Why does the Bible call Jesus a Wonderful Counselor? It seems to me that I need Him to be my counselor more than anything. How can I really apply His ‘Wonderful Counseling’ to my life?
We all need good counselors—mentors to help us along in life. And at Christmas time, it’s good to recall this classic Christmas passage, which reveals the four glorious names of the Newborn King:
“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….” – Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus, our Advocate, our Wonderful Counselor, not only gives us wise counsel, He also has the power and grace to help us. Here’s one of my favorite stories:
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A Christian Scientist came along and said, “You only think you are in a pit.”
A Pharisee said, “Only bad people fall into a pit.”
A fundamentalist said, “You deserve the pit.”
A charismatic said, “Just confess that you’re not in a pit.”
A Social Gospel pastor came by and said, “We brought you some food and clothing while you are in the pit.”
A Calvinist said, “This was no accident, you know.”
An optimist said, “Things will get better.”
A Pessimist said, “Things will get worse.”
Jesus came along, grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the pit.
Why should you want Jesus Christ for your counselor? Here are 4 powerful reasons:
1. Jesus Is a Counselor with Power To Resolve
As a wonderful counselor, he does not just give counsel, he pours in the power for a successful resolution to your problems.
In John 3:10-15, Jesus counseled Nicodemus. Nicodemus saw the miracles of Jesus. He recognized that no one could do these things unless he was from God Himself. But he needed Christ to open His legalistic heart:
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” – John 3:10-15
In John 4:28-30, Jesus counseled the Woman at the Well to face her past and trade her shame for salvation. He understood the loneliness of a broken life and poured in significance and delight.
“The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.” – John 4:28-30
In John 5:6-10, Jesus counseled the paralyzed man by the pool. He understood his personal limitations and provided healing and power.
“When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected.” – John 5:6-10
Counselors can only give us a plan to deal with our problems. Even the best counselors can’t provide the strength to overcome them. Only the Wonderful Counselor can.
2. Jesus Knows Everything About Everything
“In the beginning the Word already existed.The Word was with God,and the Word was God.He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him,and nothing was created except through him.The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.” – John 11:1-3
A mom was cleaning out the garage—a chore she hated. While sorting through “treasured stuff” her daughter Megan had accumulated over the years, the mother came across a questionnaire Megan had filled out while completing her master’s degree.
In response to the question, “’what is the most important counsel you ever received from your mother?” Megan had written, “Always rely on your own good judgment.”
And to “What was the most important counsel you ever received from your father?” Megan answered, “Ask your mother.”
No one on earth has all of the answers. Only Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor does.
3. Jesus Not Only Knows You Very Well, He Knows Exactly The Path You Should Go
We often become self-reliant and assume we can figure out our lives by research and the advice of others. But so often, we start on Plan A and end up on Plan Z. Psalm 139 teaches that Jesus created every fiber of our being. He knows exactly what we are thinking and what we will do before we do it:
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:1-13
A little girl learned that Jesus watches over her to see everything she does. Her mother said, “doesn’t it bother you that He sees everything you do?”
“Oh, no. He loves me so much he can’t keep His eyes off of me,” she replied.
Jesus can’t take His eyes off of you! He watches your every step; and He knows the right path for your life.
4. He Is Always Available and Never Even a Fraction of a Millimeter Away from You
When Jesus lived upon the earth, He could only advise those around Him. That’s why when He ascended into heaven—He sent the Holy Spirit who never leaves us and always counsels us!
John reassures us in John 14:16-18:
“Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (Counselor) to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you. I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.” NET
I have had a wonderful friend and counselor. Gary Shrader served as my associate pastor my entire ministry. He drove his dilapidated truck to Tucson from Oklahoma. Gary is the wisest man I ever met. He learned common sense from living on a farm.
Gary was brilliant and had a deeply spiritual heart from spending time with God. We ministered together in the same church for 38 years. His best advice to me was dispensed when our church was about to split over spiritual warfare. I was 29. I was terrified. Gary calmly commented: “Roger, it’s about this time that the average pastor does something really stupid.” I followed his wise advice and waited upon God. God intervened. The church not only survived the conflict…it flourished!
Throughout my years in ministry, my soft-spoken friend listened intently in every staff meeting. At the conclusion, Gary saw right to the heart of the issues and wisely guided our staff to make the right choices.
Now, Gary suffers with Stage 4 brain cancer. He bears the pain with the same quiet courage and wisdom that he has lived his entire life.
The only Wonderful Counselor I know who is better than Gary is Jesus.
He is the Wonderful Counselor who knows us completely. He leads us perfectly. He never leaves us, never forsakes us!
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese.His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.