4th study in the series on the ‘Names of Christ’ 
adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 24 Aug 2007

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

In our last study, we considered a not so well-known name of Christ, namely, ‘Shiloh.’ The name Shiloh, as we saw, refers to Christ as He to whom the sceptre belongs. Christ is the King of kings in two senses of the word. He is the King of kings in that He is the king that all the kings of Judah in the Old Covenant pointed to. All the kings of Judah were anointed ones. He is the Anointed One. All the kings were passing the baton, or rather the sceptre, until it reached the hand of Christ.

Christ is also the King of kings in that He is the King of the Universe appointed by the Father to be the administrator over the world for the sake of His Church.

Christ is the ‘Shiloh’.

But in this study, we want to skip over the pages of Scripture to come to a verse that is most famous in terms of the names of Christ. I am referring to Isaiah 9:6. Isaiah 7:14 is also famous and important. But we want to start looking at the names that are related to the name ‘Shiloh.’

In Isaiah 9:6, the prophet lists 5 names of Christ: (1) Wonderful, (2) Counsellor, (3) The mighty God, (4) The everlasting Father, and (5) The Prince of Peace.

We begin with the first name, ‘Wonderful.’ I am aware that some translations of the Scriptures put this as an adjective of Counsellor. But I believe that our version is correct. It is ‘Wonderful, Counsellor…’ not ‘Wonderful Counsellor.’ ‘Wonderful’ is one of the 5 names of Christ given by Isaiah in our text.

What does this name mean? What is that to us? These are the two questions we must again ask.

1. What Does the Name 
‘Wonderful’ Mean?

The Hebrew word translated ‘wonderful’ (Peh’-leh) can hardly be translated any better. It describes something that is marvelous, extraordinary or magnificent.

Another form of this word is translated as ‘Secret.’ Look at Judges 13:18-19—

18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? 19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.

The Hebrew words for ‘secret’ and ‘wondrously’ are very closely related to the word ‘wonderful’ in our text. In fact, the alternate translation in the margin of the 1611 KJV for the word ‘secret’ is ‘wonderful.’

The angel of the LORD is Christ. God willing we shall look at that name on another occasion. But here He says that His name is ‘secret’ or ‘wonderful’. Is it secret or is it wonderful? I think it is both. It is secret in the sense that it is too wonderful for man to comprehend.

And herein is the essence of the name ‘Wonderful’. This name ‘Wonderful’ invites us to think about Christ and to be amazed at how marvelous, how excellent, how inexhaustible He is in His person and work. “In [Him] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” says the apostle Paul (Col 2:3).

Everything that is ultimately worth thinking and knowing about by man and angels are found in Christ. God has revealed Himself unto His creatures in Christ. And as finite man we can never plumb the depth of the infinite well of knowledge which springs from Him.

He is wonderful in His Person, for He is the God-Man. He is both infinite God and finite Man in one person. Who can understand this mystery?

That He who existed in eternity should have a beginning. Who can understand this?

That He who was and is holding the universe by the Word of His power should be suckling upon His mother’s breast. Who can comprehend this?

That He who was eternal and perfect in glory should suffer hunger and pain. Who can understand this?

That He who fills the heaven so that the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him should be impaled on a cross unable to wipe His tears. Who can comprehend this?

That He who is the giver of life should bleed and die. Who can grasp this?

All aspects of His person are wonderful. His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, all these are a wonder unto His saints and to His angels.

And He is wonderful in works too. Our text suggests that the most wonderful of His works is the work of redemption. As Calvin puts it “It is a work which surpasses even the creation of the world.” And “It amounts to this, that the grace of God, which will be exhibited in Christ, exceeds all miracles.”

Marvelous and wonderful as all the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testaments are, marvelous still is the work of Christ in translating those who walk in darkness into the marvelous light and bringing them into eternal rest.

It is not only a wonder that He should take wretched sinners like us into His arms and make us the sons and daughters of God;

It is a wonder that His love was demonstrated and defined by His shedding His blood for us while we were yet the enemies of God.

It is a wonder that He should make us alive when we were dead.

It is a wonder that He should make us lovely when we were hateful.

It is a wonder that He should make us love when we hated.

It is a wonder that He should prepare us for heaven when we were fitted for hell.

It is no wonder the apostle Paul exclaims:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1Tm 3:16).

Christ is Wonderful. Isn’t He?


2. What is that to us?

Well, if Christ is wonderful, and He is, let us respond by:

Firstly, thinking about Him often. If we know a wonderful friend will we not think about him or her often? Christ is the Wonderful. If Christ is not wonderful to you, you do not know Him. If the thought of Him does not fill your heart with awe and wonder and love, you do not know Him. If when your mind is clouded with care and grief and it is not lifted up when you think of Him, you do not know Him as you should. He is wonderful. Think about Him often beloved brethren and children. When you do so, the world and all your troubles will grow strangely dim.

Secondly, if Christ is Wonderful, and He is, let us talk about Him often. Let us talk about Him in worship. Let us talk about Him on the Sabbath. Let us talk about Him at school, at work, at home, at play. Let us talk to believers about Him. Let us talk to unbelievers about Him. Let us gossip Christ!

Let us not gossip about man, for it will never satisfy nor edify. But let us gossip Christ. That was how the church exploded in her early days. Dr Luke tells us that when the early church was persecuted, the disciples “scattered abroad, and went everywhere preaching the Word” (Acts 8:4). Another, doctor, Dr Lloyld-Jones has spoken about how this preaching was done by gossiping. The people were gossiping the Word. The people were gossiping about Christ, the Word.

If He is Wonderful, and He is, let us talk about Him often and everywhere.

But thirdly, if He is Wonderful, and He is, make Him the reason for our life. We live for many reasons. Some of us aim to get rich. Some of us live for happiness. Some of us live for glory and honour and personal satisfaction.

But if Christ is Wonderful and He is Wonderful as our King, for “the government shall be upon his shoulder” says Isaiah, then should we not live for Him?

Most men would willingly live and die for their king if their king is wonderful. I can understand why many of us will not live for our bosses, or our government, or our church leaders. They are not wonderful in our eyes are they?

But Christ is wonderful, and every child of God will know Him to be Wonderful. He is our wonderful king.

Shall we therefore not serve Him faithfully with gratitude and love? Shall we not cling on to Him with loyalty and seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness?

Shall we not testify by our lives that He is a wonderful king?


Christ is Wonderful. Let us think often about Him. Let us talk about Him constantly. Let us bring Him back into our conversation. Let us live for Him.

It is wonderful to live for Him who is Wonderful! Amen.

—JJ Lim