Counselor

At some point in our life, we are going to need help. Very often; this help comes in the form of advice or counsel. There are many decisions that have to be made each day. Some of these decisions, on one particular day; may affect all the other days of our life. In order to know what to do, we need to ask someone who is older and has more experience than we have. What if we could ask the One who made the universe for advice? The fact is—we can, all we have to do is seek Him. Many people miss the fact that this is precisely what prayer is all about; communication with God. We can talk to Him about our problems. Seek His counsel on what we should do. Ask Him for His help, or just talk to Him about our day and how things are going. God is a person, just like us—except perfect in every regard. This chapter is dedicated to knowing the great counselor who knows everything. Isaiah said that when the Messiah comes, He will be known as a: “Counselor.”

Isaiah 9:6e For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor…

New Testament Fulfillment:

Colossians 2:2-3 …Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Matthew 13:53-54 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?”

Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. Of the

The Hebrew word for Counselor here is ya’ats: “One who is able to give good advise”; “a person to whom you may consult; an advocate who will deliberate with you in your situation; a guide who will take you along the correct path.” This Hebrew word is translated on 22 occasions as Counselor and it always carries with it; the idea of one who is an all-perfect Counselor and guide, who is qualified to direct anyone in any situation of life.[1]

Jesus is a perfect counselor because He is the Creator and sustainer of all that exists. He knows all there is to know and can do all things—there is nothing that is impossible for Jesus.

Colossians 1:16-17 For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

When we have a great need, who better to understand us than the One who created us? His counsel is perfect and true. His wisdom, beyond measure; His counsel, unequalled. Jesus has had the solutions for all of our problems, before the earth existed. If we will only turn to Him in our hour of need, He will provide the answers that will meet every situation of life. Whatever the Lord asks or requires of us—His way is always perfect.

Why would we seek counsel from another human being, when God has made Himself available to us—at any hour; of any day—for any reason. There is no human counselor, psychiatrist, or pastor that can meet our needs as well as Jesus; for He is our “Wonderful Counselor.”

There are many examples in the New Testament where Jesus acted in the role of a Counselor to help those who came to Him. When we study the words and the manner in which Jesus spoke to these individuals, we are stunned at His wisdom, great love, and incredible insight into the problems that people have.

Nicodemus has a question

Nicodemus is a Pharisee of Israel. The Pharisees were the teachers of the law. Nicodemus has heard Jesus speak and his heart is moved. He knows that no one has ever expounded on the true intent of the word of God—like Jesus. His wisdom, power, and authority, when He spoke, is unparalleled in the history of the world. The way that Jesus loved people, while calling them to repentance for their sins, was the perfect balance of love and correction. Nicodemus wanted to know more about Jesus. He is afraid that if he goes to speak to the Lord during the day, his colleagues might see him and rebuke his actions.

Coming at night, Nicodemus finds that Jesus has all the answer to his questions and meets the deepest longing of his heart.

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 5 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:1-16

Jesus counsels Nicodemus that it is not a man’s outward religious activities that causes God to accept him. It is his heart of repentance for his sins and a willingness to receive God’s chosen Savior. The work of Salvation is accomplished by the Holy Spirit who moves in the hearts of those who are sincerely seeking God and are willing to do what He has said. In this example, Jesus is a Wonderful Counselor who bypasses all of the religious objections of Nicodemus, and simply tells him: “you must be born again.”

A question regarding finances:

Do you need a financial counselor? The practical matters of our life are as much a concern for God as our eternal life. The Lord cares about every part of our existence, and how these things affect our ability to live our lives as we trust Him to meet all of our needs. Jesus counsels this next man to consider his life, which Jesus said, does not consist of the things that he has. Life is far more than the accumulation of possessions and wealth. What many people never consider, as they are busy living, is that our life can be over in an instant. It is better to settle the eternal issues first. What will a person do, when he has given little or no thought to what God requires, when he finds his life is suddenly over and he is not saved?

Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ ” :21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:13-21

We have just one life to make up our mind whether or not we will believe what God has said about eternal life. The Bible teaches that only in Jesus can anyone be saved. There is no other way that God will receive us, except that we come through the sacrifice that Jesus has made for our sins, when He died on the cross. In this, Jesus counsels us to consider what is most important: Finding eternal life.

A woman at a well

There are a multitudes of issues in life that people often use to make their excuses for why they will not come to God and seek the forgiveness of their sins. For this woman of Samaria, life has not been very kind to her. Married five times, it appears that even to the present day, she is suffering guilt and shame. Coming to the well at noon, during the heat of the day, there would be very few other women drawing water. In this way, she would not have to bear further shame for the way that she has lived her life.

Jesus, being more concerned for this woman, than He is for His own need for food, makes this journey to the well to meet someone insignificant to the world. To the majority of Jews in this area, a Samaritan woman was worth nothing. The Jews hated the Samaritans, as they were a mixture of Jew and their former Babylonian captors.

As the conversation begins, Jesus cuts through the woman’s religious objections and tells her to just believe in the Messiah whom God has sent. When Jesus begins to describe her life down to the finest detail, she realizes that He is not only a wise counselor: He is the Messiah whom God has promised.

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour (12 noon). 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” 28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” John 4:6-29

This amazing exchange between Jesus and this woman, results in her salvation and her quick return to the village where she lives; to encourage all of her family and friends to Come see a Man who told me all I ever did. This example of Jesus’ incredible ability to look right into our hearts and show us precisely what we need, is a true fulfillment of this prophecy from Isaiah 9:6e. Jesus is—a Wonderful Counselor.

