The following is the first in a four part series on preparing your heart for the Christmas Season. It has been adapted from a sermon called “Preparing Your Heart for the Christmas Season” delivered at Hope Community Church by Steve Treichler on November 30, 2003.
This first name, Wonderful Counselor, has often been taken as two different names, Wonderful and Counselor. I separated them because I have been thinking about the questions “How is Jesus wonderful?” and, “What ways does the Bible portray Him as Wonderful and Counselor?”
The Dictionary defines “wonderful” as:
- Capable of eliciting wonder; astonishing.
- Admirable; excellent.
The gospel of John is filled with miracles Jesus did. For example, turning water into wine (John 2:1-12), knowing the woman at the well’s marriage history without ever meeting her before (John 4:1-45), healing at the pool of a crippled man (John 5:1-17), healing a blind man who was blind from birth (John 9). However, as John opens his gospel account of Jesus, what is the thing that makes him marvel the most? Not the miracles. Something else.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John marveled the grace & truth which came through Jesus; they made him full of wonder. Miracles, at least in the story of scripture, were nothing new….but the grace & truth that Jesus brought were signs of the promised new covenant. Through Jesus, people can have undeserved favor with the God who has the power to completely forgive & restore a person who has asked God for forgiveness and accepts Christ as their personal savior. In Jesus, there is truth. No deceit or spin on truth, just unadulterated, pure, honest, straightforward truth. Now that’s wonderful.
A counselor is simply someone who you get advice from, hopefully good advice. It can be in personal matters, like what we think of as a counselor today, or it can be in political and governmental functions, like “the king’s counselors.’ How is Jesus our counselor? What do I need from a counselor in my life? As I’ve thought about this, this is what I’ve come up with:
- I need a counselor who loves me, not just one who wants to fix me
- I need a counselor who is wise
- I need a counselor who will give me good advice
- I need someone who has authority, who is an expert in the field.
Jesus is all of these things, and so much more. Listen to the following passages about Jesus ability to be our counselor or helper:
Romans 5:8: but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Colossians 2:2-3: My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Jesus, the infinitely loving and wise counselor has invited us into a relationship with him this Christmas. How can we enjoy him as wonderful counselor this Christmas?