Today, and throughout the week, we will be talking about the “Titles of Jesus.” Perhaps you have a problem or a need in your life today. Through this message by Derek Prince you’ll discover a “Wonderful Counselor” who is in His office 24/7. So take a moment to ask Jesus to give you wisdom and understanding about your situation.
It’s good to be with you again at the beginning of a new week sharing with you Keys To Successful Living that God has placed in my hand through many years of personal experience and Christian ministry.
My talks this week will have a special significance for the Christmas season which is now so close at hand. But first, let me say thank you to those of you who have been writing to me. Before I finish this talk we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It encourages me greatly to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So, please take time to write to me, even if it’s only a brief note.
Personally, I love the Christmas season. In countries where it is publicly honored and celebrated it generates something special in the atmosphere different from all other seasons. In my own life I can remember as young person—even though I was at that time an unbeliever and far from God—each year the Christmas season touched my heart with special emotions. Emotions that I couldn’t explain, emotions that I partly desired and partly feared. Somehow I was reminded of a missing dimension in my life, something that I needed to make me a complete person. Sad to say, these emotions didn’t last long into the New Year. Nevertheless, I never totally forgot them, they were always there somewhere in the background.
It’s my sincere desire for each one of you, my listeners, that this Christmas season may be truly blessed and furthermore, that it’s blessings may not prove transient. However, to receive the true and abiding blessings of Christmas one thing is essential, that we keep Christ at the center of Christmas. Without Christ Christmas loses any real or permanent significance.
Unfortunately, for many people in our contemporary Western culture Christmas is associated with materialism, commercialism, and self-indulgence. The scripture has a very clear warning for us about this. It’s in Galatians 6:8:
“For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
You see, in all our actions, our words, our thoughts, the way we spend our time, the way we spend our money; we’re always sowing something that we’re going to get back when we reap it. And the scripture says that we can sow to the flesh, to the carnal, to the material, to self, and we’ll only reap corruption, disappointment, frustration. But, if we sow to the Spirit of God we’ll reap to eternal life, we’ll have a richer and fuller and more abundant life, the kind of life that Jesus came to bring us.
So, in order not to suffer this frustration of reaping from the flesh we have to sow to the Spirit. And at Christmastime one special way to do this is to keep our heats and minds focused on Jesus.
The purpose of my talks this week is to help you to do this. For this purpose the theme I’ve chosen is “Titles of Jesus.” We need to understand that in the Bible names or titles are always significant. Every biblical name has a specific meaning often including a title of God. And, in addition, it often indicates something special about the character or destiny of the person to whom it is given. This applies particularly to the many titles given to Jesus. Each tells us something special and important about Jesus Himself. Out of the many titles given to Jesus I’ve chosen certain ones to share with you which, I believe, will especially bless you at this Christmas season.
The first title of Jesus I’m going to speak about is taken from Isaiah 9:6 where it says this:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Notice how accurate this prophecy is. Two different expressions are used. It says “a child will be born,” but it says, “a son will be given.” You see, Jesus did not come into existence at the time of his human birth, He’s eternal. He’s the eternal Son of God. He was not born as the Son of God, He was given as the Son of God. But, in human terms, he was born as a child. Do you see how accurate that is?
Now, in connection with this wonderful prophecy which is so real for us, especially at the Christmas season, we find that four titles are here given. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of peace. Isn’t it remarkable that this child in Scripture is actually called Mighty God? Who could that be but Jesus?
The title that I want to speak about from that verse today is Wonderful Counselor. And, I’d like to compare with that another prophecy about the coming Messiah, also from Isaiah 11:1–2.
“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”
Later on in these talks I’m going to take that title “Messiah” and explain what it means—the anointed one—but here is the prediction of the Messiah, the one on whom the Spirit of the Lord will rest in its fullness. And particularly, there are emphasized those aspects which make him the Wonderful Counselor. The words especially to be noted here are wisdom, understanding, counsel and knowledge.
I was in a certain place once preaching and the pastor there spoke about Jesus and he gave Him a description I’d never heard before but it stuck with me. He said, “Jesus, the man with the plan.” I say amen to that! Jesus is the man with the plan. He is the counselor. He’s the one who has the answer. He’s the one that can show you what to do when nobody else can show you. And, when you’ve come to the end of your own wits and your own resources, remember, there’s a Wonderful Counselor.
Let me say a little bit about that word wonderful. It’s used various times and places in the Bible. It always suggests something supernatural, marvelous, supernatural. And so, in this picture of Jesus the Wonderful Counselor I think we see certain elements. First of all, it’s on a supernatural level, It’s above mere psychology and human counseling, however helpful that might be. Secondly, it includes discernment. Jesus sees right to the heart of every problem and every person. Thirdly, it includes direction. He has the answer. Not only does he see the problem but he offers the solution.
I want you to look with me at two picture of Jesus the Wonderful Counselor that are found in the gospel. The first describes the calling of his first disciple. It’s recorded in Matthew 4;18–20.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.”
Out of all the potential disciples that were there Jesus picked on two men who were simple, plain fishermen. No great education, no association with the priestly or with the teachers of the law; just plain fishermen. But Jesus the Wonderful Counselor saw something in those men and he knew what he could make out of them. So he said, “If you’ll commit yourself to me, if you’ll follow me, I’ll make you fishers of men.”
We need to understand the important thing in our relationship to Jesus is not what we are when we start but what he’s going to make of us. And his wonderful counsel sees in each one who comes to him what they can be if they yield to him.
The second picture is the rich, young ruler in Mark 10:17–22.
“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. Good teacher, he asked, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Why do you call me good? Jesus answered. No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother. Teacher, he declared, all these I have kept since I was a boy. Jesus looked at him and loved him. One thing you lack, he said. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. At this the man’s face fell, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
You see how Jesus looked right into the heart of that young man. He loved him. He wanted he best for him. But he had to tell him the truth. And he said, “I’ve kept all the commandments.” Interestingly enough, the commandment not to covet is not mentioned there. And Jesus saw that was just one barrier between him and what God had for that young man, and that was his possessions. He was bound by the material. Jesus looked right down into his heart and he said, “There’s just one thing you have to do. Sell all you have and follow me.” Jesus didn’t say that to everybody because he knew the particular hindrance in each life. But to this young man he said, “Money and possessions are your hindrance. If you want what I have to offer, you’ll have to let them go.”
So, if you have a problem or a need, remember there is a Wonderful Counselor, Jesus. His office is open 24 hours a day. Don’t be afraid to go to him.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking of another beautiful title of Jesus, Prince of Peace.