Baby Names

I met Dave a month ago on his seventh birthday—seventh month, that is. He couldn’t really do much other than roll over, and he couldn’t speak a word, although the potential was there judging by his lung capacity at feeding time. As babies usually are, he was cute as a bug with monstrous blue eyes accented by eye lashes that any woman would envy. Much like me, his hair hadn’t all come in yet so his head was covered with blond fuzz that begged to have my cheek against it. And when rubbed, the skin on his head wrinkled up in silky waves.

Dave held my finger and chewed on it with his two bottom teeth, ignored all the fancy toys his parents had carted to the house, and was totally infatuated with our dog, Honey, who was equally interested in Dave. She couldn’t quite figure if this was competition or simply a moving ornament. It was clear from the start that Dave’s hands were always wet and therefore pulled her hair when he patted her. After the initial introduction, Dave and Honey judged one another from across the room.

Have you ever noticed, or do you remember, how proud parents are? It makes no difference if they were hoping for a girl and were blessed with a boy, if their little bundle is crying, laughing, sleeping, or simply holding the infant seat down on the table. They are justifiably enthralled with their progeny. In addition to being called Dave, this little guy was referred to as sweet, precious, cute, loving, good, a great baby, smart (I’m not sure how this was determined, and I didn’t ask), just like his mother, just like his father, just like his grandfather, and the best. Since we were invited for dinner, and it hadn’t been served yet, I agreed. Besides, if I hadn’t, not only would I have missed dinner, I would have been in trouble when I got home.

As I think back on a wonderful evening with Dave and his family, I don’t recall anyone suggesting that the government would rest on his shoulders one day. Nor do I remember anyone calling him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, or Prince of Peace. But there was a baby who was called all of these names and upon whose shoulders the government did rest (ref. Isaiah 9:6).

Such were the names attributed to Jesus, the Christ, upon his earthly debut. In fact, as a one-month old, before He was even close to Dave’s age, old-man Simeon held Jesus in his arms and said, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul” (Luke 2:34-35). Have you ever thought about Mary and Joseph’s discussion on the way home from meeting with Simeon? Mothers aren’t usually too keen on the idea of swords piercing their souls, especially regarding their children. But history confirms it, rise and fall many did with the advent of Christ.

While Christ was a completely human baby, with all the challenges and joys that babies bring, He was set apart from every other baby that has ever been born—or that ever will be born—by the names attributed to Him. In the Scripture who is the Wonderful Counselor? None other than the Holy Spirit. Who is the Eternal Father? God Himself. Who is the Prince of Peace? The Son of God. Holy Spirit, God the Father, and the Son. I’m sure Jesus was called all of the things baby Dave was called, but with the prophetic name declared by Isaiah, it is clear that Baby Jesus was the Godhead incarnate.

Old Simeon knew of Isaiah’s prophecy. In fact, he had been waiting for Christ all of his life and recognized him immediately. Eyes that had seen many sunrises and sunsets looked into the face of Mary’s new-born and acknowledged Him as God’s anointed. He confirmed Isaiah’s prophecy: The government of all mankind rested on this baby’s tiny shoulders.

Baby Jesus grew to be a fine man and accomplished all that His Father planned. He then ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. He is called King of kings and Lord of lords.

With the cusp of the New Year before you, who will govern your life?