- Wisdom is hidden;
- Wisdom must be revealed;
- Wisdom comes from above.
1. Wisdom is Hidden
Imagine the Jewish temple before it was destroyed: a beautiful, impressive, mostly inaccessible building.
Now think about these words in John 2:19-21, “’Destroy this temple, and in three days I [Jesus] will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But [Jesus] was speaking of the temple of his body.”
Jesus is our true temple–he’s also a man–a seemingly, at-first-glance regular man. However, scripture tells us that he is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15). And that “in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Col. 1:19).
Now when we look at a temple, we see only the outside. In Jesus’ case, we see a man. In the case of the Jewish temple, we see an impressive, awe-inspiring building. We, however, do not get to see what is hidden inside. In order to see what lies on the inside of a temple, we must have access. In other words, the temple must be opened to us. Jesus’ body must be opened to us, so that we may glimpse the glory of the mystery of what lies inside. Now with respect to the Jewish temple, if we were to peer into it, during Jesus’ day, we would find it to be shockingly empty. That is, the inner temple–the Most Holy Place– would have been empty since the Ark of the Covenant went missing long ago. Now the Ark of the Covenant was extremely important–the temple was built for the purpose of housing it.
Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. (NKJ 1 Kings 8:6)
Both the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant were built so that the people would have a place for God to dwell amoungst them. With this in mind, read what the apostles had to say about God’s Wisdom being hidden. Paul explained:
My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. (1 Cor. 2: 4-7)
Here Paul is disclosing the source of the apostles’ wisdom. They have not been preaching with human wisdom, rather they have been preaching by Spirit and power. They definitely have Wisdom–God’s hidden Wisdom–a wisdom that God ordained for our glory. Not surprisingly, Solomon, himself, spoke of this “hidden wisdom” in the book of Proverbs:
My son, let them not depart from your eyes keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. . . . do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright. (NKJ Prov. 3:21,32)
If you seek her [Wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (NKJ Prov. 2:4-5)
So the question we must ask ourselves is obvious:
Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living. (Job 28:20-21)
With this question in mind, let’s turn our attention back to Paul:
For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:1-3)
To me [Paul], who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. (NKJ Eph. 3:8-10)
The words of Paul teach us that Wisdom is hidden both in God and in Jesus. Therefore, when we see Jesus (the temple), we have an understanding of what or rather who lies hidden inside: the Spirit of God dwells within–the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, the enigmatic Helper. So even though from the outside Jesus appears to be only one person–a male person–there is actually another person hidden within. And this hidden person is the feminine aspect of God. She is the Sophia, the hidden Wisdom of God. Which is why Adam was created first (he is the revelation of Jesus) and then Eve came second. Since Eve is the revelation of the Spirit, she was appropriately taken directly from Adam’s body. Adam was two people, dwelling in one body until the time for Eve’s revelation was at hand.
2. Opening the Temple and Revealing the Spirit
Now picture Jesus during the last supper before his death. As he shared a meal with his disciples, “he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you” (Lk. 22:19).
Now skip ahead in the story and picture Jesus on the cross–his body, the temple, now broken–notice who comes out: “When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (Jn. 19:30 ).
Soon after this Jesus is then raised from the dead. Later, he appears to numerous people. Then finally he meets with his disciples ordering them…
not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4–5)
After this, Jesus then ascends into heaven:
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”(Acts 1:9–11).
Now that Jesus has gone up to heaven, the disciples then gather themselves together, as directed, and they wait for the Spirit to come. Notice where the Spirit comes from:
And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:2–4)
This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. (Acts 2:32–33).
Jesus has now approached the Father and has poured out the promise of the Holy Spirit. After receiving the Spirit, it becomes apparent to all of Jesus’ disciples that the Spirit of God now dwells within each one of them. Like Jesus, they too are now the temple of God. On the outside, they may look like ordinary people, but inside dwells a person–a Holy Person. Inside each of them lives the Spirit: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Co 3:16).”
3. Wisdom Comes From Above
Since Wisdom, God’s Holy Spirit, is hidden within both God and Jesus she does not originate on earth—she comes from above. In regard to Wisdom descending from above, let us now look at James’ words:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there. But 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. (NKJ Jas. 3:13-17)
Notice the two types of wisdom: first of all, the human kind—earthly, sensual, demonic (it comes from below). And the Spirit kind, descending from above—pure, peaceable, gentle, and willing to yield, full of mercy and all the good fruits. Now remember how Satan corrupted his wisdom through pride? And remember how Eve submitted to the wisdom of Satan (earthly, sensual, demonic)? The apostle James asks, “Who is wise among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” Meekness means “willing to submit.” Therefore, James is asking, “Whose conduct is in submission to the wisdom that comes from above? Because that is the one who is truly wise.” A wise Christian, therefore, will listen to Wisdom when she speaks:
The Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute.” (Lk. 11:49)
Wisdom to the apostles was not accumulated knowledge, nor was Wisdom the ability to make wise choices. Their wisdom was not “of this world.” The apostles’ wisdom literally descended from above: “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God.” Wisdom to them was obviously someone—the Spirit of God.
The apostles taught that it was this “Spirit who is from God” who was their “secret wisdom” and that God destined this three-fold, amazing, supernatural union—humankind joined with God’s Spirit through belief in Jesus—all before time began.
I have used the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT © 2017 Deidre Havrelock