I love to see a child enjoying the view from above as he rides on top of his father’s shoulders. That a little person could see over and beyond what his father sees must bring great satisfaction and a sense of empowerment. Rarely have I seen fear or terror in such a child’s eyes; instead, he is usually smiling or laughing, eyes wide-open with delight. And he never wants to be lowered to the ground.
An intriguing passage of scripture is Isaiah 9:6, which foretells the many roles Jesus Christ would fulfill. For to us, a child is born. To us, a Son is given; and the government will be on His shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Shoulders come from two Hebrew words meaning to have power (as a prince) and prevail over an empire. Isaiah prophesied that the government, or authority and dominion of God’s Kingdom, would rest on Jesus’ shoulders. In Matthew 28:18, we read, Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. He clearly understood His assignment among men and knew He embodied Father God’s authority.
The government, or dominion mentioned in Isaiah 9:6, points to the millennial reign of Jesus, which will be the glorious 1,000-year reign of Jesus upon His second coming to earth. We will be key players during that time when “the lion will lie with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6), and peace will be restored to the earth.
However, for the “here and now” earth, we desperately need God’s authority and help to deal with the sin and darkness that envelopes the world. Father God entrusted Jesus with the responsibility and power to bring heaven to earth, enabling the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer to be possible.
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven,” Jesus prayed. He was giving the disciples an example of how to pray. The astounding truth is that Jesus, in turn, gave us His authority to facilitate heaven coming to earth. This is evidenced in Luke 10:19 (NLT), as Jesus said, “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”
Why did the Father place the government upon Jesus’ shoulders? Wouldn’t it have sufficed to place it in His hands or arms? The beauty of the Word of God is that God inspires every word. The hand, arm, and shoulder are symbolic of increments of power. Hand in the Word signifies power; arm signifies still greater power; and shoulder symbolizes all power (E. Swedenborg, www.BibleMeanings.info).
Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown's Bible Commentary sheds light on that power: How beautiful that Jesus has been given the government. He will rule perfectly. All decisions, actions, mercies, and justice will be meted out in perfect harmony with His character. God has given us a glorious gift in Jesus Christ, Messiah, and Ruler.
Let's meditate on the beautiful shoulders of Jesus and, as one author, Elizabeth Gunter (www.thefathersbusiness.com) says, reflect on His never-changing authority and power, as well as His ability to accomplish whatever is needed or desired. She encourages us with these words: He is more than enough. He has abundant dominion for your every need. For whatever may be happening in your life right now, King Jesus has really big shoulders. Lean into Him [for He has]:
Shoulders that lend His strength to the weak and sick.
Shoulders that bear burdens.
Shoulders that picked up a cross and carried it on our behalf.
Shoulders that lean forward to pick up a fallen one.
Strong shoulders that we can hide behind as He defeats our enemies.
Shoulders to lay our head on when our heart aches.
Shoulders that embrace us tenderly with love that never lets go.
Shoulders that shake with laughter as we delight Him.
© 2022, Chris Werre