Today’s Reading: Isa 50:1–51:23, Luke 20:1–40, Job 11:12–20
Today’s Theme: The Wisdom of Jesus
Today’s theme is about the remarkable wisdom of Jesus. The OT passage speaks about how Jesus would spend time with the Father every morning, to be able to teach with wisdom, which is an example for us. We see that wisdom on display in our NT passage. Let’s learn from Jesus how we too can walk in wisdom.
The servant as prophet, teacher and disciple
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. Isaiah 50:4 (ESV)
These passages are again about God’s faithful servant, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Where the servant says that God has given him the tongue of the learned, he is not talking about the knowledge of this world, but the experiential knowledge that comes from a life of submission and obedience to God. Experiential knowledge is what we should seek rather than disconnected head knowledge only.
The purpose for all that God’s servant knows, mentally by study and the Spirit, and experientially by intimacy and obedience to the Father, is to sustain others with his teaching. Jesus is both prophet and teacher to us.
It seems clear that Jesus had a daily devotional life with the Father and we should follow His example as His disciples. Listen to God every morning as you read your bible and pray. This will enable you to be used by God, to help others.
We will read in our NT reading about the remarkable wisdom that Jesus has.
The suffering servant
I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. Isaiah 50:6 (ESV)
Those who claim that the Messiah is only a triumphant king, run into difficulty here. The fact is, the Messiah was prophesied as a suffering servant and a ruling king.
This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus gave His back to the Romans as they beat Him and His beard to those who plucked it off, on His way to His crucifixion.
Give thanks to Jesus today that He endured the humiliation, pain and suffering of all that was included in the brutality of the cross, for our redemption.
Remember your spiritual heritage
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Isaiah 51:1 (ESV)
God begins to comfort His people, there are other verses we won’t comment on at length, like verse 6, 7, 11-13, 16 and 22, which speak of God’s eternal salvation for His people, the joy He will give them, the comfort He will provide, an encouragement to not fear man, that they have His inspired word in the scriptures and that He pleads their cause.
In this verse God reminds the children of Israel of their godly heritage, to help encourage them.
You too should remember your godly heritage in God’s family (not necessarily your own family). We share the heritage of Israel so can look back to Abraham, Moses and the Prophets, but we have heritage in the New Covenant too, so can look to Peter, Paul and John as well as faithful Christians who have gone on before us, like Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon.
Remember your spiritual heritage in Christ today and be encouraged by it.
The wisdom of Jesus
And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Luke 20:8 (ESV)
Jesus uses great wisdom when dealing with the trap the leaders tried to force Him into, He did not directly answer their question, instead He pointed out the stupidity of their question by diverting the same question to one who was under and endorsed Jesus, namely John.
The folly and evil intent of the leaders was exposed and the question was answered by default. Jesus will raise this question of His authority again in tomorrow’s reading.
Ask God to give you wisdom when answering questions, like Jesus.
The Rejected yet Victorious Stone
But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Luke 20:17–18 (ESV)
Jesus tells the parable of the wicked tenants and alludes to His own death, at their hands, as the Son.
Jesus’ wisdom was so often shown in the questions He asked, He always asked the right question. In this case, He turns to the listening people and asks them, in context to the story He has just told; what does the passage of scripture about the rejected stone mean?
The question is asked in a rhetorical sense, to get the people to think, and then answered to warn them of the consequence of following their wicked leaders, instead of following Him.
Jesus uses a combination of Old Testament allusions to answer the question and makes clear that the rejected stone (Himself), is in fact victorious and will judge all those who reject and come against Him.
We should rejoice in the victory of Jesus, the rejected stone, and ask God to help us exercise the same type of wisdom as Jesus, by asking the right questions.
Citizens of both Heaven and Earth
He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Luke 20:25 (ESV)
Jesus shows us His great wisdom again, this time in answering those who try to catch Him in regards to paying taxes.
Jesus takes time to ask the right question again and this time lays down a lesson for all our lives, with the type of wisdom the people had never heard before.
By stating that we should render to Caesar what is due to him and to God what is due to Him, Jesus is teaching that we are citizens of both heaven and earth.
Jesus did not revolt like Barabbas, He taught that those who benefit from the state, must pay their due to the state and live under the laws of the state, inasmuch as those laws do not oppose God’s law.
So we must be good citizens of heaven and earth, we should pay our taxes with honesty and contribute to the wider community, by obeying and helping the authorities under God’s sovereignty.
An entirely new order of life
but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, Luke 20:35 (ESV)
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection or the afterlife, which seemed absurd to them because of their flawed logic, which assumed that the order of life on earth would continue after resurrection.
They ask Jesus a question to show the absurdity of the resurrection, according to their understanding. Jesus corrects their faulty logic and in doing so, shows the stupidity of their question and understanding of the afterlife.
It is becoming popular through some songs, books and testimonies on Christian TV, for women to speak about encounters with Jesus which are very romantic, as though they would actually be married to Jesus in the same way that we have marriage on the earth, but this is not biblical or logical.
What about the men who are saved? This type of gross romanticism is sensual and would paint a picture of Jesus as a mystic polygamist.
Jesus made three very important points in correcting these faulty understandings:
- After the resurrection, relationships change
- Everyone does not qualify for life at the resurrection
- Marrying and getting married are not part of the future existence
The reason for this is that Marriage and the accompanying children and families are no longer necessary, because people will no longer die and so will not need to procreate through marriage to maintain human existence.
The main point is that life will take on an entirely new order, where the need for marriage will be no more. Our marriages are temporary and earthbound, pointing to the unique union and covenant we will share with God in eternity.
Speaking without wisdom
But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last.” Job 11:20 (ESV)
Zophar had good intentions but he did not speak with wisdom, he looked at Job’s plight and made assumptions, he has been calling Job to repent but is now warning against Job not repenting and so being left to the way of the wicked.
The fact is that Job has nothing to repent of, this, along with the sweeping generalities of good vs bad that Zophar paints the world in, is symbolic of the faulty understanding of the nature of the world, that the book of Job exists to correct.
We do not believe in karma or strict cause and effect, God is sovereign over all and shows mercy and grace to those who are undeserving, as well as allowing His elect to go through difficulty according to His own purpose and plans, despite man’s formulas for what will make for a trouble free life.
We must speak with wisdom from God, not using our own eyes and flawed logic.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Luke 20