What does wisdom look like?

When you think of someone that is wise, who do you picture? For some reason, I often picture a robed Roman philosopher with a long beard.
 
We rarely consider youth as possessing wisdom. We picture those with miles under the hood. There’s something about pure life experience that outshines intellectual smarts when we think of true wisdom.
 
I just thought of Yoda from Star Wars. He’s my generation’s incarnational wisdom.  The fount of wisdom in the Galaxy. “No! Try not…? Do, or do not, there is no try.”

I enjoy philosophy, which means “the study of wisdom”.  I think it’s because I enjoy questions. I might enjoy questions more than answers. If an answer comes too quickly, I’m often suspicious. The older we get, the less answers we seem to have, and more questions!  The young have all the answers and are attracted to those who have the most.

Generations rise up following those who know it all. The pursuit of wisdom by nature requires us to acknowledge our lack of wisdom. It’s taken me far too long to learn this, but it’s leading me to ask better questions.

God’s wisdom in scripture reveals some interesting principles!

1. God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world. 

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Cor 1:20

The world seeks certainty, to prove or disprove certain things. Before Jesus came, you can read Aristotle, Plato, or Socrates and find a fascinating pursuit of wisdom and meaning. Their theories helped form western civilization as we know it as concepts of logic and rationality began to take shape. It was a valiant attempt; some of their writing reveals brilliance before their time. Their theories were revised and integrated into theology through the centuries.  Aquinas in the 13 Century in his argument of 5, Anselm’s development of Ontology (nature of reality), Descartes during the Renaissance, Pascal and his “wager,” all attempting to wrap mortal minds around an infinite topic.

Yet, God’s wisdom is not intimidated by the world’s wisdom. He sees us groping in the dark and clinging to our discovered fragments.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.  1 Cor 1:21-22.

2. God’s wisdom is missional.

The wisdom of God is not some arbitrary concept, but conceived in the heart of our Creator for a purpose. He has shaken the fabric of created order by wrapping Himself in flesh, “in love” and by the “kind intention of His will which He purposed in Him” (Eph 1:5-8).

God’s wisdom is packaged in mercy and love. It’s aim is to attract humanity to His character, “in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing greatness of His grace and kindness towards us in Jesus Christ” Eph 2:4-7). 

Instead of simply revealing wisdom as a thing to possess, God’s wisdom seeks to possess. He reveals reality that we might be subsumed within it. His wisdom is a magnet which draws those believe (Eph 1:13). Once we are drawn in by the tractor beams of God’s wisdom, we become stewards and ambassadors of the wisdom of God in the Gospel.

“..to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” Eph 3:9-10


3. God’s wisdom is personal. 

Finally, and most importantly, God’s wisdom is no mere collection of ancient proverbs. God’s eternal wisdom blows the mind as He personifies reality and meaning in the person of Jesus Himself. 

“…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor 1:24-25)

While the world gropes for meaning and answers to life’s greatest questions, God answers them all in Jesus. 

Summary

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1 Cor 1:30). 

The world seeks a wisdom, but not the Source of it. They seek answers but not the Truth.

To know Jesus is to gain access to unending, satisfying wisdom in the heart of our God. He bypasses the world’s wisdom, He intentionally pursues us with His, and His name is Jesus.

Are you a wisdom seeker? Do you want to know a secret?

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7)

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