Perry Duggar |
Our Wonderful Counselor cares about our lives.
The Names of Christmas – Message 1
November 28, 2021
Prayer: Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor; He cares about our lives and wants to hope and help. Let’s call on Him and ask Him to speak to each of us this morning.
I. Introduction: We begin a new series today called, The Names of Christmas.
- Isaiah 7:14; 9:2,6-7; 11:1-2
A. A name we associate with our celebration of Christmas in America is Santa Claus.
- He has other names around the world: in the Netherlands he is called Sinterklaas, which is Dutch for Saint Nicolas, was a 4th-century bishop, who helped others by giving away his inheritance to help children.
- He arrives by boat from Spain on Dec. 5 to leave treats for children in their shoes.
B. More important than any of Santa’s names are the names of our Savior, the Messiah.
- Almost 800 years before the birth of Jesus, Assyria was marching to conquer Israel; the prophet Isaiah offered hope to King Ahaz about a coming king.
- Isaiah 9:2,6-7 (NLT)—2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. … 6For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
- A son born to be king in the line of David would bear the titles, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- His purpose was not to reestablish the earthly kingdoms of Judah or Israel, but instead to establish the kingdom of God on earth! [Matthew 4:17]
- Jesus would fulfill the prophecy at His birth that first Christmas in Bethlehem; complete fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy would occur at His Second Coming.
- Each of the Messiah’s names, or titles, shows an aspect of our Savior’s character.
C. The Messiah’s first title, and the title of today’s message, is Wonderful Counselor.
- The word wonderful means “incomprehensible;” it refers to something or someone miraculous, extraordinary, astounding, who causes intense amazement in people.
- Jesus demonstrated His wonderful nature when He was on the earth: He was born to a virgin (Matthew 1:23), possessed the power to heal (Matthew 4:23), astonished people with His teaching (Mark 1:22), lived a sinless life
(Hebrews 4:15), and was resurrected from the dead (Mark 16:6).
- Counselor is a person who urges certain actions or thoughts based on wise advice.
- In ancient Israel, a counselor was often portrayed as a wise king like Solomon, who gave guidance to his people (1 Kings 4:34; Micah 4:9).
- What difference does Jesus, our Wonderful Counselor, make in our lives?
II. Our Wonderful Counselor…
A. #1 - Communicates wisdom. (Matthew 13:54-55; Luke 2:39-40,45-47; Colossians 2:3)
- Simply put, wisdom is the appropriate application of knowledge.
- It is the ability to understand a situation, particularly a difficult one, and know how to best resolve it.
- Jesus possessed extraordinary wisdom and discernment from a young age.
- Luke 2:39–40 (NLT)—[Jesus taken to Temple for circumcision, 8 days old, v.21] 39When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor [charis, grace] was on Him.
- Jesus’ wisdom may not be surprising to us if we assume He retained everything He possessed as God, and merely cloaked it in a human body; but when Jesus became human, He released His divine powers and privileges. [Philippians 2]
- As a human, He had to grow in learning and develop discernment, just as we do.
- But even as a young man, He displayed surprisingly advanced insight.
- Luke 2:45–47 (NLT)—[at age 12, Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover] 45When they couldn’t find Him [after leaving], they went back to Jerusalem to search for Him there. 46Three days later they finally discovered Him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
- Jesus’ wisdom exceeded what someone His age, educational training (likely none) and family background would possess.
- Matthew 13:54–56 (NLT)—54He returned to Nazareth, His hometown. When He taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does He get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” 55Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, His mother, and His brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56All His sisters live right here among us. Where did He learn all these things?” [From God’s Spirit and His Word just as we can!]
- Wisdom which is free from mistake or error must be based on truth—God’s truth—so understanding is not dependent on cognitive development (being smart) or receiving advanced education; rather, it is a spiritual act of growth.
- Wisdom can be developed from reading God’s Word (especially the Proverbs) and being led by the Spirit of Christ (our Wonderful Counselor) to see what is right and what is wrong, to know what to do and when to do it.
- APP.: Has a lack of wisdom caused you to make mistakes in your life? Ask Christ’s Spirit for insight and advice. Seek wisdom from God’s Word.
- [Because, as] Colossians 2:3 (NLT) [says]—In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Our Wonderful Counselor…
B. #2 - Confers compassion. (Matthew 9:36; Luke 2:12-15; John 2:25; 11:33-35)
- Jesus is a Wonderful Counselor because He knows our pain, He feels our sorrow.
- John 2:25 (NLT)—No one needed to tell Him what mankind is really like.
- Jesus knows us completely, individually, personally, intimately—and cares.
- Lazarus, the brother of Jesus’ friends, Mary and Martha, became sick and died.
- John 11:33–35 (NLT)—33When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within Him, and He was deeply troubled. 34“Where have you put him?” He asked them.
They told Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Then Jesus wept.
- Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, yet He wept because He felt Mary’s grief, experienced her agony, even though He was about to relieve it.
- His soon solution to her sorrow did not prevent Him from experiencing her pain.
- Jesus has compassion for all of the pain and loss we suffer; He cares about our anxious, oppressed, discouraged, hopeless, confused, conditions.
- Matthew 9:36 (NLT)—When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
- He comes to us gentle acceptance and humble concern, even if we have caused our difficulties; He cares!
- If you survey Jesus’ healings, you will see He cured in response to people’s pain, not because a crowd gathered that he wanted to convince of His power.
- Jesus knows—and feels—the wounds within each of us that affect how we feel.
- He understands what triggers us into harmful thoughts and destructive actions.
- Jesus doesn’t despise, or resent us, He loves each one of us, and He is concerned about the circumstances of our lives—even the negative ones we have caused.
- Take your broken, fearful, heart to Him; He will listen and provide hope!
- APP.: Do you need to experience the compassion of Jesus? Ask Him!
Our Wonderful Counselor…
C. #3 - Conveys guidance. (Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 3:5-6; John 8:12; James 1:5)
- The direction we truly need for our lives can come only from Jesus.
- John 8:12 (NLT)—Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
- Jesus is the light of this world; without Him, all of creation is plunged into sin, corruption, ignorance, despair, hopelessness… darkness.
- If we follow Him by faith, our lives become illuminated by truth as we are born again, receive eternal life and a promised home in heaven.
- But following Jesus also illuminates our every-day lives in this world, giving us spiritual eyes to discern our surroundings.
- Without guidance from our Wonderful Counselor, we will follow our own instincts and ideas, which are often short-sighted and self-centered.
- We need guidance from our Savior who created us, knows us fully and wants only what is truly best for us; we need only ask!
- He will tell us in answer to our prayers, through His Word or directly through impressions from His Spirit.
- Psalm 32:8 (NLT)—The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
- Our Wonderful Counselor makes a difference in our lives by communicating wisdom, conferring compassion, and conveying guidance; just ask!