“And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Imagine if God were good, but weak? What if God had great ideas, but was powerless to carry them out? Would you want to worship Him? Of course not! Yet often when overwhelmed with the heaviness of life’s problems, we forget that we have an Almighty God on our side! The first time that God introduced Himself as “God Almighty” was to Abraham. At the time Abraham was ninety-nine years old. God appeared to him and spoke to him of the child He would give him and the covenant He would establish with Abraham’s descendants. God spoke these words, “I am God almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers” (Genesis 17:1-2). In response, Abraham fell facedown before God Almighty wondering, “Can my wife and I really have a baby? We’re ready for the nursing home!” But, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham because He is exactly that – God Almighty; El Shadday.
The name El Shaddy (pronounced El shad-DAI) is literally translated, “God, the Mountain One.”[i] It speaks of the powerful nature of God, the One who created the mountains. Just like the mountains, which are strong and unchangeable, God is strong and unchangeable. With Him nothing is impossible. These were the exact words the angel Gabriel used when he visited the young teenage peasant girl, Mary (Luke 1:37).
Jesus – Almighty God
Mary, having grown up in Jewish culture, had learned from childhood that a Messiah would come. She was probably familiar with Isaiah’s prophecy that when the Messiah came He would be called, “Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). But, I’m guessing she never dreamed that she would be the one to give birth to this Messiah!
Read through Luke 1:26-45.
What do you think was going through Mary’s mind when Gabriel spoke with her? How does Mary’s response to Gabriel compare to Abraham’s response to God in Genesis 17?
It’s ironic that the angel assures Mary that with God nothing is impossible, and for the baby whom she would give birth to nothing would be impossible because He would come as Almighty God!
Read John 2:1-11
Mary, the mother of Jesus, had the privilege of watching Jesus grow up. In this story what evidence do we have that her faith has grown? Turning the water into wine was the first miracle Jesus performed (John 2:11). Do you think Mary knew at the time of this wedding that Jesus actually was God?
Read Luke 4:31- 5:26
In this early stage of Jesus’ ministry, how does He reveal Himself as Almighty God?
Read John 9:1-41
The disciples thought that physical illness was a sign that a person had sinned.
- How did Jesus answer them?
- In what ways do our physical weaknesses become a venue for God to glorify Himself?
- Why do you think the Jewish leaders had such a hard time believing that Jesus was Almighty God?
- What gets in your way of truly believing that with God everything is possible?
- Think back over your life. List some ways that you have personally experienced Jesus as Almighty God.
For Group Discussion
Please leave a comment answering any or all of the following questions:
- In what areas of life have you struggled with doubt?
- What has been most helpful to you in your journey to believe that with God nothing is impossible?
- How have you personally experienced Jesus as Almighty God in recent days?
- Share your favorite insight from this week’s lesson.
[i] Ann Spangler Praying the Names of God (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2004), 42