In the pages of Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a woman who calls out to the son, inviting him into a mentoring relationship with her so she can impart instruction, understanding, good judgement, and discernment. She promises success, insight, and wealth. She describes being the architect of the creation of the world and dwelling with God from all eternity. But most importantly, she says that whoever finds her finds life.
While this Wisdom is good and pure and life-giving, she does not tolerate rejection. “They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them,” she says. “Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their schemes” (1: 30-31). She knows that those who reject her head down a dangerous path.
When we come to the New Testament, we discover exactly whom Lady Wisdom was pointing us toward. We see it from the earliest accounts of Jesus, when he stayed behind in the synagogue to discuss theology with the teachers of the law. Even though he was only twelve years old, “All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47). Jesus “grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (2:52). Throughout his teaching ministry, one of Jesus’ primary teaching methods was the parable. The Greek word translated as “parable” in the New Testament is a translation of the Hebrew word for “proverb”. In other words, Jesus was a teacher of wisdom.
The Gospels demonstrate Jesus’ wisdom, and Paul went a step further, asserting that Jesus was the very incarnation of God’s wisdom. Twice Paul identified Jesus with God’s wisdom. To the Corinthians he wrote: “For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself” (1 Corinthians 1: 30). And to the Colossians he proclaimed that in Christ “lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
The Wisdom who beckons us into relationship and offers us understanding and wealth is none other than Jesus Christ. This is where true wisdom is found.
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out” (Romans 11: 33).
Prayer – Jesus, I hear you calling to me, offering me everything I need for life if I will come to you and listen to you. So teach me everything you have for me. Impart your wisdom generously to me and make me wise in your ways.
Incumbent at St Aidan's Anglican Church,