Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Wonderful Counselor

 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  – Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. And honestly, this year I need Christmas more than ever. I plan to savor every minute of this special season. How about you? I think it would do everyone good to soak it all in. Walk or drive through your neighborhood and look at all the Christmas lights. Listen to Christmas music. Watch some uplifting Christmas movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Elf.” Bake some Christmas cookies … and bring some to me. Enjoy this Christmas season to the fullest!

But most importantly, keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebration. Read the Christmas story from Matthew 2 and Luke 2. Talk with others about why we celebrate Christmas. Be a blessing to people around you who are feeling sad or alone. Being a Secret Santa is fun, but God has called you to bring Jesus to those who are hurting.

2020 has been filled with doom and gloom. But God has a plan—a good plan to prosper us and not to harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future. He has a plan to head off the doom and gloom. And that plan was foretold in Isaiah 9, written some 700 years before Christ was born.  God promised His people: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…. in the future He will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (vs. 1-2).

And what’s most amazing of all is who God tells us will carry out His plan: not a massive army, a league of nations or a great political leader. God’s amazing plan rests in the hands … of a child. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (v. 6). This promised child would be a king unlike any other king who ever lived, a lord unlike any other lord who ever ruled. This child would be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Let’s take a few minutes to wrap our minds around this first kingly title of Jesus in verse 6: Wonderful Counselor. What does this title mean? The word “wonderful” in Isaiah 9:6 is a translation of the Hebrew word “pele,” which is defined as  “a phenomenon lying outside the realm of human explanation; that which is separated from the normal course of events; a miracle, a marvel, something extraordinary, incomprehensible, inexplicable.”

I really like what GotQuestions.org has to say about the wonder of Jesus: “Jesus demonstrated His wonderfulness in various ways when He was on the earth, beginning with His conception in the womb of a virgin (Matthew 1:23). He showed He is the ‘wonderful’ One in His power to heal (Matthew 4:23) … His perfect life (Hebrews 4:15), and His resurrection from the dead (Mark 16:6). Jesus taught many wonderful things that are counterintuitive to the human mind: ‘Blessed are those who mourn’ (Matthew 5:4). ‘Rejoice and be glad’ in persecution (Matthew 5:11–12). ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you’ (Luke 6:27). Jesus’ kind of wonderful is awe-inspiring and superior to any other kind, for He is perfect in every way (Matt. 5:48).”

Next, “counselor” is a translation of the Hebrew word “yoez,” which means “to advise, counsel, devise, purpose.” In ancient Israel, a counselor was portrayed as a wise king, Solomon, who gave guidance to his people. But Jesus’ counsel is in a category of its own. His wisdom and his counsel are “a phenomenon lying outside the realm of human explanation” -- “a miracle, a marvel, extraordinary, incomprehensible, inexplicable.”

Jesus knows you better than anyone else, because he alone created you. Jesus understands you better than anyone else, because he alone knows every thought in your mind and every motive in your heart. Jesus cares about you more than anyone else, because his love for you is perfect. And he understands the unique circumstances and people around you better than anyone else, because as the all-knowing Son of God, in him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” So, he is the first one you should go to with your questions. He is the first one you should go to with your problems. And he is the first one you should go to with your depression, anxiety, fears, failures, and your sin. 

Jesus Christ came to earth on Christmas morning to be your Wonderful Counselor. No question is too hard for him to answer. No problem is too big for him to handle. No family drama is too dramatic for him to deal with. No soul is too lost for him to save. There is only ONE Wonderful Counselor, and His name is Jesus. So, go to him this Christmas season.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for this Sunday's worship service, online at 10 a.m. on our YouTube channel (Impact Christian Church) or on Facebook. And we hope you’ll join us for our online Christmas Eve candlelighting service, Dec. 24th at 8 p.m.

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