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Jesus is the Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30 and Colossians 3:23)

Jesus is the Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30 and Colossians 2:3)

In Luke 11:49, Jesus called Himself “The wisdom of God.” Paul wrote, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God…Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God…in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30, Colossians 2:3). Read or listen to this chapter from the Work and Rest God’s Way Family Guide to learn why Jesus is the wisdom of God.

Work and Rest God's Way: A Biblical Recipe for Finding Joy and Purpose in All You Do Front cover
Work and Rest Gods Way Family Guide author Scott LaPierre

The text in this post is from the Work and Rest God’s Way Family Guide, and the audio is from the audiobook. I am praying God uses the Family Guide and accompanying book to exalt Christ and encourage your family as you serve Him.

Saying our children need the gospel is saying they need Christ. Work and Rest God’s Way and the accompanying Family Guide are meant to help you point your children toward Christ by giving them wisdom. Giving your children biblical wisdom is giving them Jesus because Jesus is the wisdom of God.

Consider these verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 1:24—To those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:30—You are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
  • Colossians 2:3—In [Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
  • Luke 11:49—Therefore the wisdom of God (referring to Jesus) said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute.”

Notice, it doesn’t say some of the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Jesus. It says all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Him.

Jesus Is Wisdom Incarnate

When God became a Man in the Person of Jesus Christ, it was as though wisdom itself became a man; wisdom was incarnated. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This refers to Jesus, and then John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Greek word for word is logos, which captures the Greek idea of divine reason or the mind of God. When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, the wisdom of God became flesh and dwelt among us. Since the wisdom of God became flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ, we see wisdom manifested in Jesus’ life.

Jesus Is Wiser Than Solomon

It’s easier to appreciate Jesus’ wisdom if it’s contrasted with the wisdom of others. There were wise men in the Old Testament, such as Joseph and Daniel, but it doesn’t mean much to say Jesus was wiser than they were because they were not considered the wisest men in the Old Testament. That title belongs to Solomon, a man whose very name is associated with wisdom as much as Job’s name is associated with suffering. God told him, “I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12).

There had never been anyone as wise as Solomon, and there would never be anyone as wise as Solomon. “Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt” (1 Kings 4:30). Solomon went on to write most of Proverbs, which is the book of wisdom. When you’re the human author of the Book of Wisdom, you’re wise, but Jesus said: “The queen of the South will rise up in judgment against this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42). If God told Solomon “nor shall any like you arise after you,” how can Jesus say He’s greater than Solomon? Jesus is in a class by Himself. While Solomon was wise, Jesus is wisdom.

Jesus Is Wiser than the Teachers

Jesus’ wisdom manifested itself at a young age. There’s almost nothing recorded about His early life. Following His birth, we only have one story about Him when He was in the temple with the teachers (Luke 2:41-51). This account is about—of all things—His wisdom. Two verses serve as bookends:

  • Luke 2:40—The Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom.
  • Luke 2:52—Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

In between these verses is the only account in the Bible from His childhood. Part of it reads:

After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (Luke 2:46-47).

When Jesus was twelve-years-old, He was engaged in a theological dialogue with the teachers of the Law. These men, the wise men of the day, were amazed by what Jesus said. They recognized His wisdom. As Jesus grew, His wisdom continued to be manifested through His teaching: “They were astonished at His teaching…He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him?’” (Mark 1:22, 6:2). Jesus’ wisdom was also manifested through His life. Seeing Jesus’ life is seeing wisdom on display. Jesus’ actions were wisdom lived out.

Jesus is the Wisdom of the Book of Proverbs

The Book of Proverbs is written as a father speaking to his son: “My son, hear the instruction of your father” (Proverbs 1:8).1 We also repeatedly read, “A wise son makes a glad father” (Proverbs 10:1, 15:20, and 29:3). Jesus was the perfectly Wise Son who makes His Father glad. Think of Jesus’ baptism: “A voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17).

Since Proverbs is the book of wisdom, and Jesus is the source of all wisdom, teaching our children the Book of Proverbs is teaching them about Jesus. For our children to know the wisdom of proverbs is for them to know Jesus. The fourth paragraph of Chapter 3 of Work and Rest God’s Way, reads:

 In John 8:23, Jesus said, “I am from above.” James 3:17 says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” Jesus is the embodiment of the wisdom from above, and only in looking to Him in the Proverbs can the sluggard’s life be remedied.

Work and Rest God’s Way draws heavily on the Book of Proverbs and, in doing so, points readers to Christ. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” This is a good prayer for our children. As they receive Christ Jesus the Lord, they should walk in Him, referring to having a relationship with Him. They should be rooted and built up in Him, which is to say they should have roots that go down deep and produce growth in Him. As parents, our responsibility is to teach our children, so they’re established in the faith, having a firm foundation for the future. Children have the responsibility to remember that teaching, abounding in it with thanksgiving for Christ and what He’s done.

Questions

  1. Look up wisdom in a dictionary and write it below. If you also have a Bible dictionary, look it up there and record it as well.
  2. Explain what it means to you that all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Jesus.
  3. Describe a time God allowed you to act in wisdom.
  4. Describe a time you forsook wisdom.
  5. How has God used your children to demonstrate wisdom to you? If you don’t have children, can you think of a time when God used a child? If you are a child or teen, can you think of a time someone younger than you had wisdom about something?
  6. Find three verses from the book of Proverbs about wisdom that especially stuck out to you and write them down.
  7. How can you help grow and cultivate deep roots in your child to have a relationship with Jesus? How would you explain to your child what having a relationship with Jesus means?
  8. What additional things can you do so your children will be established in the faith?

Footnotes

  1. Twenty-three other verses contain something similar. For example, in just the first three chapters, there’s also Proverbs 1:10, 15, 2:1, 3:1, and 3:11.

6 Responses

    1. Hello Frank,
      You are right. I would say that Proverbs 8:22-31 is about Jesus and Proverbs 30:4 is as well

      Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
      Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
      Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
      Who has established all the ends of the earth?
      What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
      Surely you know!

      At some point I might update this post and add my notes on these verses, because you’re right, Proverbs is the premier place to see Jesus as the wisdom of God.

  1. There is a typo. You originally cite Colossians 3:23 when I think you meant to cite Colossians 2:3.

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