Sunday, July 9, 2017

Jesus is our true Wisdom

Rembrandt's Prodigal Son
In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus invites us: “Come to me, all you who find life burdensome and I will refresh you.” Yes, when we begin to think that our lives are empty or burdensome, Jesus is here to fill our emptiness, to lighten our burdens: whether broken relationships or illness or the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, or whatever.

 I would like to reflect on Jesus as “our true wisdom who guides us, brings us good news and provides for us.

The film “Lawrence of Arabia” is drawn from T.E. Lawrence’s activities in the middle east in World War I. His memoir, written in 1926, is titled “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.” I would guess he had in mind the wisdom literature of ancient Israel, “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up her seven pillars.” (Prov 9:1). Jesus is our true wisdom, the image of the God we cannot see, our guide, our good news, our provider.

First, Jesus gives all the guidance we need. Because we have the Spirit dwelling within us. We are “led by the Spirit of God.” (Rom 8:14). And God has bestowed the gifts of the Spirit upon us: wisdom to recognize what truly matters in life, intelligence to discern what's true, courage, compassion for the needy, good judgment and wonder and awe.

In a world that desperately needs good news, Jesus has provided us with that. “Gospel” means “good news.” The good news is about Jesus, his death and resurrection. (Acts 17, v.18). All we need is in Jesus. The good news of Jesus is dynamically relevant to all generations, cultures and situations. People’s needs are always the same. The message of the gospel is always the same. Set aside regular time to study the scriptures, the privileged expression of our faith.

And Jesus taught us to pray. “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt 6:11) Look to Jesus. He will provide us with all we need.

One of my favorite biblical narratives is the story of Elijah. When the brook that provided water dried up, God sent Elijah to a widow for food. The point is: when one door closes, God is about to open another door in our life. Elijah asks for food. The widow replies that she and her son were about to eat their last meal and die. But Elijah promises that if she is generous, God will provide for her needs. And it turned out exactly so. The woman showed great faith in God. I truly believe that if we give generously, we will discover that we cannot out-give God.

Yes, Jesus is our true wisdom who guides us, brings us good news and provides for us so that we can become our better selves; images of God.

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