Jesus Is the Wisdom From Above

Education. It is put forth as the solution for all that ills the world today. Do we want to improve society? Make better citizens? Advance technologically? Or keep up with our rivals on the world stage? Education is the answer.

Have you offended someone on social media? Educate yourself. Are you clinging to an antiquated moral value? Education will allow you to move forward.

Teen pregnancy? Gun violence? Substance abuse? Investing in education is the key to reducing these problems as well . . . at least that’s what we’re told.

Despite a vast accumulation of knowledge achieved through countless resources devoted to education, we continue to suffer the results of a broken humanity. The observational evidence would suggest that education alone is inadequate to produce real change in our lives. The reason for this is that although we are increasing in knowledge, we are not increasing in wisdom. Wisdom is the appropriate application of knowledge in the real world. And because this is God’s world, the right application of knowledge always begins with a God-centered worldview.

James, in chapter 3 of his letter, describes two types of wisdom. The first is a false wisdom that comes from knowledge obtained by human understanding. This is the wisdom that results from humanistic education, discovery, reason, and feeling. According to James, it is earthy (temporary), unspiritual (humanistic), and demonic (from hell). It is the “wisdom” that would build its house on any foundation other than God. Of course, because nature is ordered by God, this type of knowing is useful to us on a material level, but it does little to awaken us spiritually. The second type of wisdom comes not from this earth but from above. It is the revealed wisdom of God that begins with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). It is wisdom declared, not discovered. Sent out by His word, not felt. It is the reference point from which everything else begins and against which everything else is measured.

Jesus embodies the wisdom from above

This time of year we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus, coming down from above, sent from God, the Word made flesh, who reveals to us the nature of the Father, and who is wisdom perfectly personified.

Centuries before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah foretold of a coming Messiah who would be full of wisdom, understanding, and the fear of the Lord.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2

As he grew from a youth into a man, Luke reports that Jesus increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52). During his ministry, heavenly wisdom was displayed as he rebuked the temptations of the devil, spoke to the people in parables, foiled the traps of the Pharisees, and mesmerized the men sent to arrest him. James 3:17 describes the wisdom from above as pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason (submissive), full of mercy, bearing good fruits, impartial, and sincere – all qualities Jesus perfectly embodied.

But more than just living a wisdom filled life, Jesus reveals to us the wisdom of God. James teaches that there is a meekness in the application of true wisdom (James 3:13). What better example of wisdom conducted in meekness than the glorious redemption plan of God the Father, decreed before the ages, revealed to us by the Savior taking on the frailty of humanity. Instead of arriving with the glory of a king, he was born a poor baby in an obscure town to lowly parents surrounded by shabby shepherds. That baby would then grow up to die on the cross for the sins of the world, a death that was offensive to the the Jews and ridiculous to the Greeks, but for them to who it is revealed . . . the power of God (1 Cor 1:23-24)!

“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 

1 Cor 2:6-8

In this season let us be reminded that it is not education that we need. It is wisdom. The wisdom that begins and ends with God. The wisdom that was so beautifully revealed in the person of Jesus, the culmination of God’s plan of redemption that began before time. So rather than pursuing worldly knowledge, may we kneel before the humble baby, the wise Man, the crucified King, the risen Lord, submitting our lives to Him as the only One who can save us, trusting that one day He will right all the wrongs in this world.

Merry Christmas!

2 thoughts on “Jesus Is the Wisdom From Above

  1. Anonymous

    Your final paragraph was a great Christmas crescendo.
    Wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ comes from the Scripture, according to 2 Tim. 3:15. And Christ Himself is the believer’s wisdom, according to 1 Cor. 1:24, 30. No one is saved without some knowledge, but knowledge about things—even about Christ—saves no one. Rather, experiential knowledge of Christ comes by faith in Him Who is wisdom.


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