THE INCREASE OF PEACE?
“Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”Isaiah 9:7
The promise was clear. A child would be born who would shoulder the burden of governing this world. He would be the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. God always wanted a human who bears the divine image to run the world with justice. Now he would come and do it himself. Jesus is God with us: Immanuel.
But if this promise was fulfilled that first Christmas in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, why is our world still such a mess? How are we supposed to interpret the very clear promise that his government and peace would continue to increase “from that time on and forevermore”? (Is. 9:7d)
How to interpret this promise in light of the reality of our world
One option many opt for is to spiritualize it. Make it about inner peace. Jesus gave us peace with God and within our selves. True enough, but this doesn’t fit the context about breaking the yoke of oppression and destroying the warriors boots and blood soaked clothes in the fire. (Is. 9:5)
Another option people choose is to futurize it. This must be talking about what Jesus will do when he comes back in the end. It is true that he will finish his work in the end, but this promise was written 700 years before he was born and it is a promise of a child being born, not a king coming back!
I believe the best way to interpret this promise to to simply believe that it is being fulfilled. This may look to some like denial. In light of what we see in the news every day, it may be hard to believe the kingdom of Jesus and of peace is expanding. But Jesus said the kingdom continues to expand and take over like weeds in a garden or yeast in a loaf. It’s gradual, invasive and persistent.
Consider this . . .
One Christ became 2.2 billion Christians in the last 2000 years. If these 2.2 billion Christians can wake up to their identity and calling, the future can be bright and the world can know peace. The government of the world is on his shoulders and WE are his body.