(31.) On Christ as Wisdom

(31.) On Christ as Wisdom

(31.) On Christ as Wisdom.

“To those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24).

WISDOM: highly skilled in a particular area of expertise; highly skilled in the practical art of living and decision-making; practicing the truth in daily life; sensible judgment; moral discernment; deep insight; gifted understanding; shrewd street smarts; spiritual intelligence.

Jesus has all these attributes of wisdom. The fact is, Jesus is all these attributes in the flesh.

Christ is in the business of making intangible things tangible. He became God incarnate, for instance, and we know full well God is a Spirit (John 4:24, 2 Cor 3:17). Jesus fleshed out the Spirit. He put tangible flesh on an intangible Spirit. He embodied Spirit and became man.

In the same way, Christ is embodied wisdom. Christ is wisdom incarnate. He took tangible flesh and blood and put it on an intangible attibute, an abstract idea. Christ isn’t merely full of wisdom… “Jesus, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3). He is not merely a source of wisdom for us. He literally is Wisdom personified in real, concrete life. Christ is the Wisdom of God. He is God’s Wisdom made manifest. He makes God’s wisdom clearly seen, visible, experiential, obvious to the senses.

In His earthly ministry, Christ didn’t just exhibit wisdom, He was Wisdom itself in personal form. He was a Personal version of an impersonal idea. When people interacted with Jesus, they were encountering a Person who was a walking and talking Wisdom from God. Was Jesus so divinely full of wisdom, so saturated with godly wisdom, that the spiritual result was that He was Wisdom itself?

We do know that God and Wisdom created the world (Proverbs 8). From all eternity, Jesus was God’s wisdom, even before the Triune God created the world. That’s why Wisdom is a title of Christ, not merely a description of Christ.

Before we enjoy seeing Christ as Wisdom in the creation account of Proverbs 8, a couple of points need to be made. First, “Christian tradition from St. Justin (150 AD) onwards sees in Wisdom in the Old Testament the Person of Christ Himself.” (NJB notes). Ever since the early Church Fathers, when one reads about Wisdom personified in the Hebrew Bible, one can simply understand Christ as Wisdom. That’s the Christian tradition. Secondly, it is very clear that Christ was a co-creator of the world. He participated in creation with the Triune God. As the Orthodox Church puts it, “The Father made the world through the Son in the Spirit.” “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things exist.” (Col 1:16-17).

And now for a fascinating, soul-satisfying treat. Feast your mind on Proverbs 8, in which Wisdom is seen as a Person creating the world with God, side by side, delighting in what is being made. Picture the Person of Christ as Wisdom itself, rejoicing in creation. In this account, Wisdom is a title for the Person of Christ.

I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.” (Prov. 8:12,14).

“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old.

I have been established from everlasting. From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.

When there were no depths I was brought forth. When there were no fountains abounding with water.

Before the mountains were settled. Before the hills, I was brought forth. 

While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields. Or the primal dust of the world. 

When He prepared the heavens, I was there. When He drew a circle on the face of the deep;

When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep;

When He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command;

When He marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman.

And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him,

Rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the children of men.  (Prov. 8:22-31, NKJV).

When we happily consider how the Godhead rejoiced over creation, and how Christ Himself delighted in the creation of mankind, we can easily see how human life is precious and sacred in His sight. We were created in joy by God. One can appreciate that God delights in our existence, that He rejoices over every person created, then and now. We can easily imagine, and should be encouraged by, the Lord’s promise to us… “The Lord your God will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with the singing of joyful songs.” (Zeph. 3:17).

Christian wisdom is not acquired through human effort, but through uniting ourselves with Wisdom, Jesus Christ. Through personal spirituality, not intellectul activity. Through submission, not ambition. Through union with Christ, the Wisdom of God. “It is by Him that you exist in Christ Jesus, who for us was made wisdom from God.” (1 Cor. 1:30).