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Jesus identified himself with “wisdom”

April 8, 2024

Daily Scripture

Proverbs 1:7, 20-25, Matthew 23:37-39, John 1:9-13

Proverbs 1
7 Wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

20 Wisdom shouts in the street;
    in the public square she raises her voice.
21 Above the noisy crowd, she calls out.
    At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say:
22 “How long will you clueless people love your naïveté,
    mockers hold their mocking dear,
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 You should respond when I correct you.
    Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you.
    I’ll reveal my words to you.
24 I invited you, but you rejected me;
    I stretched out my hand to you,
    but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored all my advice,
    and you didn’t want me to correct you.

Matthew 23
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. 38 Look, your house is left to you deserted. 39 I tell you, you won’t see me until you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.” [Psalm 118:26]

John 1
9 The true light that shines on all people
    was coming into the world.
10 The light was in the world,
    and the world came into being through the light,
        but the world didn’t recognize the light.
11 The light came to his own people,
    and his own people didn’t welcome him.
12 But those who did welcome him,
        those who believed in his name,
    he authorized to become God’s children,
13         born not from blood
        nor from human desire or passion,
        but born from God.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Too many people think “faith” means naively believing weird ideas. But the book of Proverbs linked faith with “wisdom.” “The opening paragraph of Proverbs thus comes to a climax by declaring that the first principle of knowledge is awe for Yahweh, whereas stupid people despise wisdom and discipline…. the knowing isn’t expressed merely in achieving a high IQ or a high score in the Standardized Admissions Test (SAT).” *

  • Jesus claimed that he embodied Proverbs’ pictures of wisdom. “Jesus associates himself with divine wisdom in several passages in the Synoptic Gospels, and the theme is developed in the Fourth Gospel and epistles. When Jesus declares that ‘something greater than Solomon is here’ (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31), he is claiming to possess wisdom greater than Solomon’s.” ** How did Jesus’ claim to embody true wisdom point his followers to the value of clear, critical thinking?

  • Doesn’t “fear of the LORD” suggest a “don’t ask questions” view of faith? Not at all. In a handbook for Bible translators, two language scholars noted, “In this verse and throughout Proverbs the fear of the Lord means to respect and believe the Lord.” *** It takes careful thought to choose to respect and believe God as the ultimate source of all true wisdom. What evidence has led you to seek to build your life on God’s wisdom?


Lord God, I am not afraid of you. But I seriously wish to honor and respect you as my creator, my savior and the Lord of my life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Jaime Kernaghan

Jaime Kernaghan

Jaime Kernaghan is the Small Group Specialist at Resurrection Leawood. She previously worked as Praise & Worship Coordinator with Resurrection Kids. Jaime has an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas in Sociology, with a minor in Psychology, and an M.S. Degree from Friends University; she is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Jaime is passionate about her work in connecting people. Outside work she enjoys time with family, friends and her foster son, as well as her two dogs, and her cat-dog. Jaime loves yoga, reading, writing, hammocking and time at the lake.

Wisdom is known as the ‘combination of experience, knowledge and careful judgment.’ When I think of wisdom, I think of one of my dearest bosses, and I have had some amazing ones. He was kind, compassionate, and full of wisdom. Whenever he saw you and you asked him how his day was, he would say, “Better now [since you are here].” And he genuinely meant it. He would often ask you to “Tell me something good,” and legitimately wait until you came up with something positive to share. Not only was he wise, he also empowered others to use careful judgement, consider the knowledge they had, as well as to be mindful of their own experiences that could lead to biases when making decisions. He was never someone to fear, yet he was someone that made you want to honor him by working harder, doing better and being open to opportunities to grow. Much like the walk with Christ, when we allow. My mentor was a leader and an innovator. He adopted both Christianity and Judaism, and somehow, intertwined them beautifully. 

This dear human left us in late 2020. One of my dear coworkers at the time wrote this tribute I found on his obituary wall: “He made the world a better place; I am a better person having the privilege of knowing you and having you part of my life. You taught me so much, you were my mentor–to a much greater degree, in life and what it means to be a noble servant. I’m still learning!”

We are all still learning. I am so grateful for those along the way who continue to pour into others. Those people who take time to listen, to be present, and to allow us to continue to learn what it means to be wise, to walk by faith, and to let our journey with Christ shine our light like nothing else. My mentor did just that, and more, and I am so much better for knowing him. Let us celebrate the wisdom we have been given, by sharing it with others unselfishly, wholeheartedly and without ceasing. I wonder, who in your life embodies wisdom for you?

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* John Goldingay, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs for Everyone. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014, p. 9.
** Article “Wisdom” in Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman III, general editors, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998, p. 956.
*** William D. Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, p. 29.