A woman caught in sin:

The only thing worse than living a life filled with the shame of sin is having people know what you have done. The Pharisees were always more interested in finding people guilty of breaking the laws of Moses than they were in trying to help them find salvation.

Seeking to test Jesus in what judgment He would pronounce against this woman, caught in the act of adultery, they forget half of the law: “Where is the man who has also committing adultery with this woman?” According to the law of Moses, both people should be stoned to death (Leviticus 20:10). Perhaps it was one of the Pharisees who participated in this sin, who had been given a pass from judgement.

Jesus knows how to trap the guilty in their own hypocrisy. All of the men who stood before this woman with rocks in their hands, were also guilty of their own sins. Jesus counsels them to throw their rocks at the woman only if their own record of sin is clean. One by one, from the oldest to the youngest, each man dropped the stone he was carrying and walked away. The older men had a lifetime to observe their own failures. It took them only a moment to realize that they were just as guilty as this woman. The younger men, feeling much more self-righteous, were harder to convince that they were also sinners. Eventually, all of those who came to condemn her are gone, leaving the only one who is truly qualified to judge—Jesus—who is perfect and without sin.

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:3-11

In the end, Jesus shows that it is not the desire of God to condemn us and dispatch anyone to hell. If this was His goal, God would never have allowed His Son to die for us. Instead, God is full of mercy and love and asks only that we agree with Him that we are sinners and that His way of salvation is the only way. Just so that this woman, and all other sinners are clear what God requires; Jesus adds one more word of counsel: Go and sin no more. If we are truly repentant over our sins, we will seek to never repeat those sins again.

A father’s broken heart

I have suffered the great misfortune of standing beside the bed of dying loved ones. There is no greater hurt than to watch someone whom you love deeply, pass away and leave you. Even though we might be certain that they were ready to meet the Lord, it is never easy to let go and be left without their love and presence in our life.

Jesus came into the world to end the sting of death. Whenever He watched people die, those near Him could hear the anguish within His soul as He watched what death does to our lives. No father should have to watch his child die; yet, here is a ruler in the Synagogue who is not immune to suffering simply because he serves God. His own dear daughter has died, and he is inconsolable.

How do we counsel and comfort a parent who has lost a child? We cannot. As Jesus comes to this grieving father, He gives him the best gift that he has ever received.

While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” 50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.”53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. Luke 8:49-55

In this incredible example of Jesus’ ability to command life and death, we see that even when all hope is gone, Jesus is able to counsel and comfort us in our greatest times of need.

A lawyer asks, Who is my neighbor?

When we hear Jesus speak of God’s love, all we can think is; “how much I need that kind of love.” On the other hand, when someone whom we see as undeserving of love needs us to love them, we are reluctant to give our affection and compassion. Attorneys see people at their very worst. They defend the guilty and the innocent with the power of argument for justice. Very often, when the Attorney and his client are in the midst of preparations for a trial, the attorney will discover that the person he is expected to defend, is not really worthy of a defense, though the law demands it.

With this in mind, when Jesus tells the attorney who is the subject of this story, to love his neighbor, he asks Jesus a jaded question, Who is my neighbor? In the estimation of the attorney, most people are not worth loving once you get to know them. Jesus informs this man that those whom the world considers the most undesirable, God loves. If we truly love God with all our heart, then we must love those that He loves.

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

The example that Jesus uses to illustrate the type of Love that God expects from us, is the behavior of a Samaritan; a person that no Jew could ever love.

After the capture of certain citizens of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, which resulted in their captivity at Babylon for 70 years, many of these Jewish captives chose to remain in Babylon after they were released to go back home to Judah. Some intermarried with the Babylonians, giving birth to children who were considered only half Jew. These children of the captives of Babylon, returned later to Judah and formed a community referred to as: The Samaritans. They were hated and despised by those who saw themselves as the true Jews of Israel.

If one of the “true Jews” would approach a Samaritan on the street, they would cross to the other side, just to avoid coming into contact with them. In this example described by Jesus, a man (Jew) is beaten, robbed, and left for dead by thieves. A Samaritan happened to pass by and observes this man laying beside the road. He stops and bandages his wounds, and carries him to a local hotel where he pays for a night’s stay. The Samaritan stays with the injured man throughout the night, caring for his injuries. On the following morning, the Samaritan pays the innkeeper—in advance for any needs that this man may have while recuperating from his injuries. The Samaritan also promised to return in the future to settle any amounts which might be owed.

Although a Jew would never do this for a Samaritan; this Samaritan has shown great love and compassion for a Jew. Jesus uses this illustration for obvious reasons. We are not likely to help someone that we don’t like, nor a person whom we consider unworthy of our time and attention.

Jesus’ counsel to us is that we had better learn to love people. If we find that our heart is hardened towards any particular person or group of people, we must change ourselves. We cannot continue to follow Jesus and hate anyone. We must forgive and accept every person who comes to God in repentance of their sins and seeks eternal life by Jesus’ sacrifice. Even those who are yet to be saved, we must love and do good-to, in the hope that they will turn to Jesus and be saved.

These few examples give us a small sampling of the wise and practical counsel of Jesus—the likes of which no one has equalled before. Jesus is the Counselor whom Isaiah described. He is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies of the Messiah. With the evidence that is presented to us by the New Testament, there is absolutely no possibility that we could miss Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.


[1] Strong’s Concordance of Hebrew words #3289, Englishman’s Concordance of the Old Testament.