebrew text of Psalm 139, David wrote: You understand my thought afar off.
David was not describing God as far off from us in heaven. He was speaking of God’s intimate knowledge of the deepest thoughts of man. God knows what we are going to think before we think it. He understands our thoughts at great distance from their formation. He knows everything about us and what we will think before the synapses fire in our brain. There is nothing He cannot understand, for He created us and we came from Him.
The purpose of the Messiah coming to us as a child was not so that God could comprehend what it is like to be human. Jesus came to us as a child and learned to be human, so that we could have confidence in His ability to relate to us as a human being.
The Savior’s knowledge of your life is not simply because He made you. He also knows what it is like to be you—living in this world full of so many heartaches, disappointments, and failures. Jesus understands betrayal, abandonment, loneliness, suffering, and despair. He has experienced all of the same emotions you have felt, and He can relate to you as no other person can. We can thank and praise the Father—who, in His wisdom, sent to us His Son and allowed Him to begin life as a child.
Paul wrote, in Hebrews 4:14-16 (above), that for this reason, we can have confidence that because He understands us, we can come to Him at any time. We can come boldly to His throne of grace, and there we will always obtain mercy and find grace to help in (our) time of need.
God sent us a Savior to begin life as a child, to grow into adulthood, and finally to lay down His life in such a great sacrifice—that all our sins could be eternally removed. What a wonderful prophecy this prediction by Isaiah is.
 We should understand that God already knows all things. He knew exactly what it would be like to become a human being. The knowledge that He wished to convey was to us, so that we might comprehend that He understands us, have become one of us.