Unto Us a child is Born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. Luther takes off on this in one of his sermons. Note how he ends it – “when I have time and am healthy I will preach more about this.” I can’t find the rest of the sermons that I hope he preached.
Isaiah, however, stays down here [on earth, saying], “He is the kind of lord who takes the government on his shoulder—and thus a genuine lord.” Let whoever can figure out what that means! A unique and wonderful lord, who wears his authority around his neck! This shows how the rule of Christ differs from the kingdoms of the world. For Christ says, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them.” They have to exercise power, to rule strictly, and make use of the law; but they do not need to fleece and flail [people]. [All] secular governments have to rule and punish with severity; but it is [only] the villains and tyrants who fleece and flail [their people]. In the latter case, the subjects have to carry these lords, magistrates, heads of families, etc., on their shoulders. And they do have to carry them, or the tyrants will be on them with blows and executioners. But we are speaking here of good rulers, not of tyrants. Yet even the good authorities are carried on the shoulders of their subjects. But the rule of that Son who was born to us works the other way around: he carries us! We rest on his shoulders; he is our bearer. See how Isaiah turns everything around, contrary to the customs of the world. Where is Christ’s rule, his land, and his people? Our duke’s rule includes Saxony, Thuringia, and Meissen. But Christ’s rule includes all believers, of whom he is Lord. So we are his people and his land. And where is his government? On his shoulder! This is wonderful. Christ’s kingdom is not under his feet, nor is it in Rome or in Babylon; it is on his shoulder.
But only those are Christians who are on his shoulder, that is, those who firmly trust him and allow themselves to be carried by him like the lost sheep. To sum up: no one is a Christian who does not rest on the shoulder of Christ.
The sheep must say, “Dear Shepherd, you carry me, not I you!” It would be some crazy sheep that wanted to carry him! Would it ever get something to carry! But Christ says, “Hop on! I will carry you well—and all your sins are forgiven.” And the world persecutes this treasure of the kingdom [of Christ]! Isaiah says, “You have the Son.” So, hop on! We should gladly and confidently run to him, believing that he will answer for us and pay for us. This message goes forth into the world, but I have no idea about our gratitude [for it]. “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Now, by adding these names, [the prophet] explains how the carrying takes place. When I have time and am healthy, I will preach about that. If not, someone else will do it, since it is written in the books as well as I can preach it[here].
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