This is the third description of His Name in Isaiah 9:6 – “He shall be called Everlasting Father.” (some translations say “Eternal Father”)
This, at first, can seem unusual as Jesus is the second part of the God-head (Father, Son and Spirit). In this same passage, Jesus is referred to as a Son (“unto us a Son is given”) and a Father…why would He be called “Father” if He is the Son?
Adam was the first man whom God created. When he disobeyed God, Adam broke the perfect union that existed between God and man. Jesus is referred to in the New Testament as the “Second Adam” – He came to restore us to God and provide the way back to Father. What Adam ruined, Jesus renewed.
Bible scholars teach that these names spoken by the prophet Isaiah speak of the attributes of Christ. Many times, the term “father of” is an expression for “possessor of” (for example, “The Father of Modern Music” or “The Father of Medicine”) Jesus is the “Father of Eternal Life” – in the first Adam, our eternal connection was broken and only by keeping strict law and impossible works and demanding sacrifice was man considered cleansed from sin. In the Second Adam, our eternity was secured and now, by grace, we have redemption from sin. Jesus came to become the Father of Eternity – He is the Possessor of eternal life and through Him, we attain it!
Because of Jesus, there is no end to our sonship, no end to the connection with, love of and access to the Father… it is everlasting.
Jesus also came to show us the Father. He said, in John 14:9, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” If we want to know what the Father is like, we simply look at Jesus. This is helpful, especially for those whom the name “Father” does not evoke the image of one who is reliable, good, affirming and trustworthy – that name can bring up memories of someone who is distant, aloof, irresponsible, selfish, disconnected and cruel. It can be hard to relate to the First Person of the Trinity – God the Father – if the only experience we’ve had with “father” is painful. This is also why we call Jesus our “Everlasting Father.” He and God are One – if we want to know and see what God is like, we just observe Jesus. Jesus was kind, integrous, dependable, concerned for others, responsible, wise, good, gentle when He needed to be, bold when He needed to be, loving, forgiving, merciful, committed to us, brave, strong, skilled, a friend, an adventurer, compassionate, righteous, just…and the list goes on.
If, perhaps, you are unsure of how to know, relate to or understand God as a Father, then simply learn to love Jesus – read of His life on earth, what He said and did, what He valued, who He valued and served. Talk to Him. See again, that God was willing to step out of glory into humanity, to live with us, walk with us, serve and heal us, and ultimately, to give up His life for us, so that the brokenness between God and man would finally be mended, the only way back to God would be made and our eternity would be secured. As You get to know and love Jesus, understand that You are getting to know and love the Father.
Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful that You came to the earth for us. You are the Father of Eternity and You showed us what the Father truly looks like. Thank You for coming to walk among us, to let me know You and to pay the price I could have never paid so that I could be with You forever. You deserve all the praise! You’re a good, Good Father – it’s Who You are! Amen!