And He Shall Be Called: Wonderful Counselor
The word of Isaiah the prophet rang out long before the coming of the Savior. But what would you expect, that is what prophets do. In proclaiming the coming of the True King, Isaiah spoke “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, NIV) Years later, the virgin Mary would give birth in the humility of a stable to that one true King. The prophet Isaiah gives four names for the coming Messiah and each one shows the plan of God for His people. He would change the world and uphold every system of authority on His shoulders merely because He is the ultimate authority.
Advent is a time of preparation as we celebrate God becoming man and living as one of us. His desire is to be with us and save us from the consequences of our rebellion. In him we have our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace.
He Will Be Called Wonderful Counselor
At the front of who this coming Messiah is remains a Wonderful Counselor. When we hear this phrase our initial reaction is to reduce it to a good psychologist. He is someone we can go to who would give us good advice. However true this may be, this severely understates the full scope of Jesus Christ. When Isaiah speaks of something being “wonderful” it is not as we understand it now, but more so as something that is full of wonder. It is incomprehensible and unfathomable. The counsel that Christ brings defies the expectations of mankind and exceeds our humanly ability to understand. Furthermore, Christ goes beyond merely being a counselor as we understand that term, but he is the one who derives the plan. The counsel that Jesus brings is the plan for our salvation.
Succinctly, we cannot forget that this plan defies expectation. It is filled with wonder beyond our ability to understand and comprehend. When we as human being are threatened or are facing rebellion, our initial instinct would be to respond with force. No threat against us would go unchallenged. This strategy is based solely in maintaining our power and whatever our perceived thrones may be. The strategy of God, however, is vastly different. Jesus would be a wonderful counselor.
The solution would arrive in the form of an infant born in the humility of a manger. God had descended from heaven and came to live with mankind. Although mankind despised God and everything He stood for, God provided a way, defying the every day expectation of what a god would do. The gods of the day were known for their iron fist willing to wage war at a moments notice. Jesus, however, would rule with an open palm of love, graciously inviting all who would come close.
Guide The Way For His People
The wonderful counsel and plan that God provided was a rejection of the fleshly impulses. Ironically, by becoming flesh and bearing the burden of common temptations and struggles, Jesus would sanctify the flesh. God’s people could not pull themselves out of their own sin. Only by bearing the full weight of the sin of mankind would God be able to save His people. Thus, God became man. Jesus, being born in a lowly manger, came to be with His people and to live as one of them. He endured everything we endured for our own sake. Yet, He was different. In resisting the temptation of sin, He was perfect and able to redeem the world by sacrificing Himself. Where every other means of salvation were powerless and would fail, the counsel of God paved the path for the salvation of mankind.
The counsel of God becoming man remains for man to come to God for their salvation. For all who are tired of striving, wearing under their own efforts for their security, come to Christ. He is our hope. Jesus institutes his plan of salvation by firm coming as one of us. All of this stems from the great and enduring love of God for the people. We are His creation made in His image. He longs for a relationship with each of us so much that He would descend from the heights of heaven to the lowliness of earth in order to provide us access to Him. We all have the opportunity to know God and be known by Him and our future is secure in the plan and counsel that surpasses all other plans.
This is His Advent. He is our Wonderful Counselor.
This article originally appeared here and is used with permission by the author.
About the Author
Pastor Daniel Burton lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In May 2015, Daniel graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with his Master of Divinity. It was here that he began to explore his passion for Theology and deeper exploration of the word of God. Daniel believes that, at its core, Theology should be fun. Check out more of his work at http://thegospeloutpost.com