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Isaiah 9:6

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Isaiah 9:6, ‘For to us a child is *born,* to us a son is *given*…’

In the literary structure of Isaiah 9, the eschatological light, joy, freedom, and peace promised in verses 1-5 are entirely grounded upon v.6 and the brith of this child, the giving of this son.

Now, the Apostle John certainly read this passage as anticipating the coming of Jesus, but His Spirit-inspired interpretation of what exactly Isaiah saw in v.6 warrants further reflection. There is no explicit reference to the virgin birth in John’s Gospel. Of course, John knows and believes in this event, but he does not recount it in his presentation…However, he does speak of the *birth* of a child and the *giving* of a son…

In John 16:21, when Jesus is speaking of His impending death, He uses the image of a woman who gives birth to a child through the agony of labor…in this way, our Lord likens His own Passion, death, and subsequent resurrection to the birth of a child—with Himself not only as the child who is born, but as the one who bears the travail of labor in Himself (cf. Is.53-54). For John, Jesus is indeed the Isaianic child who is born—but the birth John is thinking of does not happen in Bethlehem, it happens on Calvary.

Secondly, John speaks of a son who is given in Jn 3:16 where Jesus’ being ‘lifted up’ on the cross (v.14-15) is spoken of as the Father’s *giving* His beloved Son to and for the world. So, again, John agrees with Isaiah that a Son is given, albeit, the place of this giving in not primarily the manger, but the cross.

Thus, through John, the Spirit calls us to see the Crucifixion of the Risen Jesus as the Birth of the Messianic Child, the Gift of the Beloved Son, and the arrival of the King upon whose shoulders the Roman cross becomes the Davidic Branch of divine rule. It is through the everlasting reign of this King—whose throne is a cross and whose cross is a throne—that Light has come (Is.9:2, Jn.1:5, 8:12, 12:44, etc), Joy has dawned (Is.9:3, Jn 16:21, 20:20), Freedom from the oppressor is obtained (Is.9:4, Jn 8:32,35-36), Peace with Man and God is ours (Is.9:5, Jn 20:19,21), and the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of YHWH (Is.11:9, Jn 1:18).